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Target Practice: Who was Tom Brady’s favorite (and most dependable) target this past postseason?

02.09.12 at 9:08 am ET

Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains an imperfect stat ‘€” a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback ‘€” it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer might have in his pass catcher. We had the target breakdown for the New England passing game for the 2011 regular season — here’€™s what the postseason breakdown looks like:

Chad Ochocinco: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
Wes Welker: 19 catches on 23 targets (83 percent)
Danny Woodhead: 5 catches on 6 targets (83 percent)
Rob Gronkowski: 17 catches on 23 targets (74 percent)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis: 3 catches on 5 targets (60 percent)
Deion Branch: 8 catches on 13 targets (62 percent)
Aaron Hernandez: 19 catches on 31 targets (61 percent)
Julian Edelman: 2 catches on 5 targets (40 percent)
Stevan Ridley: 0 catches on 1 target (0 percent)
Matthew Slater: 0 catches on 1 target (0 percent)

By position
Wide receiver: 30 catches on 43 targets (70 percent)
Tight end: 36 catches on 54 targets (67 percent)
Running back: 8 catches on 12 targets (67 percent)

The sample size for the postseason is smaller, but it’€™s interesting to note that when you compare the regular-season percentages against the postseason number that Gronkowski’€™s percentage was almost the same (74 percent in the playoffs, 73 percent in the regular season). And among the receivers who see the most passes, Welker’€™s numbers increased dramatically between the regular season (71 percent) and postseason (83 percent), while Hernandez saw a sharp drop in his percentage from the regular season to the postseason (70 to 61 percent).

Read More: Aaron Hernandez, BenJarvus Green Ellis, Chad Ochocinco, Danny Woodhead



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