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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players

Every week over the course of the regular season, we’€™ll present a list of the Patriots’€™ ‘€œoffensive touches,’€ a running tally of which one of the offensive skill position players is getting the most looks. Like our weekly look at targets [1], 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. Ten games into the regular season, here’€™s a breakdown of the New England offense for 2012:

RB Stevan Ridley:
191 (185 rushes, 6 catches). 23 negative runs.
RB Danny Woodhead [2]: 73 (50 rushes, 23 catches). 2 negative runs, 1 negative reception.
WR Wes Welker [3]: 73 (0 rushes, 73 catches). 2 negative receptions.
TE Rob Gronkowski [4]: 53 (0 rushes, 53 catches).
WR Brandon Lloyd [5]: 46 (0 rushes, 46 catches).
RB Brandon Bolden: 45 (43 rushes, 2 catches). 7 negative runs.
RB Shane Vereen [6]: 38 (33 rushes, 5 catches). 3 negative runs.
WR Julian Edelman [7]: 21 (3 rushes, 18 catches). 1 negative reception, 1 negative run.
TE Aaron Hernandez [8]: 18 (1 rush, 17 catches). 1 negative reception.
QB Tom Brady [9]: 12 (12 rushes, 0 catches.) 15 sacks and 6 kneel downs.
WR Deion Branch [10]: 9 (0 rushes, 9 catches).
QB Ryan Mallett [11]: 3 (3 rushes, all kneel downs).
TE Daniel Fells: 2 (0 rushes, 2 catches).
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 2 (0 rushes, 2 catches).
TE Kellen Winslow [12]: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch).
TOTAL: 587 touches (330 rushes, 257 catches): 41 negative plays, plus 15 sacks and nine kneel downs.

By position
Running back: 347 touches (311 rushes, 36 catches). 35 negative runs, 1 negative reception.
Wide receiver: 149 touches (3 rushes, 146 catches). 3 negative receptions, 1 negative run.
Tight end: 76 touches (1 rush, 75 catches). 1 negative reception.
Quarterback: 15 touches (15 rushes, 0 catches).