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Monday, October 17, 2011
Offensive snaps: Reducing Ridley

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at the snaps played by offensive skill-position players in the Patriots' 20-16 win over the Cowboys, while analyzing what it might mean (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

TE Rob Gronkowski -- 73 of 74
TE Aaron Hernandez -- 70 of 74
WR Wes Welker -- 69 of 74
WR Deion Branch -- 67 of 74
RB Danny Woodhead -- 32 of 74
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis -- 30 of 74
TE Dan Gronkowski -- 9 of 74
RB Stevan Ridley -- 8 of 74
WR Chad Ochocinco - 7 of 74
RB Shane Vereen -- 3 of 74
WR Taylor Price -- 1 of 74
WR Matthew Slater -- 1 of 74

(Includes offensive holding, roughing the passer, false start, illegal substitution and false start penalties.) 

ANALYSIS: Rookie running back Stevan Ridley got the start and was on for six snaps on the opening drive. He only played two snaps the rest of the game, with the offense turning more to BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. ... Rookie running back Shane Vereen played his first offensive snaps of the season as part of a specific third-down package (sack, 45-yard pass to Deion Branch, incomplete pass). ... Receiver Taylor Price's lone snap was Tom Brady's first interception, which was intended for Deion Branch over the middle. ... Chad Ochocinco's limited role was highlighted Sunday night (link here). ... With the Patriots hurrying the pace, they mostly stuck with the same personnel (Wes Welker, Branch, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez) and didn't substitute as much. The winning drive came out out of that grouping, with Danny Woodhead the running back.