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Target Practice: Tracking opportunities in Patriots passing game

10.02.12 at 12:52 pm 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. Here’€™s a look at the target breakdown for the New England passing game through the first four weeks of the 2012 regular season:

WR Wes Welker: 25 catches on 37 targets
WR Brandon Lloyd: 25 catches on 38 targets
TE Rob Gronkowski: 19 catches on 29 targets
WR Julian Edelman: 10 catches on 15 targets
TE Aaron Hernandez: Six catches on eight targets
RB Stevan Ridley: Five catches on eight targets
RB Danny Woodhead: Four catches on five targets
WR Deion Branch: Two catches on three targets
RB Brandon Bolden: One catch on one target
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: One catch on one target
TE Kellen Winslow: One catch on two targets
TE Daniel Fells: One catch on two targets
RB Shane Vereen: One catch on two targets
TOTALS: 101 catches on 151 targets

By position
Wide receiver: 62 catches on 93 targets
Tight end: 28 catches on 42 targets
Running back: 11 catches on 16 targets

By way of comparison, here’s how the targets looked after four games last season.

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