Offensive snaps: Solder up, Ocho down

November, 22, 2011
11/22/11
6:00
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at snaps played by skill-position players on offense in the Patriots’ 34-3 win over the Chiefs (as charted in the press box, small margin for error):

TE Rob Gronkowski – 64 of 67
TE Aaron Hernandez – 55 of 67
WR Wes Welker – 55 of 67
WR Deion Branch – 40 of 67
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis – 33 of 67
RB Danny Woodhead – 24 of 67
TE Nate Solder – 20 of 67
WR Julian Edelman – 11 of 67
WR Chad Ochocinco – 11 of 67
WR Taylor Price – 11 of 67
RB Shane Vereen – 10 of 67
FB Dan Connolly – 1 of 67

(Includes false start and illegal shift penalties.)

ANALYSIS: Two things stand out – Nate Solder’s role as a blocking tight end helping the offense and Chad Ochocinco falling off the map in the second half. On the Patriots’ first touchdown drive, Solder was on as a tight end for the final five plays, and he also was on for most plays on the two scoring drives in the third quarter. When he was on the field, good things were happening. As for Ochocinco, he played nine first-half snaps and just two in the second. The second tight end – either Solder or Aaron Hernandez – was utilized over Ochocinco. … All of running back Shane Vereen’s snaps came on the final drive. … Wide receiver Taylor Price had one first-half snap, with the rest coming on the final drive. … Dan Connolly’s snap came as a center, with Ryan Wendell moving from center to fullback. It is counted as Connolly’s snap because he came in off the sideline for the play. … Overall, Rob Gronkowski’s playing time continues to impress. Not only is he putting up big numbers, he’s playing a lot. … No snaps for rookie running back Stevan Ridley on offense in the game.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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