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Friday, November 26, 2010
Offensive snaps: Gronk up, Tate down

By Mike Reiss

DETROIT -- A look at the offensive snaps played by Patriots skill-position players in the team's 45-24 win over the Lions (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

WR Deion Branch -- 46 of 54
WR Wes Welker -- 46 of 54
TE Rob Gronkowski -- 44 of 54
TE Alge Crumpler -- 30 of 54
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- 28 of 54
RB Danny Woodhead -- 26 of 54
WR Brandon Tate -- 20 of 54
TE Aaron Hernandez -- 17 of 54
FB Sammy Morris -- 7 of 54
WR Julian Edelman -- 4 of 54
FB Dan Connolly -- 2 of 54

(Chip block, defensive pass interference and offensive holding penalties included; kneel-downs not included.)

ANALYSIS: A clear pattern has emerged in recent weeks with Deion Branch and Wes Welker playing together more in two-receiver sets, which has limited Brandon Tate's snaps. Tate played 10 snaps apiece between the first and second half. Of Tate's snaps, only six came in the two-receiver set, with the rest in the three-receiver set. ... At tight end, Rob Gronkowski continues to be the top playing time option in recent weeks. He was a solid contributor in the win over the Lions with five receptions for 65 yards. ... Although Fred Taylor was active, he did not play. The Patriots split the running back snaps evenly, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis earning top billing (12 carries, 59 yards, 2 TDs). When he runs like that, and there are limited offensive plays, there is less of a need to integrate another back into the mix.