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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 when it came to the 2012 postseason:

WR Wes Welker [1]: 16 catches on 25 targets
TE Aaron Hernandez [2]: 15 catches on 23 targets
WR Brandon Lloyd [3]: 12 catches on 23 targets
RB Shane Vereen [4]: 7 catches on 10 targets
WR Deion Branch [5]: 2 catches on 5 targets
RB Stevan Ridley: 1 catches on 2 targets
RB Danny Woodhead [6]: 1 catch on 3 targets
TE Rob Gronkowski [7]: 0 catches on 1 target
TOTALS: 54 catches on 92 targets

By position
Wide receiver: 30 catches on 53 targets
Tight end: 15 catches on 24 targets
Running back: 9 catches on 15 targets

Here’s a look at how targets broke down for the Patriots over the course of the 2012 regular season. [8]