Offensive snaps: Gronk reduction

February, 6, 2012
2/06/12
11:15
AM ET
INDIANAPOLIS -- A look at the snaps played by offensive skill-position players in Super Bowl XLVI, while analyzing what it might mean (as charted in the press box):

WR Deion Branch -- 63 of 65
WR Wes Welker -- 61 of 65
TE Aaron Hernandez -- 60 of 65
TE Rob Gronkowski -- 44 of 65
RB Danny Woodhead -- 36 of 65
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- 22 of 65
WR Chad Ochocinco -- 22 of 65
WR Julian Edelman -- 8 of 65
TE Nate Solder -- 5 of 65
FB Lousaka Polite -- 3 of 65
WR Matthew Slater -- 1 of 65

(Includes false start, holding and 12-men-on-the-field penalties.)

ANALYSIS: TE Rob Gronkowski played 96 percent of the snaps in the regular season. He was down to 67.6 percent in this game, which was reflective of him not being 100 percent. It showed. ... WR Chad Ochocinco (22 snaps, 1 catch) saw the biggest increase in playing time with Gronkowski limited. The Patriots ran more three-receiver sets, which brought Ochocinco on to the field. That limited the flexibility of the offense. ... For all the pre-game chatter about Julian Edelman as a defensive back/receiver/returner, he didn't have a big role in the game. Edelman didn't play on defense, had just eight snaps as a receiver, and was the team's primary kickoff returner. ... RB Danny Woodhead finished the season strong with a 36-snap effort that saw him contribute as a rusher, receiver and pass protector. ... Rookie RB Stevan Ridley didn't play, which was a result of the Patriots going to more of a passing attack and leaning on Woodhead. Ridley would have cut into BenJarvus Green-Ellis' time, but Green-Ellis had a manageable workload.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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