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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players

09.10.13 at 10:53 am ET
By
Shane Vereen

Shane Vereen

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. One week into the regular season, here’s a breakdown of the New England offense for 2012:

RB Shane Vereen: 21 (14 rushes, 7 catches)
WR Danny Amendola: 10 (0 rushes, 10 catches)
RB Stevan Ridley: 9 (9 rushes, 0 catches), 1 negative play
RB LeGarrette Blount: 7 (7 rushes, 0 catches), 1 negative play
WR Julian Edelman: 7 (0 rushes, 7 catches)
QB Tom Brady: 5 (5 rushes, 0 catches), 2 sacks, 3 kneeldowns
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 4 (0 rushes, 4 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch)

Other offensive notes: The Patriots ran 89 plays on offense, and had a total of seven negative plays from scrimmage. (By way of comparison, they also had seven negative plays in last year’s season opener.) One of Brady’s kneeldowns came shortly before Stephen Gostkowski’s game-winning 35-yard field goal, as he was trying to maneuver into position for a better angle for the kicker. … The Patriots were in shotgun for 44 of their 89 snaps from scrimmage. In addition, they ran eight no-huddle plays on the afternoon. The 11 percent is a significant drop off from the 2012 regular season, where the Patriots were in no huddle for 25 percent of their snaps. … Nine of Amendola’s 10 catches on Sunday went for a first down. After one week, he’s tied with San Francisco’s Anquan Boldin for most receiving first downs in the league. Four of Vereen’s rushes went for a first down — he’s tied for sixth in the league in that department.

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