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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 13 games of the 2012 regular season:

WR Wes Welker [1]:
95 catches on 142 targets
WR Brandon Lloyd [2]: 57 catches on 98 targets
TE Rob Gronkowski [3]: 53 catches on 75 targets
TE Aaron Hernandez [4]: 35 catches on 51 targets
RB Danny Woodhead [5]: 28 catches on 35 targets
WR Julian Edelman [6]: 21 catches on 32 targets
WR Deion Branch [7]: Nine catches on 20 targets
RB Shane Vereen [8]: Seven catches on 12 targets
RB Stevan Ridley: Six catches on 11 targets
TE Daniel Fells: Three catches on nine 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
WR Donte’ Stallworth: One catch on two targets
TE Visanthe Shiancoe: Zero catches on one target

TOTALS: 320 catches on 495 targets

By position
Wide receiver: 183 catches on 294 targets
Tight end: 94 catches on 141 targets
Running back: 43 catches on 60 targets

By way of comparison, here’s a look at how the targets broke down through 13 games last season. [10]