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Monday, November 4, 2013
Snaps: Dobson over Thompkins at WR

By Mike Reiss

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- A look at the snaps played by New England Patriots offensive skill-position players in the team's 55-31 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers while analyzing what it means (as charted in press box, small margin for error):

QB Tom Brady -- 75 of 75
WR Aaron Dobson -- 68 of 75
WR Julian Edelman -- 53 of 75
RB Stevan Ridley -- 51 of 75
TE Michael Hoomanawanui -- 50 of 75
TE Rob Gronkowski -- 48 of 75
WR Danny Amendola -- 45 of 75
TE Matthew Mulligan -- 21 of 75
RB Brandon Bolden -- 16 of 75
RB LeGarrette Blount -- 8 of 75
FB James Develin -- 8 of 75
WR Austin Collie -- 7 of 75

(Penalties included.)

Analysis: Dobson has graduated to the No. 1 spot in the recent weeks as the "X" receiver. That was a role held by fellow rookie Kenbrell Thompkins earlier in the season, but Dobson has passed him on the depth chart the last two weeks and his production has been impressive. Thompkins was a healthy scratch on Sunday. ... Amendola still isn't all the way back, as he played mostly in the three-receiver set and split some No. 2 reps with Edelman. ... Gronkowski's terrific performance takes on added context when considering he played only 48 of 75 possible snaps. As Brady said after the game, "When he's out there for every snap it's going to be even better." ... With fellow tight ends Hoomanawanui (50) and Mulligan (21) playing a considerable number of snaps, it reflected the overall plan of playing more snaps than the norm with multiple-tight-end groupings. ... Ridley's 51 snaps were a season high. His previous high was 38 against the Saints. He had been averaging 27 snaps per game over the seven contests in which he dressed.