There has already been plenty of talk about what the Patriots have been able to do with a new hurry up offense. The side stories and conspiracies about Wes Welker not getting the ball in the first couple weeks have been swept well under the rug as Welker is now second to only Reggie Wayne in passing yards. Rob Gronkowski just went American werewolf in London with 146 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ridley has held up as a top back and sits at 4th in rushing yards with 716 and a Crag Index continually in the top 15. There’s no surprise that this three headed monster fed by Tom Brady added to a stable of capable and hungry running backs as well as Brandon Lloyd coming on in recent weeks that the Patriots are leading the NFL in scoring per game at 32.8.
What might surprise you is a stat that isn’t often mentioned, that the Pats are averaging 76.625 plays per game. Only four other teams, Detroit (72.57), New Orleans (71), Indianapolis (71) and Kansas City (70.43) are over 70.
The Patriots have separated from the best teams and are well above the league average of 64.81 plays per game. Interestingly these five teams have seven of the top fifteen targeted wide receivers on the season. It should go without saying that Welker, Lloyd, and Gronk are looking to be must plays along with Calvin Johnson, Marques Colston, Reggie Wayne and Dwayne Bowe from these teams. It’s unfortunate that Bowe doesn’t have a better quarterback as he has the lowest completion per target rate on this list. Clearly the opportunity is there though with these guys.
The bottom five teams for plays are Jacksonville (58.57), Seattle (58.75), St. Louis (59.5), Carolina (59.714) and Tennessee (59.75) have only four receivers in the top fifty for targets. Those five teams are also in the bottom five for points per game but then again so are the Colts and Chiefs.
My favorite stat of the year though would be that the Chicago Bears defense has as many receptions for touchdowns as the Chiefs and one more than Dolphins and Panthers offenses. I know it’s a bit of non-sequitur but I just couldn’t resist pointing this out.
As a New England resident, I might just be another guy looking for a reason to like the home team, but if the Patriot’s defense can get in a rhythm and keep this pace on offense they will be tough to stop in the second half of the season.