Getting the drop on Patriots receivers

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Spurred by a question posed in my AFC East mailbag, we're running a series of posts to show how successful each team was last year at catching the ball.

Dropped passes aren't an official stat, but Elias Sports Bureau tracks them. Elias uses a common-sense analysis of "should the receiver have caught the ball." If there's any doubt among Elias analysts, the player isn't charged with a drop.

The New England Patriots completed the most passes in the AFC East, but they also flubbed the most. Their 7.9 drop percentage was highest in the division.

Remember when Randy Moss bungled that pass in the end zone against the Pittsburgh Steelers? That was one of a team-worst seven drops for Moss, giving him a 9.2 drop percentage.

But tight end Benjamin Watson and receiver Jabar Gaffney were far more unreliable. Watson's four drops and 22 catches put his drop percentage at 15.4. Gaffney had six drops and 38 receptions for a drop percentage of 13.6.

Wes Welker, meanwhile, had 111 catches against five drops for a 4.3 drop percentage.