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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players 12.31.14 at 9:07 pm ET
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Shane Vereen led the Patriots in offensive touches for the 2014 regular season. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Shane Vereen led the Patriots in offensive touches for the 2014 regular season. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Every week over the course of the season, we’ve list 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 2014 regular season:

RB Shane Vereen: 148 (96 carries, 52 catches) 4 negative catches, 7 negative runs
WR Julian Edelman: 102 (10 carries, 92 catches)
RB Stevan Ridley: 98 (94 carries, 4 catches), 8 negative runs
RB Jonas Gray: 91 (90 carries, 1 catch), 3 negative runs
TE Rob Gronkowski: 82 (82 catches), 1 negative catch
WR Brandon LaFell: 76 (2 carries, 74 catches)
RB LeGarrette Blount: 64 (60 carries, 4 catches), 9 negative runs
QB Tom Brady: 36 (36 carries), 21 sacks, 11 kneeldowns
RB Brandon Bolden: 30 (29 carries, 1 catch), 4 negative runs
TE Tim Wright: 27 (1 carry, 26 catches), 6 negative rush
WR Danny Amendola: 27 (27 catches), 1 negative catch
RB James White: 14 (9 carries, 5 catches)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 10 (10 carries) 5 sacks, 6 kneeldowns
FB James Develin: 7 (1 carry, 6 catches)
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 6 (6 catches)
WR Brian Tyms: 5 (5 catches)
WR Aaron Dobson: 3 (3 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 3 (3 catches)

Notes: The Patriots had a season-high eight negative plays from scrimmage on Sunday against the Bills –€” three sacks of Garoppolo and one of Brady. In addition, there were two negative runs from Blount, one negative run from Bolden and one negative reception by Vereen. … On the season, New England ran 1,073 plays from scrimmage, and 65 of them went for negative yardage (6 percent), not including kneeldowns. … Against the Bills, the Patriots ran 62 plays, with 29 of them in shotgun (47 percent). … In addition, the game-book lists them as having run two plays in no huddle (3 percent). … On the season, the Patriots ran 74 of their 1,073 plays out of no-huddle (7 percent) and 415 snaps in shotgun (39 percent). … By way of comparison, over the course of the 2013 regular season, the Patriots were in shotgun for 42 percent of their offensive snaps and they ran no-huddle on 11 percent of their snaps.

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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players 12.25.14 at 2:32 pm ET
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Every week, we list 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 2014 New England offense after 15 games:

RB Shane Vereen: 143 (94 carries, 49 catches) 3 negative catches, 7 negative runs
WR Julian Edelman: 102 (10 carries, 92 catches)
RB Stevan Ridley: 98 (94 carries, 4 catches), 8 negative runs
RB Jonas Gray: 91 (90 carries, 1 catch), 3 negative runs
TE Rob Gronkowski: 82 (82 catches), 1 negative catch
WR Brandon LaFell: 70 (70 catches)
RB LeGarrette Blount: 54 (50 carries, 4 catches), 7 negative runs
QB Tom Brady: 34 (34 carries), 20 sacks, 11 kneeldowns
TE Tim Wright: 26 (1 carry, 25 catches), 6 negative rush
RB Brandon Bolden: 25 (24 carries, 1 catch), 3 negative runs
WR Danny Amendola: 23 (23 catches), 1 negative catch
RB James White: 12 (9 carries, 3 catches)
FB James Develin: 7 (1 carry, 6 catches)
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 6 (6 catches)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 6 (6 carries) 2 sacks, 6 kneeldowns
WR Aaron Dobson: 3 (3 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 3 (3 catches)
WR Brian Tyms: 1 (1 catch)

