Offensive snaps: Ridley leads RBs

December, 25, 2011
12/25/11
7:35
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at the snaps played by offensive skill-position players in the Patriots' 27-24 win over the Dolphins, while analyzing what it means (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

TE Rob Gronkowski -- 82 of 83
WR Wes Welker -- 81 of 83
WR Deion Branch -- 78 of 83
TE Aaron Hernandez -- 75 of 83
WR Chad Ochocinco -- 33 of 83
RB Stevan Ridley -- 28 of 83
RB Danny Woodhead -- 15 of 83
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- 11 of 83
RB Kevin Faulk -- 8 of 83
TE Nate Solder -- 2 of 83
WR Julian Edelman -- 1 of 83
WR Tiquan Underwood -- 1 of 83

(Neutral zone infraction, encorachment, false start and illegal formation penalties included; kneel-downs not included.)

ANALYSIS: The 83 snaps were a season-high, and 52 of them came in the second half. That 52 is a game's worth for some teams and reflects how the Patriots quickened the pace with the no-huddle in the second half. This offense puts a lot of pressure on the opposition. ... RB Stevan Ridley had 20 of his 28 snaps in the second half. He was the closer as this marked the first time he led all running backs in snaps played. He ran hard. ... The shortage along the offensive line forced the Patriots out of their big packages with Nate Solder (2 snaps) as a TE. ... The one play in which Rob Gronkowski was on the sideline came on the second play of the team's second drive in a three-receiver set. ... As for Wes Welker, the two plays he was on the sideline came on the second series in a 1 WR/3 TE package, and on the third series of the second half when he was replaced for Julian Edelman in a 2 WR-set for one play. Welker is an ironman and a performance like this shows he's deserving, if he isn't already, to be considered among the elite players at his position.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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