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Who leads Patriots in total targets through first two weeks of regular season? 09.19.16 at 11:54 am ET
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Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman

Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer or coach might have in said pass catcher. With all that in mind, here’s a look at the target breakdown through the first two games of the regular season.

WR Julian Edelman: 14 catches on 18 targets (78 percent)
TE Martellus Bennett: 8 catches on 11 targets (73 percent)
RB James White: 7 catches on 11 targets (64 percent)
WR Chris Hogan: 7 catches on 10 targets (70 percent)
WR Danny Amendola: 7 catches on 8 targets (88 percent)
WR Malcolm Mitchell: 3 catches on 7 targets (43 percent)
RB D.J. Foster: 1 catch on 2 targets (50 percent)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
WR Matthew Slater: 0 catches on 1 target (0 percent)

For the record, Edelman caught 13 of the first 13 passes that were thrown his way to start the season.

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Target Practice: Julian Edelman, Jimmy Garoppolo had perfect connection rate in opener 09.13.16 at 12:24 pm ET
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Julian Edelman

Julian Edelman

Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer or coach might have in said pass catcher. With all that in mind, here’s a look at the target breakdown from Sunday night’s opener.

WR Julian Edelman: 7 catches on 7 targets (100 percent)
RB James White: 5 catches on 7 targets (71 percent)
TE Martellus Bennett: 3 catches on 5 targets (60 percent)
WR Malcolm Mitchell: 2 catches on 5 targets (40 percent)
WR Chris Hogan: 3 catches on 4 targets (75 percent)
WR Danny Amendola: 3 catches on 4 targets (75 percent)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)

Sunday was the first game where Edelman was targeted at least five times and had a 100 percent catch rate since Week Three of the 2013 season. On Amendola, one of the reasons he’s been able to stick as long as he has is the fact that he consistently makes catches when the ball is thrown in his direction. It sounds simple, but dating back to the start of the 2015 season (including the 2015 postseason), he has caught 75 passes on 102 targets. At 74 percent, that makes for an astoundingly high catch rate for any receiver. Seattle’s Doug Baldwin is the only other receiver in the league who has a similar amount of catches who can boast a similar catch rate in the same span.

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Target Practice: Who is leading Patriots in opportunities in passing game this preseason? 08.31.16 at 3:06 pm ET
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A.J. Derby

A.J. Derby

Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer or coach might have in said pass catcher. In addition, like our look at offensive opportunities in the preseason, it gives you some sort of indication as to the chances younger pass catchers are getting. With all that in mind, here’s a look at the target breakdown after the first three preseason games.

TE AJ Derby: 10 catches on 14 targets
WR Chris Hogan: 9 catches on 11 targets
TE Martellus Bennett: 5 catches on 10 targets
WR Aaron Dobson: 6 catches on 9 targets
RB James White: 4 catches on 7 targets
WR DeAndre Carter: 4 catches on 6 targets
RB Tyler Gaffney: 5 catches on 5 targets
WR Malcolm Mitchell: 4 catches on 5 targets
WR Devin Lucien: 1 catch on 5 targets
RB D.J. Foster: 3 catches on 3 targets
RB LeGarrette Blount: 3 catches on 3 targets
TE Clay Harbor: 2 catches on 3 targets
WR Julian Edelman: 1 catch on 3 targets
WR Chris Harper: 1 catch on 3 targets
TE Steven Scheu: 2 catches on 2 targets
FB Joey Iosefa: 1 catch on 2 targets
FB James Develin: 0 catches on 2 targets
WR Nate Washington: 1 catch on 1 target
RB Brandon Bolden: 1 catch on 1 target
TE Bryce Williams: 1 catch on 1 target
WR Keshawn Martin: 0 catches on 1 target

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Who was Tom Brady’s No. 1 target in passing game in 2015 postseason? 01.27.16 at 12:17 pm ET
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Julian Edelman was Tom Brady's top target in the 2015 postseason. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Julian Edelman was Tom Brady‘s top target in the 2015 postseason. (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer or coach might have in said pass catcher. Here’s a look at the complete target breakdown for the New England passing game for the two playoff games (by way of comparison, here’s a look at the target breakdown for the 2015 regular season):

Julian Edelman: 17 catches on 29 targets
Rob Gronkowski: 15 catches on 23 targets
James White: 7 catches on 19 targets
Danny Amendola: 7 catches on 11 targets
Brandon LaFell: 3 catches on 5 targets
Keshawn Martin: 2 catches on 5 targets
Brandon Bolden: 3 catches on 4 targets
Steven Jackson: 1 catch on 1 target

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Target Practice: Danny Amendola one of 3 Patriots’ starters who finish regular-season with catch rate better than 70 percent 01.04.16 at 11:36 am ET
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Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer or coach might have in said pass catcher. In addition, like our look at offensive opportunities, it gives you some sort of indication as to the chances younger pass catchers are getting. With the regular season finished, here’s a look at the complete target breakdown for the New England passing game:

