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Monday, November 12, 2012
Snaps: Less is more with Woodhead

By MIke Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – A look at the snaps played by offensive skill-position players in the Patriots' win over the Bills, while analyzing what it means (small margin for error):

QB Tom Brady -- 72 of 72
TE Rob Gronkowski – 70 of 72
WR Wes Welker – 65 of 72
WR Brandon Lloyd – 58 of 72
WR Deion Branch – 56 of 72
RB Stevan Ridley – 41 of 72
WR Julian Edelman – 17 of 72
RB Danny Woodhead – 16 of 72
RB Shane Vereen – 15 of 72
TE Michael Hoomanawanui – 8 of 72
TE Visanthe Shiancoe – 8 of 72
TE Marcus Cannon – 3 of 72*
TE Daniel Fells – 3 of 72

(Penalties included.)

* Gets credit for snaps when he came on the field, even if he wasn’t an eligible receiver.

ANALYSIS: As the snaps clearly show, this was a plan in which the third wide receiver was favored over the second tight end. It most likely would have been different had tight end Aaron Hernandez dressed. … The snap number that stands out most is Danny Woodhead. He didn’t play a lot, which made him the team’s top production-per-snap player (2 TDs). The Patriots seem to have struck a nice balance with Woodhead in terms of playing time; after topping out at 51 snaps vs. the Ravens on Sept. 23, he has averaged 21 snaps per game over the next six contests. He has been fresh and it’s shown when he’s had a chance to make plays with the football. … Stevan Ridley remains the clear No. 1 back. … At tight end, Daniel Fells saw a dramatic drop-off, as Michael Hoomanawanui and Visanthe Shiancoe played over him. ... The lone snaps Rob Gronkowski didn't play were the two right before halftime, with Fells takikng his spot for two snaps.