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Monday, January 2, 2012
Positional groupings: Big TE is back

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at the positional groupings utilized by the Patriots in their 49-21 win over the Bills, while analyzing what it might mean:

2 WR/2 TE/1 RB -- 49 of 70
1 WR/3 TE/1 RB -- 10 of 70
1 WR/2 TE/1 FB/1 RB -- 5 of 70
3 WR/2 TE -- 3 of 70
3 TE/1 FB/1 RB -- 2 of 70
3 WR/1 TE/1 RB -- 1 of 70

ANALYSIS: With starting left tackle Matt Light healthy enough to play, it opened up the Patriots' ability to use rookie TE Nate Solder as a "big" tight end, something that wasn't utilized as much last week when Solder was locked in at left tackle to replace Light. Solder played 14 snaps as an eligible tight end. ... The main grouping remains the 2 WR/2 TE/1 RB, where TEs Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are tough matchups.