INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Patriots Have Plenty of Balance

Ian Logue
September 22, 2011 at 02:00pm ET

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Brady and the offense have had plenty of balance so far this season. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

Looking at some of the numbers through the first two weeks of this season, there are a couple of interesting stats that stick out after watching Patriots quarterback Tom Brady pass for nearly 1,000 yards over just two games.

So far the ball distribution has been great, with nine different players having caught passes from Brady so far this season.  In total the leading receivers thus far are Wes Welker and Deion Branch - who have each caught 15 receptions heading into Week 3.  

Right behind them is Aaron Hernandez, who is next with 14, although his total will likely dip after he suffered an MCL sprain thanks to a helmet shot he sustained to his knee Sunday from Chargers safety Bob Sanders. It's a tough blow when you look at the fact he's been the most targeted guy on 1st down (11 targets) and it's not really known at this point just how long he'll be out of the line-up.

After that is Rob Gronkowski - who has 14 catches. From there it's quite a drop off, with Chad Ochocinco and Danny Woodhead each with 3,while Matthew Slater, Julian Edelman, and BenJarvus Green-Ellis have one catch apiece.

Looking at the ball distribution in the passing game in terms of direction, the numbers are almost identical to each part of the field.  Of Brady's 88 targets, he's targeted 30 to the left (24 completions - 80%), 29 targets to the middle (21 completions - 87.5%), and 29 to the right (18 completions - 62%).

Here's how it shapes up by down:

1st down: 15 targets to the left (12 completions - 80%), 15 to the middle (11 completions - 73%), 11 to the right (7 completions - 64%)
2nd Down: 9 attempts to the left (7 completions - 78%), 10 to the middle (8 completions - 80%), 8 to the right (7 completions - 87.5%)
3rd Down: 6 attempts to the left (5 completions - 83%),  4 to the middle (2 completions - 50%), 9 to the right (4 completions - 44%)
4th Down: 1 attempt to the right (incomplete)

They've been just as balanced in the running game, although the team tends to run outside more and very rarely runs up the middle.  Through two games New England has amassed 200 yards rushing, with 20 carries to the left (107 yards) and 20 to the right (77 yards).  They've only rushed 7 times inside this season - gaining just 16 yards (2.3 avg).  They average 5.4 to the left, and 3.9 to the right.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis leads the team in rushing with 104 yards on 24 carries (4.3 avg), while Danny Woodhead is second with 18 carries for 81 yards (4.5 avg).

Needless to say they've been well-balanced through two games, and it will be interesting to keep an eye on each of these stats over the course of the season to see if they stay consistent.

You can find these stats in our new statistical database, which will be updated the evening after each game.