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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players

01.24.14 at 6:00 am ET
By
LeGarrette Blount

LeGarrette Blount

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

RB LeGarrette Blount: 29 (29 rushes, 0 catches), 2 negative runs
RB Stevan Ridley: 19 (19 rushes, 0 catches), 1 negative run
WR Julian Edelman: 16 (0 rushes, 16 catches)
RB Shane Vereen: 16 (9 rushes, 7 catches), 1 negative run
WR Austin Collie: 5 (0 rushes, 5 catches)
QB Tom Brady: 3 (3 rushes, 0 catches), 4 sacks, 1 kneeldown
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 3 (0 rushes, 3 catches)
WR Danny Amendola: 3 (0 rushes, 3 catches)
WR Aaron Dobson: 2 (0 rushes, 2 catches)
TE Matthew Mulligan: 1 (0 rushes, 1 catch)
FB James Develin: 1 (1 rush, 0 catches)
P Ryan Allen: 1 (1 rush, 0 catches)

Some offensive notes from the postseason: The Patriots ran 73 plays against the Colts and 56 against the Broncos — the latter was the lowest total of the year for the New England offense. (The previous low was the 60 in an Oct. 6 loss to the Bengals.). … The Patriots ran 129 offensive plays in the 2013 postseason, and setting aside one kneeldown for Brady, eight of them were for negative yardage: four sacks of Brady, two negative runs for Blount (both against Indy), and one negative run each from Vereen (against Indy) and Rldley (against Denver). … In the postseason, 49 of their 129 snaps came in the shotgun (19 of the 73 against Indy, and 30 of the 56 against Denver). That’s a rate of 38 percent, slightly below their rate of 42 percent over the course of the regular season. (However, it’s worth mentioning that most of the shotgun sets for the Patriots against the Broncos came in the second half after New England fell behind by multiple scores and needed to step up the pace to try and get back into the game.) … In the two playoff games, the Patriots went no huddle on a total of four of their 129 offensive snaps (once against Denver and three times against Indy), a rate of 3 percent. That’s down from 11 percent over the course of the regular season.

By way of comparison, here’s a look at the offensive opportunities for the 2013 regular season. And here’s a look at the offensive opportunities from the 2012 postseason.

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