Offensive snaps: Reduced role for Branch

November, 1, 2010
11/01/10
6:00
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at the snaps played by offensive skill-position players in the Patriots' 28-18 win over the Vikings (as charted in the press box):

WR Wes Welker -- 44 of 54
TE Aaron Hernandez -- 40 of 54
WR Brandon Tate -- 38 of 54
TE Alge Crumpler -- 31 of 54
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- 31 of 54
TE Rob Gronkowski -- 29 of 54
WR Deion Branch -- 24 of 54
RB Danny Woodhead -- 23 of 54
WR Julian Edelman -- 7 of 54
FB Dan Connolly -- 3 of 54

(Snaps include an illegal formation penalty and false start penalty.)

ANALYSIS: With Deion Branch slowed with a hamstring injury, he was more of the No. 3 receiver in this game, with Brandon Tate taking his place in more two-receiver sets. Tate made the most of his extended playing time, with his 65-yard catch-and-run in the third quarter one of the big plays of the game. ... Sammy Morris' reduced role on offense stands out in a game like this, as the Patriots stuck solely with their top two backs, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. ... Green-Ellis played 23 of the 33 second-half snaps as he built momentum over the final 30 minutes. ... Aaron Hernandez has been the top playtime tight end, which seems to reflect his versatility as he is sometimes split wide as a receiver, sometimes playing on the line, and sometimes lined up in the offensive backfield.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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