FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at the positional groupings utilized by the Patriots in their 20-16 win over the Cowboys:
2 WR/2 TE/1 RB -- 60 of 74
1 WR/3 TE/1 RB -- 7 of 74
3 WR/1 TE/1 RB -- 6 of 74
3 TE/2 RB -- 1 of 74
(Includes offensive holding, roughing the passer, false start, illegal substitution and false start penalties.)
ANALYSIS: This was pretty straight-up; keeping both tight ends on the field and packaging it differently formation-wise to create some variety. The approach also seemed to be dictated by the desire to play a hurry-up style and control tempo, which eliminated a lot of substituting and made it a priority to have players who know the offense well (Branch, Welker, Gronkowski, Hernandez). The hurry-up helped limit the Cowboys' ability to disguise before the snap, as there were times the Patriots were sprinting out of the huddle to line up and play fast. The Patriots asked a lot of their tight ends in the game and they seemed to deliver.