FOXBOROUGH — If Tom Brady has ample time to throw against J.J. Watt and the Texans defense Sunday, the understated Brandon Lloyd could be a dangerous weapon in the Patriots receiving arsenal.
With the Houston defense expected to be preoccupied with the Big Three of Wes Welker, Aaron Hernandez, and Rob Gronkowski, Lloyd might have the opportunity to break free for some big plays in his first NFL playoff game.
In this episode of Championship Today, the Globe’s Greg Bedard and Shalise Manza Young discuss how much impact Brandon Lloyd might have Sunday and how stopping J.J. Watt and protecting Brady will be key to New England’s offensive success.
We also hear from Lloyd, who’s never played a down in the playoffs over his 10 year NFL career and had seven catches for 89 yards and scored two touchdowns — one on an end zone fumble recovery — in the Patriots 41-14win over the Texans on Monday Night Football in December.
“I’d be at the Sundance Film Festival [laughs], I’d be on my way to the Bahamas,” Lloyd said when asked what he would be doing during the playoffs in years past. “All kind of different stuff. …ever since [I was] a kid, the ultimate goal is to play in the Super Bowl and the only way to get to the Super Bowl is to make it to the playoffs. This is a step along the way to the ultimate goal for all of us, for all the teams that have entered the playoffs, this is just the beginning. There’s still a lot of work that needs to be done to get there.”
Hard-nosed offensive lineman Logan Mankins also talks about the tall task of going up against Watt and the Texans defensive line.
“Well it’s going to be really tough,” Mankins said Thursday. “You have probably the best D-lineman in the league in J.J. Watt and then you’ve got Antonio Smith, another very good defensive lineman. So those two together are very tough and then you put all four of them out there at one time and they’re a tough matchup for anyone. You see the problems they give teams every week. Cincinnati scored six points on offense, so that says a lot right there, to hold a team to six points in the playoffs.”