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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players

12.31.13 at 11:08 am ET
Stevan Ridley

Stevan Ridley

Every week over the course of the 2013 regular season, we’€™€™ve had 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. Here’€™€™s a breakdown of the New England offense for the 2013 regular season:

RB Stevan Ridley: 188 (178 rushes, 10 catches), 15 negative rushes, 1 negative reception, 4 fumbles lost
RB LeGarrette Blount: 155 (153 rushes, 2 catches), 9 negative runs, 2 fumbles lost
WR Julian Edelman: 107 (2 rushes, 105 catches), 8 dropped passes
RB Shane Vereen: 91 (44 rushes, 47 catches), 3 negative runs, 7 dropped passes
RB Brandon Bolden: 76 (55 rushes, 21 catches), 4 negative runs, 1 negative reception
WR Danny Amendola: 55 (1 rush, 54 catches), 1 negative reception
TE Rob Gronkowski: 39 (0 rushes, 39 catches), 1 dropped pass
WR Aaron Dobson: 37 (0 rushes, 37 catches), 1 negative reception, 7 dropped passes
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 32 (0 rushes, 32 catches), 7 dropped passes
QB Tom Brady: 32 (32 rushes, 0 catches), 40 sacks, 19 kneeldowns, 3 fumbles lost
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 12 (0 rushes, 12 catches)
WR Josh Boyce: 9 (0 rushes, 9 catches), 2 dropped passes
FB James Develin: 7 (3 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 68 plays on Sunday against the Bills and 16 of them were in the shotgun — 24 percent. Over the course of the season, the Patriots were in shotgun formation on 482 of their 1,138 offensive snaps, a rate of 42 percent. (Last year, the Patriots were in the shotgun for 585 of their 1,240 plays in the regular season, a rate of 47 percent.) ‘€¦ Against the Bills, the Patriots were in no-huddle for three of their 68 snaps. On the year, the Patriots have operated in a no-huddle on 120 of their 1,138 plays from scrimmage –€” 11 percent of the time. ‘€¦ New England ran 1,138 offensive plays this year. Not counting kneeldowns, 76 were for negative yardage. Of the 68 plays against the Bills, two went for negative yardage — one sack of Brady and a negative run from Vereen.

By way of comparison, here’s a look at the offensive opportunities for the 2012 regular season.

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