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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players

09.25.12 at 1:52 pm ET
By

Danny Woodhead

Every week over the course of the regular season, we’ll present a list of the Patriots’ “offensive touches,” a running tally of which one of the offensive skill position players is getting the most looks. Like our weekly look at targets, it can occasionally be an inexact stat, but it remains a good barometer of how confident the coaches (and quarterback) are when it comes to the skill position players at their disposal. Three weeks into the regular season, here’s a breakdown of the New England offense for 2012:

RB Stevan Ridley: 57 (52 rushes, 5 catches). Nine negative runs.
RB Danny Woodhead: 31 (29 rushes, 2 catches). Two negative runs.
WR Brandon Lloyd: 22 (0 rushes, 22 catches).
WR Wes Welker: 16 (0 rushes, 16 catches).
TE Rob Gronkowski: 14 (0 rushes, 14 catches).
WR Julian Edelman: 12 (2 rushes, 10 catches). One negative reception, one negative run
TE Aaron Hernandez: 7 (1 rush, 6 catches).
RB Brandon Bolden: 7 (7 rushes, 0 catches). One negative run.
QB Tom Brady: 5 (5 rushes, 0 catches.) Seven sacks and two kneel downs.
WR Deion Branch: 2 (0 rushes, 2 catches)
TE Kellen Winslow: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch)
TOTAL: 175 touches (96 rushes, 79 catches): 14 negative plays, plus seven sacks.

By position
Running back: 88 touches (81 rushes, 7 catches)
Tight end: 23 touches (1 rush, 22 catches)
Wide receiver: 52 touches (2 rushes, 50 catches)

Other offensive notes: New England, which was in the no-huddle an average of 28 percent in its previous four games with the Ravens, went no-huddle on 34 of their 77 snaps Sunday night against the Ravens, a rate of 44 percent. (They went no-huddle 12 plays in the first, five in the second, 14 in the third and three in the fourth.) Through three games, it’s a season-high for the Patriots. … Through three weeks, the Patriots have been in no huddle for 70 of their 222 plays from scrimmage, a rate of 31.5 percent. … Ridley is 11th in the league in rushing with 233 total yards, while Lloyd is sixth in the league with 22 catches and Welker is ninth in the league with 251 receiving yards. The 59-yarder Welker hit with Brady in the first half against the Ravens is the longest gain from scrimmage this season for the Patriots. … Thirteen of Lloyd’s catches have gone for a first down, tied for ninth-best in the league. … In a distinct departure from the norm, Brady is in the Top 5 in only one major passing category — completed passes. (He’s tied for fourth with 79.)

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