Snaps: Vereen as lead RB once again

December, 9, 2013
12/09/13
5:00
AM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at snaps played by New England Patriots skill-position players in Sunday’s win over the Cleveland Browns, and analyzing what it means (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

QB Tom Brady – 82 of 82
WR Julian Edelman – 82 of 82
WR Josh Boyce – 72 of 82
WR Danny Amendola – 62 of 82
RB Shane Vereen – 44 of 82
TE Rob Gronkowski – 40 of 82
TE Matthew Mulligan – 39 of 82
RB LeGarrette Blount – 21 of 82
RB Stevan Ridley – 17 of 82
FB James Develin – 16 of 82
WR Austin Collie – 15 of 82
WR Matthew Slater – 2 of 82

(Penalties, spikes and 2-point conversions included. Kneel-downs not included.)

ANALYSIS: For the second week in a row, Vereen had the high total among running backs and it seems like that will be a trend that continues because he adds a different dimension to the passing game. While the numbers skew heavier to Vereen because the Patriots were in their hurry-up offense late, with him playing the final 15 snaps, he still was in a lead position (29 snaps) over Blount (21) and Ridley (17) entering the final two hurry-up drives. … Gronkowski was back to playing every snap, a sign that he was essentially all the way back from his prior injuries, before he was carted off after taking a shot to his right knee. … The 39 snaps were a season high for Mulligan, eclipsing his 36-snap total from last week in Houston. Mulligan has seen his snaps rise in recent weeks. ... At receiver, rookie Boyce filled in for injured rookies Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins as the outside X target. He had been charted on the field for 71 snaps through the season’s first 12 games. He surpassed the total by one in this single game. … Edelman was the top receiver, with Amendola mostly coming on as the third option in three-receiver packages. There were two snaps after the two-minute warning that will be double-checked for accuracy, as Slater came on to the field (and it was initially difficult to determine whether he replaced Edelman, Amendola or Collie).

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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