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Monday, January 14, 2013
Positional groupings: Sticking with 2-TE

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at the positional groupings utilized by the Patriots in their win over the Texans and analyzing what it means (small margin for error):

2 WR/2 TE/1 RB -- 56 of 66
3 WR/1 TE/1 RB -- 9 of 66
1 WR/3 TE/1 RB -- 1 of 66

ANALYSIS: The biggest takeaway is that after Rob Gronkowski left with a reinjured forearm after the seventh offensive snap, the Patriots didn't reshape their attack. They stayed mostly with the 2 WR/2 TE/1 RB package and inserted Michael Hoomanawanui in Gronkowski's place. The Texans matched with their base defense and that was what the Patriots felt gave them the best chance to move the ball (perhaps with the team's backs against the Texans' linebackers an area they planned to attack). So they seldom added third receiver Deion Branch (9 snaps), which had the Texans bringing on an extra defensive back. This was a pretty straightforward plan.