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Positional groupings: WR-heavy

10/3/2011

After heavily favoring multiple tight end packages in the first two weeks of the season, the Patriots continued to change course Sunday without second tight end Aaron Hernandez. For the second straight week, the offense ran the majority of its plays with three or more receivers on the field.

The breakdown:

3 WR/1 TE/1 RB -- 38 of 66

2 WR/2 TE/1 RB -- 20 of 66

1 WR/2 TE/1 FB/1 RB -- 4 of 66

4 WR/1 TE -- 3 of 66

2 WR/1 TE/2 RB -- 1 of 66

ANALYSIS: The main thing that stood out in this game was how the Patriots set things up with different formationing, such as lining Wes Welker in the offensive backfield before motioning him out at one point. That was a creative way to show different looks with three-receiver sets, because the Patriots were pretty much locked in based on the personnel available to them. ... The three-receiver package was used in the two-minute offense. ... Multiple tight end work with offensive tackle Thomas Welch as the second tight end was used more than expected and reflected more of a commitment to the run.