TE production remains a concern

December, 7, 2009
12/07/09
9:00
AM ET
A look at snaps played by offensive skill-position players in the Patriots’ 22-21 loss to the Dolphins:

WR Randy Moss -- 51 of 58
WR Wes Welker -- 49 of 58
TE Benjamin Watson -- 46 of 58
TE Chris Baker -- 43 of 58
WR Sam Aiken -- 25 of 58
RB Laurence Maroney -- 24 of 58
RB Kevin Faulk -- 22 of 58
RB/FB Sammy Morris -- 20 of 58
TE Mark LeVoir -- 9 of 58
FB Dan Connolly -- 1 of 58

(Snaps include false-start penalty, offensive holding penalty, offensive pass interference and a defensive 12-men-on-the field penalty that weren’t official plays.)

ANALYSIS: Welker’s toughness and growth as an overall receiver shines through. Still viewed by some as solely a slot receiver, he played outside as part of two-receiver sets opposite Moss for much of the game as the Patriots ran the majority of their plays out of that package. On a week-in-week-out basis, Welker has been the Patriots’ best offensive player … After taking 19 snaps in the first half, Maroney had just five in the second half … Morris had five first-half snaps and 15 in the second half … Getting the tight ends more involved in the pass receiving game remains an issue, as Baker had the lone catch at the position. For the number of snaps the tight ends are playing in recent weeks, it would seem that the Patriots need to find a way to generate more production out of that spot (six catches combined in last four games). A closer look of how often tight ends are releasing into routes is something that would aid this analysis … LeVoir served as the third tight end and was also part of a three-receiver package in which he served as a sixth blocker up front as a tight end … Connolly moved from right guard to fullback for the third-and-1 play with 2:15 remaining in the second quarter, when Maroney was stopped for no gain. Rich Ohrnberger came in for the play at right guard.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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