Notes: Not including the season-high four kneeldowns from Brady, the Patriots had six negative plays from scrimmage on Sunday against the Jets — four sacks of Brady and two negative runs from Gray. … On the season, New England has run 1,011 plays from scrimmage, and 57 of them have gone for negative yardage (6 percent), not including kneeldowns. … Against the Jets, the Patriots ran 63 plays, with 28 of them in shotgun (44 percent). … In addition, the game-book lists them as having run zero plays in no huddle. However, there were several plays on New England’s second play of the second half where the Patriots were in a hurry-up offensive look. … Against the Jets, New England passed the 1,000-play mark for the 2014 season — the Patriots 1,000th offensive play from scrimmage on the season came in the fourth quarter on Brady’s fourth-quarter interception. (A ball intended for LaFell was tipped, and cornerback Marcus Williams came away with the pick.) … Talk about saving your best for last — against New York, the Patriots longest play from scrimmage was the key fourth-quarter pickup from Bolden where the running back was able to reach the sticks and get 17 big yards on a 3rd and one. … On the season, the Patriots have run 72 of their 1,011 plays out of no-huddle (7 percent) and 386 snaps in shotgun (38 percent). … By way of comparison, over the course of the 2013 regular season, the Patriots were in shotgun for 42 percent of their offensive snaps and they ran no-huddle on 11 percent of their snaps. … We’ve been following Vereen’s quest for 50 catches and 50 carries, and at this point, he’s only one of five backs with at least 90 carries and 49 catches. If he gets to the 50-50 mark, he’d be the first New England running back to do it since Kevin Faulk had 83 carries and 58 catches in 2008. … One other note: Edelman has 10 rushing attempts on the season, and is nearing a franchise record — the franchise mark for most carries by a wide receiver in a single season is Troy Brown, who had 11 in 2001.

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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players 12.16.14 at 9:27 pm ET
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Jonas Gray

Jonas Gray

Every week, we list 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 2014 New England offense after 14 games:

RB Shane Vereen: 136 (88 carries, 48 catches) 3 negative catches, 7 negative runs
WR Julian Edelman: 102 (10 carries, 92 catches)
RB Stevan Ridley: 98 (94 carries, 4 catches), 8 negative runs
RB Jonas Gray: 85 (84 carries, 1 catch), 1 negative run
TE Rob Gronkowski: 76 (76 catches), 1 negative catch
WR Brandon LaFell: 63 (63 catches)
RB LeGarrette Blount: 54 (50 carries, 4 catches), 7 negative runs
QB Tom Brady: 27 (27 carries), 16 sacks, 11 kneeldowns
TE Tim Wright: 25 (1 carry, 24 catches), 6 negative rush
RB Brandon Bolden: 20 (19 carries, 1 catch), 3 negative runs
WR Danny Amendola: 15 (15 catches), 1 negative pass
RB James White: 12 (9 carries, 3 catches)
FB James Develin: 7 (1 carry, 6 catches)
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 6 (6 catches)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 6 (6 carries) 2 sacks, 6 kneeldowns
WR Aaron Dobson: 3 (3 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 3 (3 catches)
WR Brian Tyms: 1 (1 catch)

Notes: Not including one kneeldown from Brady, the Patriots had three negative plays from scrimmage on Sunday against the Dolphins –€” one negative run each from Vereen, Blount and Gray. … On the season, New England has run 948 plays from scrimmage, and 51 of them have gone for negative yardage (5 percent), not including kneeldowns. … Against the Dolphins, the Patriots ran 64 plays, with 31 of them in shotgun with 41 of them coming in shotgun (48 percent). … In addition, the game-book lists them as having run five plays in no huddle (8 percent). … On the season, the Patriots have run 72 of their 948 plays out of no-huddle (8 percent) and 358 snaps in shotgun (38 percent). … By way of comparison, over the course of the 2013 regular season, the Patriots were in shotgun for 42 percent of their offensive snaps and they ran no-huddle on 11 percent of their snaps. … We’ve been following Vereen’s quest for 50 catches and 50 carries, and at this point, he’s only one of six backs with at least 85 carries and 45 catches. If he gets to the 50-50 mark, he’d be the first New England running back to do it since Kevin Faulk had 83 carries and 58 catches in 2008. … One other note: Edelman has 10 rushing attempts on the season, and is nearing a franchise record — the franchise mark for most carries by a wide receiver in a single season is Troy Brown, who had 11 in 2001.

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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players 12.09.14 at 5:04 pm ET
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Every week, we list 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 2014 New England offense after 13 games:

RB Shane Vereen: 129 (82 carries, 47 catches) 3 negative catch, 6 negative runs
RB Stevan Ridley: 98 (94 carries, 4 catches), 8 negative runs
WR Julian Edelman: 94 (9 carries, 85 catches)
TE Rob Gronkowski: 73 (73 catches), 1 negative catch
RB Jonas Gray: 73 (73 carries)
WR Brandon LaFell: 57 (57 catches)
RB LeGarrette Blount: 44 (42 carries, 2 catches), 6 negative runs
TE Tim Wright: 25 (1 carry, 24 catches), 6 negative rush
QB Tom Brady: 24 (24 carries), 16 sacks, 10 kneeldowns
RB Brandon Bolden: 20 (19 carries, 1 catch), 3 negative runs
WR Danny Amendola: 14 (14 catches), 1 negative pass
RB James White: 12 (9 carries, 3 catches)
FB James Develin: 7 (1 carry, 6 catches)
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 6 (6 catches)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 6 (6 carries) 2 sacks, 6 kneeldowns
WR Aaron Dobson: 3 (3 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 3 (3 catches)
WR Brian Tyms: 1 (1 catch)

