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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players

12.18.12 at 5:22 pm ET
By
Stevan Ridley

Stevan Ridley

Every week over the course of the regular season, we’ll present a list of the Patriots’ “offensive touches,” a running tally of which one of the offensive skill position players is getting the most looks. Like our weekly look at targets, 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. Fourteen games into the regular season, here’s a breakdown of the New England offense for 2012:

RB Stevan Ridley: 258 (252 rushes, 6 catches). 24 negative runs.
RB Danny Woodhead: 103 (70 rushes, 33 catches). 2 negative runs, 2 negative receptions.
WR Wes Welker: 100 (0 rushes, 100 catches). 2 negative receptions.
WR Brandon Lloyd: 67 (0 rushes, 67 catches).
RB Shane Vereen: 62 (54 rushes, 8 catches). 3 negative run.
TE Rob Gronkowski: 53 (0 rushes, 53 catches).
RB Brandon Bolden: 47 (45 rushes, 2 catches). 7 negative runs.
TE Aaron Hernandez: 46 (1 rush, 45 catches). 2 negative receptions.
WR Julian Edelman: 25 (4 rushes, 21 catches). 1 negative reception, 1 negative run.
QB Tom Brady: 23 (23 rushes, 0 catches.) 23 sacks, 8 kneel downs, 1 negative run.
WR Deion Branch: 13 (0 rushes, 13 catches).
QB Ryan Mallett: 8 (8 rushes, all kneel downs).
TE Daniel Fells: 3 (0 rushes, 3 catches).
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 3 (0 rushes, 3 catches).
TE Kellen Winslow: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch).
WR Donte Stallworth: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch)
RB Lex Hilliard: 1 (1 rush, 0 catches)
TOTAL: 814 touches (458 rushes, 356 catches): 45 negative plays, plus 23 sacks and 16 kneel downs.

By position
Running back: 471 touches (422 rushes, 49 catches). 36 negative runs, 2 negative reception.
Wide receiver: 206 touches (4 rushes, 202 catches). 3 negative receptions, 1 negative run.
Tight end: 106 touches (1 rush, 105 catches). 2 negative receptions.
Quarterback: 31 touches (31 rushes, 0 catches), 1 negative run.

By way of comparison, here’s a look at how things broke down through 14 games last season.

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