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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players

12.17.13 at 9:00 am ET
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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. Fourteen games into the regular season, here’€™s a breakdown of the New England offense for 2013:

RB Stevan Ridley: 161 (151 rushes, 10 catches), 14 negative rushes, 1 negative reception, 4 fumbles lost
RB LeGarrette Blount: 115 (113 rushes, 2 catches), 8 negative runs, 2 fumbles lost
WR Julian Edelman: 91 (2 rushes, 89 catches), 6 dropped passes
RB Shane Vereen: 83 (40 rushes, 43 catches), 2 negative runs, 6 dropped passes
RB Brandon Bolden: 73 (54 rushes, 19 catches), 4 negative runs, 1 negative reception
WR Danny Amendola: 52 (1 rush, 51 catches), 1 negative reception
TE Rob Gronkowski: 39 (0 rushes, 39 catches)
WR Aaron Dobson: 35 (0 rushes, 35 catches), 1 negative reception, 7 dropped passes
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 32 (0 rushes, 32 catches), 7 dropped passes
QB Tom Brady: 27 (27 rushes, 0 catches), 36 sacks, 16 kneeldowns, 3 fumbles lost
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 11 (0 rushes, 11 catches)
WR Josh Boyce: 9 (0 rushes, 9 catches), 2 dropped passes
FB James Develin: 6 (2 rushes, 4 catches)
WR Austin Collie: 6 (0 rushes, 6 catches)
TE Matthew Mulligan: 2 (0 rushes, 2 catches)
RB Leon Washington: 1 (1 rush, 0 catches)

Some offensive notes: The Patriots ran 78 plays on Sunday against the Dolphins and 48 of them were in the shotgun, a season high of 61 percent. To this point in the season, the Patriots have been in shotgun formation on 443 of their 1,008 offensive snaps, a rate of 44 percent. (Last year through 14 games, the Patriots were in the shotgun for 518 of their 1,091 plays, a rate of 47 percent.) ‘€¦ Against the Dolphins, the Patriots did not use any no-huddle in any of their 78 snaps. On the year, the Patriots have operated in a no-huddle on 115 of their 1,008 plays from scrimmage ‘€” 11 percent of the time. ‘€¦ New England has run 1,008 offensive plays this year in 13 games. Not counting kneeldowns, 70 have been for negative yardage. Of the 78 plays against the Dolphins, a season-low two went for negative yardage — a sack of Brady and a negative run from Ridley. ‘€¦ The Patriots crossed the 1,000-play mark on the season against the Dolphins, and as far as we can gather from the gamebooks, it came late in the fourth quarter when Brady hit Amendola on a 12-yard pass play over the middle.

By way of comparison, here’s a look at the offensive breakdown through 14 games last year.

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