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Jets vs. Patriots: Red Zone Option

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Most people could tell you the Patriots' top two weapons in the passing game are Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman. Those two have accounted for almost half of Tom Brady's targets so far this season.

Tight end Scott Chandler has not been a frequent Brady target, but he has at this early juncture of the season taken on a bit of a situational role for the Patriots in the red zone. He is the third most targeted Pats receivers in the red zone and has the third most catches. The sample size is small (5 targets; 3 catches), but It is still worth noting that Chandler has gotten 17% of targets on red zone passes and only 4% of the targets outside the red zone.

One thing I note is the Pats have split him wide in the red zone.

They also do this frequently with Gronkowski. The New England offense is unique in that it doesn't rely on the traditional big outside receiver, particularly with Brandon LaFell starting the season on the PUP list. The top four Patriots in targets are  Edelman (slot receiver), Gronkowski (tight end), Dion Lewis (back), and Danny Amendola (slot receiver). In the red zone, there isn't much field for receivers to gain separation so big receivers capable of winning contested balls can be useful.The 6'7" Chandler towers over defensive backs.

Whether Chandler continues to be a red zone option might have to do with LaFell's status for the game. He is eligible to come off the PUP list. When he will play is unclear at this point. In any event, the Pats might try to work the ball to Chandler in red zone situations.