Targets: Reliable running backs

December, 25, 2010
In updating the Patriots' target percentage leaderboard, the reliability of the team's running backs as pass-catchers stands out.

Often times, throwing to running backs is a higher-percentage choice because of where they usually catch the ball on the field (closer to the line of scrimmage). But the back still has to make the catch and BenJarvus Green-Ellis, in particular, has made big strides in this area of the game.

In his first two seasons, Green-Ellis had a total of five receptions. This year he has 10 in 13 throws in his direction.

A look at the Patriots' target percentage leaderboard:

Fred Taylor -- 2 targets/2 catches (100 percent)
Danny Woodhead -- 40 targets/31 catches (77.5 percent)
BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- 13 targets/10 catches (76.9 percent)
Rob Gronkowski -- 42 targets/32 catches (76.1 percent)
Wes Welker -- 117 targets/83 catches (70.9 percent)
Aaron Hernandez -- 64 targets/45 catches (70.3 percent)
Deion Branch -- 69 targets/46 catches (66.6 percent)
Sammy Morris -- 8 targets/5 catches (62.5 percent)
Kevin Faulk -- 10 targets/6 catches (60 percent)
Alge Crumpler -- 7 targets/4 catches (57.1 percent)
Brandon Tate -- 42 targets/22 catches (52.3 percent)

Julian Edelman -- 9 targets/4 catches (44.4 percent)
Randy Moss -- 22 targets/9 catches (40.9 percent)
Matthew Slater -- 1 target/ 0 catches (0 percent)

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter



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