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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 11 games of the 2012 regular season:

WR Wes Welker [1]: 80 catches on 115 targets
TE Rob Gronkowski [2]: 53 catches on 75 targets
WR Brandon Lloyd [3]: 49 catches on 88 targets
RB Danny Woodhead [4]: 24 catches on 29 targets
WR Julian Edelman [5]: 20 catches on 29 targets
TE Aaron Hernandez [6]: 19 catches on 27 targets
WR Deion Branch [7]: Nine catches on 20 targets
RB Shane Vereen [8]: Seven catches on 10 targets
RB Stevan Ridley: Six catches on 11 targets
TE Daniel Fells: Three catches on eight targets
RB Brandon Bolden: Two catches on two targets
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: Two catches on three targets
TE Kellen Winslow [9]: One catch on two targets
TOTALS: 275 catches on 419 targets

By position
Wide receiver: 158 catches on 252 targets
Tight end: 78 catches on 115 targets
Running back: 39 catches on 52 targets