Groupings: 2-TE package closes deal

December, 3, 2012
12/03/12
12:00
PM ET
MIAMI, Fla. -- A look at the positional groupings utilized by the Patriots in Sunday's 23-16 win over the Dolphins and analyzing what it might mean (small margin for error):

2 WR/2 TE/1 RB -- 40 of 79
3 WR/1 TE/1 RB -- 35 of 79
3 TE/1 FB/1 RB -- 3 of 79
1 WR/2 TE/1 FB/1 RB -- 1 of 79

(Penalties included. Snaps played by TE Michael Hoomanawanui tabulated as fullback.)

ANALYSIS: Almost an even split, as the Dolphins played their nickel defense against both primary groupings. The one aspect that stands out is how the Patriots utilized the 2 WR/2 TE/1 RB grouping on 14 of the 15 snaps on the final drive, with Daniel Fells and Aaron Hernandez the tight ends as the Patriots burned clock via the running game. Another factor was that the Patriots were without injured WR Julian Edelman on the final drive.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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