TE Rob Gronkowski: 72 catches on 120 targets (60 percent)
WR Julian Edelman: 61 catches on 88 targets (69 percent)
WR Danny Amendola: 65 catches on 87 targets (75 percent)
WR Brandon LaFell: 37 catches on 74 targets (50 percent)
RB James White: 40 catches on 54 targets (74 percent)
RB Dion Lewis: 36 catches on 50 targets (72 percent)
TE Scott Chandler: 23 catches on 42 targets (55 percent)
WR Keshawn Martin: 25 catches in 36 targets (69 percent)
RB Brandon Bolden: 19 catches on 30 targets (63 percent)
WR Aaron Dobson: 13 catches on 21 targets (62 percent)
RB LeGarrette Blount: 6 catches on 7 targets (86 percent)
TE Mike Williams: 3 catches on 6 targets (50 percent)
WR Chris Harper: 1 catch on 3 targets (33 percent)
RB Steven Jackson: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
RB Travaris Cadet: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
TE Asante Cleveland: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
QB Tom Brady: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
WR/ST Matthew Slater: 0 catches on 1 target

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James White, Danny Amendola nearing mark for dependability in Patriots’ passing game 12.29.15 at 12:17 pm ET
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You want to land in Tom Brady's circle of trust? Catch the ball seven out of the ten times he throws it in your direction, like James White has done this year.  (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

You want to land in Tom Brady‘s circle of trust? Catch the ball more than seven out of the ten times he throws it in your direction, like James White has done this year. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer or coach might have in said pass catcher. In addition, like our look at offensive opportunities, it gives you some sort of indication as to the chances younger pass catchers are getting. After 15 games, here’s a look at the complete target breakdown for the New England passing game to this point in the year:

TE Rob Gronkowski: 70 catches on 113 targets (62 percent)
WR Julian Edelman: 61 catches on 88 targets (69 percent)
WR Danny Amendola: 63 catches on 83 targets (76 percent)
WR Brandon LaFell: 35 catches on 70 targets (50 percent)
RB James White: 38 catches on 51 targets (75 percent)
RB Dion Lewis: 36 catches on 50 targets (72 percent)
TE Scott Chandler: 23 catches on 41 targets (56 percent)
WR Keshawn Martin: 24 catches in 35 targets (69 percent)
RB Brandon Bolden: 17 catches on 28 targets (61 percent)
WR Aaron Dobson: 13 catches on 21 targets (62 percent)
RB LeGarrette Blount: 6 catches on 7 targets (86 percent)
TE Mike Williams: 3 catches on 6 targets (50 percent)
WR Chris Harper: 0 catches on 2 targets
RB Travaris Cadet: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
TE Asante Cleveland: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
QB Tom Brady: 1 catch on 1 target (100 percent)
WR/ST Matthew Slater: 0 catches on 1 target

It appears that White and Amendola are at least near the existing mark for dependability in the Patriots’ passing game, a high set last season by former New England tight end Tim Wright. Wright posted a 79 percent catch rate (26 catches on 33 targets), a high for any offensive skill position player who was targeted at least 20 times in a single season since the NFL started charting targets in 2009. (The tight end broke the previous mark of 77 percent, set by five different pass catchers, most recently Danny Woodhead, who caught 34 of 44 passes in 2010.)

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Read More: Danny Amendola, James White, targets,
Rob Gronkowski on verge of leading Patriots passing game in targets for full season for first time in his career 12.22.15 at 8:00 am ET
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Rob Gronkowski has been Tom Brady's top target this season. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Rob Gronkowski has been Tom Brady‘s top target this season. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Targets have been compiled by the NFL since the start of the 2009 season, and while it remains a vaguely imperfect stat — a badly thrown ball from a quarterback can often go against the record of the receiver as opposed to the quarterback — it remains a good indication of the confidence level a passer or coach might have in said pass catcher. In addition, like our look at offensive opportunities, it gives you some sort of indication as to the chances younger pass catchers are getting. After 14 games, here’s a look at the complete target breakdown for the New England passing game to this point in the year:

TE Rob Gronkowski: 66 catches on 107 targets
WR Julian Edelman: 61 catches on 88 targets
WR Danny Amendola: 63 catches on 83 targets
WR Brandon LaFell: 34 catches on 69 targets
RB Dion Lewis: 36 catches on 50 targets
RB James White: 33 catches on 46 targets
TE Scott Chandler: 23 catches on 41 targets
WR Keshawn Martin: 17 catches in 24 targets
WR Aaron Dobson: 13 catches on 21 targets
RB Brandon Bolden: 12 catches on 21 targets
RB LeGarrette Blount: 6 catches on 7 targets
TE Mike Williams: 3 catches on 5 targets
WR Chris Harper: 0 catches on 2 targets
RB Travaris Cadet: 1 catch on 1 target
TE Asante Cleveland: 1 catch on 1 target
QB Tom Brady: 1 catch on 1 target
WR/ST Matthew Slater: 0 catches on 1 target

One quick note: If he holds on to the lead over the last two games — and it appears he will — 2015 would mark the first time in his career Gronkowski will have led the Patriots in targets.

One more note: Here’s a look at how the targets broke down for the Patriots’ passing game through 14 games last season.

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