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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots’ skill position players

10.22.13 at 4:44 pm ET

Every week over the course of the regular season, we’€™ll present a list of the Patriots’€™ ‘€œoffensive 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. Seven weeks into the regular season, here’€™s a breakdown of the New England offense for 2013:

RB Stevan Ridley: 84 (78 rushes, 6 catches), 8 negative rushes, 1 negative reception, 1 fumble lost
RB LeGarrette Blount: 54 (54 rushes, 0 catches), 6 negative plays, 1 fumble lost
WR Julian Edelman: 48 (2 rushes, 46 catches)
RB Brandon Bolden: 42 (27 rushes, 15 catches), 2 negative runs, 1 negative reception
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 23 (0 rushes, 23 catches)
WR Aaron Dobson: 22 (0 rushes, 22 catches), 1 negative reception
RB Shane Vereen: 21 (14 rushes, 7 catches)
QB Tom Brady: 19 (19 rushes, 0 catches), 19 sacks, 10 kneeldowns, 2 fumbles lost
WR Danny Amendola: 17 (1 rush, 16 catches), 1 negative reception
TE Rob Gronkowski: 8 (0 rushes, 8 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 8 (0 rushes, 8 catches)
WR Austin Collie: 3 (0 rushes, 3 catches)
FB James Develin: 2 (0 rushes, 2 catches)
RB Leon Washington: 1 (1 rush, 0 catches)
TE Matthew Mulligan: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch)
WR Josh Boyce: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch)

Some offensive notes: The Patriots ran 70 plays on Sunday against the Jets, and 44 of them were in shotgun, a rate of 63 percent. That’s a season-high for shotgun totals for New England — their previous high was 55 percent against the Bengals. To this point in the season, the Patriots have been in shotgun formation on 234 of their 500 offensive snaps, a rate of 47 percent. (Last year through seven games, the Patriots were in the shotgun 49 percent of the time.) ‘€¦ Against the Jets, the Patriots were in no-huddle for 11 of their 70 snaps, a rate of 16 percent and a significant drop off from the 53 percent rate they posted the week before against the Saints. On the year, the Patriots have operated in a no-huddle on 72 of their 500 plays from scrimmage — 14 percent of the time. ‘€¦ New England has run 500 offensive plays this year in seven games. Not counting kneeldowns, 38 have been for negative yardage. Of the 70 plays on Sunday against the Jets, five went for negative yardage ‘€” four sacks of Brady and a negative reception for Ridley. ‘€¦ Through seven games last year, the Patriots had run 547 plays and gained 3,053 total net yards, an average of 5.6 yards per play. Through seven games this year, it’s 500 plays, 2,388 total net yards, an average of 4.8 yards per play. … For more comparisons, check out what the offensive looked like through seven games last year.

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