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Target Practice: Tracking opportunities in Patriots passing game

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 nine weeks of the 2012 regular season:

WR Wes Welker [1]:
66 catches on 94 targets
TE Rob Gronkowski [2]: 46 catches on 68 targets
WR Brandon Lloyd [3]: 42 catches on 75 targets
RB Danny Woodhead [4]: 23 catches on 28 targets
TE Aaron Hernandez [5]: 17 catches on 24 targets
WR Julian Edelman [6]: 13 catches on 19 targets
WR Deion Branch [7]: Nine catches on 20 targets
RB Stevan Ridley: Six catches on 11 targets
RB Shane Vereen [8]: Four catches on five targets
RB Brandon Bolden: Two catches on two targets
TE Daniel Fells: Two catches on six targets
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: Two catches on three targets
TE Kellen Winslow [9]: One catch on two targets
TOTALS: 233 catches on 357 targets

By position
Wide receiver: 130 catches on 208 targets
Tight end: 68 catches on 103 targets
Running back: 35 catches on 46 targets