In 2010, new Patriots signing Brandon Lloyd faced Antonio Cromartie for the first time in his career when the Jets travelled to Mile High to face the Denver Broncos. Lloyd was in the form of his life, averaging six catches for 116 yards with three touchdowns in the first five games. Kyle Orton was also in the best form of his career, averaging 347 yards per game to that point with a QB rating of at least 89.5 and a completion percentage of at least 60% in each game.
The Jets matched Lloyd up with Cromartie virtually all day, as Darrelle Revis, who had just returned from a hamstring injury was employed on Eddie Royal, Jabar Gaffney or Demaryius Thomas, depending on the situation. Since that would probably be the Jets’ approach when they face New England next year, let’s see how Cromartie fared. Numbers after the jump…
On seven targets, Lloyd caught just two passes for 26 yards against Cromartie.
Lloyd did get two more catches for 48 yards with Jim Leonhard covering him in a zone defense, but the four catches for 74 yards was still well below his previous output. Also, the gameplan worked well with Orton completing just 14 of 34 passes for 209 yards. The Jets still almost lost, due to a poor offensive performance, but managed to sneak the win on LaDainian Tomlinson’s late touchdown run following a pass interference call on Santonio Holmes on fourth down.
Obviously it’s a small sample size, but this game at least shows that Cromartie is capable of shutting Lloyd down, even when he’s in the form of his life. That’s good news, because this is exactly what the Jets will need him to do twice next year.
Numbers via PFF.