A closer look at 3 TE package

September, 12, 2012
9/12/12
8:00
AM ET
The Patriots love tight ends. That is well established.

Having stocked up at the position this offseason, the Patriots featured a tight-end heavy plan in their season-opening win over the Titans. One wrinkle to the plan was having three tight ends on the field at the same time on 10 of their 67 snaps (including penalties).

There were two variations of the three-TE package.

The first was "13 personnel" -- 1 receiver/3 tight ends/1 running back (8 snaps).

The second was a power package for short-yardage -- 3 tight ends/1 fullback/1 running back (2 snaps).

Here is the breakdown in production of the 3-TE packages:

"13 personnel"
Passing: 2 of 3 for 50 yards, TD
Rushing: 4 carries, 11 yards*

Short-yardage
Passing: 1 of 1, 2 yards, TD
Rushing: 1 carry, 1 yard, TD

* 3 carries came on final drive when outcome was decided

ANALYSIS: McDaniels couldn't ask for much more from the short-yardage package -- rushing TD and passing TD. The ability to effectively run or pass out of the package makes it that much more effective. In "13 personnel", the Patriots had more success throwing the ball (Hernandez TD, plus Lloyd sideline catch). In the running game, Stevan Ridley was taken down for a 4-yard loss on one snap.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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