Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 12/11/12
FOXBORO, Mass. — Brandon Lloyd had seemingly taken the shape of Casper the friendly ghost of late. He was simply nowhere to be found. But he was sure to reconcile that misconception on Monday Night. After seeing a season-low one target against the Dolphins less than a week prior, Lloyd became Tom Brady‘s go-to guy back at home in Foxboro. Lloyd led the Patriots in most receiving categories, putting together his best game in a Patriots uniform as New England routed the visiting Texans 42-14. The talented wide receiver finished the game with seven catches, 89 yards and a touchdown. Statistically speaking, those aren’t his best numbers in a game this year. But realistically, Lloyd hasn’t played any better than he did on Monday. After the game, the star receiver wouldn’t take any credit for his performance, though. Instead, Lloyd, in true Patriot fashion, made sure to push all of his praise onto his teammates. “I think we had a great week of practice and we did the things that were necessary to come out and execute well,” Lloyd said after the win. “It was a team effort.” It seems that the Lloyd has finally embraced the Patriots’ team-first attitude. And with the adjusted outlook have come the desired results. Lloyd’s biggest play of the night has also been the one that has eluded him all season. After pulling down one ball for a 14-yard gain early on in the game, a play Lloyd has seemingly become known best for in New England, the connection finally formed between him and Brady. Late in the first quarter, Lloyd went streaking down the middle of the field, flying by the Texans’ defense, and hauled in a 37-yard touchdown pass to put the Patriots up 14-0. Even with the big play, Lloyd deferred all the attention onto the team. “That was definitely a scheme play and we worked hard on that all week,” Lloyd said of the score. “When the opportunity presented itself, Coach [Josh] McDaniels called it at the right time and we were able to take advantage of it.” Whether he recognized it or not, the catch was shockingly Lloyd’s longest of the season. A thought that would have seemed preposterous back in April. But even more important than the grab itself was the impact that it had on his connection with Brady. A sentiment Brady acknowledged after the win. “He had a great game, made some real critical plays and catches. I have a ton of confidence in him. I’m not worried about that,” Brady said, before reaffirming his belief in Lloyd. “I have a lot of confidence in Brandon. He did a great job.” Upon his arrival in New England, Lloyd was thought to be the deep threat Brady had so desperately desired. That notion has obviously shifted since the start of the season. But Monday’s game at least proved that he is definitely still capable. The marriage between Lloyd and the Patriots hasn’t exactly gotten out to the fiery start many had envisioned, but the 31-year-old wideout remains an important playmaker in this offense and even more so now without Julian Edelman. There are still three games left in the season, and at least one more after that. So, while timing has been an issue for Lloyd all season, the timing of his emergence in the Patriots’ offense might be just right. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
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