Notes: Not including two kneeldowns at the end of the game, the Patriots had a season-high eight negative plays from scrimmage on Sunday against the Chargers — five negative runs from Blount, one sack of Brady, and passes to Gronkowski and Amendola that ended up going for negative yardage. … On the season, New England has run 885 plays from scrimmage, and 48 of them have gone for negative yardage (5 percent), not including kneeldowns. … Against the Chargers, the Patriots ran 73 plays, with 41 of them coming in shotgun (56 percent). In addition, the game-book lists them as having run zero no-huddle plays. (That ties a season-low.) … On the season, the Patriots have run 67 of their 885 plays out of no-huddle (8 percent) and 327 snaps in shotgun (37 percent). … By way of comparison, over the course of the 2013 regular season, the Patriots were in shotgun for 42 percent of their offensive snaps and they ran no-huddle on 11 percent of their snaps. … While it’s always tough to measure the success or failure of an offensive line in pass protection with sacks alone, it is interesting to see the dramatic dip in the number of sacks Brady has taken this season. Through 13 games last year, Brady had been sacked 36 times. This year, through 13 games, the quarterback has been sacked 16 times.

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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players 11.25.14 at 9:11 pm ET
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Every week, we list 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 2014 New England offense after 11 games:

RB Shane Vereen: 122 (78 carries, 44 catches) 3 negative catch, 6 negative runs
RB Stevan Ridley: 98 (94 carries, 4 catches), 8 negative runs
WR Julian Edelman: 78 (8 carries, 70 catches)
RB Jonas Gray: 70 (70 carries)
TE Rob Gronkowski: 58 (58 catches)
WR Brandon LaFell: 48 (48 catches)
QB Tom Brady: 19 (19 carries), 14 sacks, 7 kneeldowns
TE Tim Wright: 24 (1 carry, 23 catches), 1 negative rush
RB Brandon Bolden: 17 (16 carries, 1 catch), 2 negative runs
RB LeGarrette Blount: 12 (12 carries), 1 negative run
RB James White: 12 (9 carries, 3 catches)
WR Danny Amendola: 11 (11 catches)
FB James Develin: 7 (1 carry, 6 catches)
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 6 (6 catches)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 6 (6 carries) 2 sacks, 6 kneeldowns
WR Aaron Dobson: 3 (3 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 2 (2 catches)
WR Brian Tyms: 1 (1 catch)

Notes: The Patriots had five negative plays from scrimmage on Sunday against the Lions — two negative runs from Vereen and one from Blount, as well as two negative pass plays to Vereen. … On the season, New England has run 758 plays from scrimmage, and 38 of them have gone for negative yardage (5 percent), not including kneeldowns. … Against the Lions, the Patriots ran 73 plays with 50 of them coming in shotgun (68 percent), a season-high. In addition, the game-book lists them as having run 14 of their 73 plays in no-huddle (19 percent), also a season-high. … On the season, the Patriots have run 67 of their 758 plays out of no-huddle (8 percent) and 256 snaps in shotgun (34 percent). … By way of comparison, over the course of the 2013 regular season, the Patriots were in shotgun for 42 percent of their offensive snaps and they ran no-huddle on 11 percent of their snaps. … One more note: Brady was not sacked for the second consecutive game. For all the struggles the offensive line endured at the start of the year, it’s worth noting that through 11 games this year, he’s only been sacked 14 times. Through the first 11 games of 2013, he was sacked 31 times. While that’s all not the result of the offensive line — Brady has displayed increased mobility, a greater ease with his receivers, and has had a rejuvenated Gronkowski — it’s a sizable difference, and the offensive line deserves some kudos for the better numbers.

