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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players

11.06.13 at 12:20 am 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. Nine weeks into the regular season, here’€™s a breakdown of the New England offense for 2013:

RB Stevan Ridley: 127 (118 rushes, 9 catches), 9 negative rushes, 1 negative reception, 2 fumbles lost
RB LeGarrette Blount: 70 (70 rushes, 0 catches), 8 negative runs, 1 fumble lost
RB Brandon Bolden: 55 (38 rushes, 17 catches), 3 negative runs, 1 negative reception
WR Julian Edelman: 51 (2 rushes, 49 catches), 6 dropped passes
WR Aaron Dobson: 31 (0 rushes, 31 catches), 1 negative reception, 7 dropped passes
WR Danny Amendola: 24 (1 rush, 23 catches), 1 negative reception
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 23 (0 rushes, 23 catches), 7 dropped passes
QB Tom Brady: 23 (23 rushes, 0 catches), 25 sacks, 14 kneeldowns, 2 fumbles lost
RB Shane Vereen: 21 (14 rushes, 7 catches)
TE Rob Gronkowski: 19 (0 rushes, 19 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 9 (0 rushes, 9 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 71 plays on Sunday against the Steelers and 17 of them were in shotgun, a rate of 24 percent. To this point in the season, the Patriots have been in shotgun formation on 262 of their 633 offensive snaps, a rate of 41 percent. (Last year through nine games, the Patriots were in the shotgun for 352 of their 710 plays, a rate of 50 percent.) ‘€¦ Against the Steelers, the Patriots were in no-huddle for 19 of their 71 snaps, a rate of 27 percent. On the year, the Patriots have operated in a no-huddle on 105 of their 633 plays from scrimmage ‘€” 17 percent of the time. ‘€¦ New England has run 633 offensive plays this year in eight games. Not counting kneeldowns, 48 have been for negative yardage. Of the 71 plays on Sunday against the Dolphins, four went for negative yardage ‘€” three sacks of Brady, as well as one negative run from Ridley.

By way of comparison, here’s the same breakdown of the first nine games of the 2012 season.

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