It’s no secret the expectations were high for Brandon LaFell after a terrific start in his first season in New England, but the follow-up to what he did in 2014 didn’t quite work out that way this year.
Granted a foot injury sidelined him for the early part of 2015, but even after his return he struggled to settle back in and the disconnect between he and quarterback Tom Brady has been painfully obvious. LaFell finished with 37 receptions on 74 targets, which was exactly a 50% completion percentage when Brady looked his way.
The more alarming fact was that the two didn’t connect for a single touchdown, and looking closer, there’s currently quite a regular season drought in place going back to last season.
LaFell’s last touchdown reception came on a 15-yard touchdown against the Packers back on November 30, 2014 for his seventh reception of the season. He hasn’t caught one since.
The staggering part is, LaFell was one of the most consistent players getting into the end zone before that.
Here’s a quick rundown looking at the fact he didn’t go very long in-between touchdown catches last season.
NUMBER OF CATCHES IN-BETWEEN TDS IN 2014:
9/21 – 9/29 – 8 receptions before catching his 1st touchdown of the year against Kansas City
9/29 – 10/12 – 4 receptions over three games before both of his next two catches were touchdowns against Buffalo.
10/16 – 10/26 – 10 receptions over two games before catching his fourth touchdown of the year against Chicago.
10/26 – 11/2 – 7 receptions over two games before catching his fifth touchdown of the season against Denver
11/2 – 11/30 – 15 receptions over three games before catching his sixth TD of the season against the Packers.
11/30 – 2 receptions in-between touchdowns before hauling in his seventh touchdown of the year against the Packers.
He finished the 2014 regular season with 21 straight receptions without a touchdown and after not catching one at all in the regular season this year, his 37 receptions this season brings his total to 58 straight receptions in the regular season without a touchdown. It’s pretty incredible to think about considering that prior to that, he hadn’t gone more than 15 in-between catching one.
During the playoffs last year he finished with two touchdowns and was a key part of the Patriots’ playoff run, and he clearly knew how to be productive. But so far last week against Kansas City, he hauled in two passes for just nine yards.
Needless to say, it hasn’t been a great year but if ever there was a time to get things going again, this Sunday against Denver would definitely be a great time for him to figure out how to get back to that level.
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