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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. Eleven games into the regular season, here’€™s a breakdown of the New England offense for 2012:

RB Stevan Ridley:
199 (193 rushes, 6 catches). 22 negative runs.
RB Danny Woodhead [2]: 76 (52 rushes, 24 catches). 2 negative runs, 1 negative reception.
WR Wes Welker [3]: 73 (0 rushes, 73 catches). 2 negative receptions.
TE Rob Gronkowski [4]: 46 (0 rushes, 46 catches).
RB Brandon Bolden: 45 (43 rushes, 2 catches). 7 negative runs.
WR Brandon Lloyd [5]: 45 (0 rushes, 45 catches).
RB Shane Vereen [6]: 38 (32 rushes, 6 catches). 3 negative run.
TE Aaron Hernandez [7]: 20 (1 rush, 19 catches). 1 negative reception.
WR Julian Edelman [8]: 18 (3 rushes, 15 catches). 1 negative reception, 1 negative run.
QB Tom Brady [9]: 15 (15 rushes, 0 catches.) 15 sacks and 6 kneel downs.
WR Deion Branch [10]: 9 (0 rushes, 9 catches).
QB Ryan Mallett [11]: 5 (5 rushes, all kneel downs).
TE Daniel Fells: 3 (0 rushes, 3 catches).
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 2 (0 rushes, 2 catches).
TE Kellen Winslow [12]: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch).
TOTAL: 595 touches (344 rushes, 251 catches): 40 negative plays, plus 15 sacks and 11 kneel downs.

By position
Running back: 358 touches (320 rushes, 38 catches). 34 negative runs, 1 negative reception.
Wide receiver: 145 touches (3 rushes, 142 catches). 3 negative receptions, 1 negative run.
Tight end: 72 touches (1 rush, 71 catches). 1 negative reception.
Quarterback: 15 touches (15 rushes, 0 catches).