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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots’ skill position players 11.18.14 at 9:12 pm ET
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Jonas Gray has suddenly jumped into the top 3 when it comes to offensive opportunities. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Running back Jonas Gray has jumped into the top three when it comes to offensive opportunities with the Patriots this season. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Every week, we list 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 2014 New England offense after 10 games:

RB Shane Vereen: 106 (70 carries, 36 catches) 1 negative catch, 4 negative runs
RB Stevan Ridley: 98 (94 carries, 4 catches), 8 negative runs
RB Jonas Gray: 70 (70 carries)
WR Julian Edelman: 67 (8 carries, 59 catches)
TE Rob Gronkowski: 53 (53 catches)
WR Brandon LaFell: 39 (39 catches)
QB Tom Brady: 19 (19 carries), 14 sacks, 7 kneeldowns
TE Tim Wright: 19 (1 carry, 18 catches), 1 negative rush
RB Brandon Bolden: 17 (16 carries, 1 catch), 2 negative runs
RB James White: 12 (9 carries, 3 catches)
WR Danny Amendola: 11 (11 catches)
FB James Develin: 7 (1 carry, 6 catches)
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 6 (6 catches)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 6 (6 carries) 2 sack, 6 kneeldowns
WR Aaron Dobson: 3 (3 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 2 (2 catches)
WR Brian Tyms: 1 (1 catch)

Notes: With the scoring change that was announced on Tuesday, the Patriots had no negative plays from scrimmage on Sunday, the first time all season that happened. … On the season, New England has run 685 plays from scrimmage, and 33 of them have gone for negative yardage (5 percent), not including kneeldowns. …  Against the Colts, the Patriots ran 75 plays, with 18 of them in shotgun (24 percent). And while they hurried back to the line on a few occasions, the official game book lists them as not having a single play in no-huddle all evening. … On the season, the Patriots have run 53 of their 685 plays out of no-huddle (8 percent) and 206 snaps in shotgun (30 percent). … By way of comparison, over the course of the 2013 regular season, the Patriots were in shotgun for 42 percent of their offensive snaps and they ran no-huddle on 11 percent of their snaps. … One interesting wrinkle — rookie offensive tackle Cameron Fleming was used as an eligible receiver/tight end on 37 of the 75 snaps on the night, and added some bulk to a New England offensive line that did a terrific job pushing the Indy defensive front back all evening.

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In Focus: Charting offensive opportunities for Patriots skill position players 11.05.14 at 6:00 am ET
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Every week, we list 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 2014 New England offense after nine games:

RB Shane Vereen: 101 (69 carries, 32 catches) 1 negative catch, 4 negative runs
RB Stevan Ridley: 98 (94 carries, 4 catches), 8 negative runs
WR Julian Edelman: 60 (6 carries, 54 catches)
TE Rob Gronkowski: 49 (49 catches)
WR Brandon LaFell: 36 (36 catches)
RB Jonas Gray: 32 (32 carries)
TE Tim Wright: 18 (1 carry, 17 catches), 1 negative rush
RB Brandon Bolden: 17 (16 carries, 1 catch), 2 negative runs
QB Tom Brady: 17 (17 carries), 14 sacks, 5 kneeldowns
RB James White: 12 (9 carries, 3 catches)
WR Danny Amendola: 9 (9 catches)
FB James Develin: 7 (1 carry, 6 catches)
WR Kenbrell Thompkins: 6 (6 catches)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 4 (4 carries) 2 sack, 4 kneeldowns
WR Aaron Dobson: 3 (3 catches)
TE Michael Hoomanawanui: 2 (2 catches)
WR Brian Tyms: 1 (1 catch)

Notes: The Patriots had three negative plays from scrimmage on Sunday –€“” one sack of Brady and two negative runs from Vereen. … On the season, New England has run 610 plays from scrimmage, and 33 of them have gone for negative yardage (5 percent), not including kneeldowns. …  Against the Broncos, the Patriots ran 79 plays, with 37 of them in shotgun (47 percent). From a percentage standpoint, that was the third-most shotgun New England utilized to this point in the season — the Patriots were in shotgun for 55 percent of their snaps against the Chiefs and 51 percent against the Jets. … In addition, 14 of their 79 snaps (17 percent) were no-huddle. From a percentage standpoint, that represented a season-high. … On the season, the Patriots have run 53 of their 610 plays out of no-huddle (9 percent) and 188 snaps in shotgun (31 percent). … By way of comparison, over the course of the 2013 regular season, the Patriots were in shotgun for 42 percent of their offensive snaps and they ran no-huddle on 11 percent of their snaps.

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