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Positional groupings: 27 without RB

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at the positional groupings utilized by the Patriots and analyzing what it might mean (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

2 WR/2 TE/1 RB -- 28 of 66

3 WR/2 TE -- 27 of 66

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

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

1 WR/3 TE/1 RB -- 2 of 66

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

ANALYSIS: The up-tempo 3 WR/2 TE package, which is unique because it doesn't include a pure running back, figures to draw some attention over the next week. How many teams in the NFL run that many plays without a pure running back? The Patriots did run out of it, using TE Aaron Hernandez in the backfield (link here), but it was mostly utilized to establish a quick pace and strike in the air. When looking back on the 2011 season, it was the Nov. 27 game at Philadelphia when the Patriots probably realized how effective that grouping could be for them. They didn't intend to use it as much as they did that day (22 times), but it helped them come back and ultimately bury the Eagles that day. On Saturday night, it was an offensive blitz that put the Broncos back on their heels.