BALTIMORE — Nobody had more passes thrown his way than Brandon Lloyd, who was targeted by Tom Brady 12 times in the 31-30 loss Sunday night. Nobody caught more passes than Lloyd’s nine, his best game as a Patriot.
Lloyd’s receptions went for 108 yards, and he still hasn’t taken one into the end zone this season. But he and Brady looked to be on the same page all night, save for maybe one deep pass that Lloyd hesitated on while running his route. His longest pass play went for 22 yards, and six of his nine catches came in the second half.
Before the game, Lloyd was working with a strength coach on the field, testing a thigh injury the team had listed on the practice reports. He left the game briefly in the fourth quarter, limping on his left leg, but returned for the team’s final drive.
Julian Edelman also had a big night, albeit abbreviated. Edelman, who started in place of Wes Welker in the home-opening loss to Arizona, didn’t get the start against the Ravens, but did have eight passes thrown his way, and caught half of them for 28 yards. Included in that was a 7-yard touchdown reception with 2 seconds left in the first half, his first of the season.
Edelman didn’t appear to injure himself on the scoring play, but was seen getting worked on by the training staff at the start of the third quarter. The team announced that Edelman had suffered a hand injury, and that his return was questionable. He didn’t play in the second half.
A vote for Welker
The topic du jour from last week didn’t escape Patriots president Jonathan Kraft, who said on a radio appearance before the game that he hopes Welker finishes his career with the team. Welker had eight receptions for 142 yards vs. the Ravens, his 24th 100-yard receiving game with the Patriots.
“I know there’s been a lot of chatter about Wes this week, and Wes is an important part of the team, and Wes is somebody that we tried this offseason to sign long term, and we just weren’t able to get there,” Kraft said on 98.5-FM. “That’s not a function of either side doing something wrong. I think it’s just a matter of, when you sit down at a negotiating table and two sides have a perception about what’s right, and you get close, and you just can’t get all the way there. That’s what the situation was with Wes.
“I’m hopeful that Wes will finish his career a New England Patriot.”
Kraft went on to point that Welker’s snap percentage when the Patriots had a true outside threat (he mentioned Randy Moss then, and Lloyd now) is almost identical.
“I think a lot of it has to do with the personnel that are available,” Kraft said. “And I think anybody that assumes Wes Welker isn’t an integral part of this team and isn’t somebody that – we love having him a part of it. I think they’re making a bad assumption.”
Smith’s brother dies
The Ravens were jolted early Sunday morning with the news that Tevin Smith, the 19-year-old younger brother of receiver Torrey Smith, had died in a motorcycle accident. Tevin Smith struck a utility pole in Virginia; Torrey Smith left the team’s hotel at 2 a.m. to be with his family, with the decision to play in Sunday’s game left up to him.
Smith was one of the first Ravens on the field for pregame warmups. Earlier in the day, he posted two messages on his Twitter account, and two pictures of his brother.
“I can’t believe my little brother is gone . . . be thankful for your loved ones and tell them you love them . . . this is the hardest thing ever,” Smith wrote.
Later: “I can’t say a bad thing about him . . . proud to have him as a brother . . . RIP Tevin.”
Smith is a second-year pro who played at Maryland. He caught seven touchdown passes as a rookie, and had four receptions for 108 yards over the Ravens’ first two games.
Smith hauled in a team-high six catches for 127 yards and a pair of touchdowns Sunday night.
“This is devastatingly sad, sad news,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said in a statement. “Torrey and his family are a close, special family, and our hearts and thoughts reach out to all of them. Our hearts ache today. We pray for Tevin, his mother, Torrey, and the rest of the family. God bless Tevin.’’
Thrown right in
Tight end Kellen Winslow Jr., was not among the seven players on the inactive list, putting him in uniform and on the field four days after the team announced he had been signed. Another tight end, Daniel Fells, was also active for the first time this season. Winslow had one catch for 12 yards.
Logan Mankins (hip) and Dan Connolly (concussion), who had been on the injury report all week, were deemed good enough to go, with Mankins spotted working with a strength coach on the field before the game. So was receiver Brandon Lloyd, who was listed during the week with a thigh injury.
The Patriots’ inactives were tight end Aaron Hernandez, running back Shane Vereen, offensive lineman Nick McDonald, defensive linemen Justin Francis, Jake Bequette, and Brandon Deaderick, and defensive back Alfonzo Dennard.
It was all yellow
There were 24 penalties accepted in the game — 10 on the Patriots, 14 on the Ravens – for a combined 218 yards . . . After the game, linebacker Brandon Spikes tweeted, “Can someone please tell these [expletive] zebras foot locker called and they’re needed Back at work !!!! #BreakingPoint” . . . Steve Gregory had his first interception of the season, stepping in front of Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta and returning a Joe Flacco pass 36 yards to the Ravens’ 6. It led to a 2-yard touchdown run by another first-year Patriot, rookie Brandon Bolden . . . Brady passed for 335 yards in the loss, giving him 40,886 for his career and passing Johnny Unitas (40,239) and Joe Montana (40,551) and into 12th place on the NFL’s all-time list. Kerry Collins (40,922) is 11th . . . In honor of former owner Art Modell, who died Sept. 6, Ravens players had a black-and-white decal with “Art” on their jerseys, with two similar displays also painted on the sidelines . . . Drawing a lot of attention on the sideline before the game — and a good number of photo requests — was 22-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps, who lives in Baltimore . . . The Ravens, who lost in Week 2 to the Eagles, entered having won their last 13 games following a loss. The Patriots, also Week 2 losers, had won 14 of their past 16 games after a defeat . . . A roar went up from the stands roughly 30 minutes before kickoff. The reason? The final score, and the last-second highlight, was shown from Oakland’s win over Pittsburgh, the Ravens’ rival in the AFC North.Michael Whitmer can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeWhitmer.