New England Patriots star running back Stevan Ridley has had as big of a breakout year as a second-year back as we could have hoped for. Ridley has exploded onto the scene in his first year of starting in the National Football League, and he has quickly placed himself in the top ten list of best running backs in the league for most people with a huge, workhorse season. Ridley can beat you on the edge and power you down in between the tackles, which is certainly a lethal combination.
Fumbles are sometimes an issue for him, but the two fumbles he had this season were ones that he quickly bounced back from. You can tell that ball security is becoming less and less of an issue for Ridley, and Bill Belichick knows that there is little sense in benching Ridley for a miscue here and a miscue there. His play as a whole warrants a great deal of trust to be placed in him.
Ridley talked to ESPN Boston about the upcoming game on Sunday against the Houston Texans, and I want to share a quote of his about the Texans possibly changing things up the second time around after being blown out 42-14 in front of a national audience. Ridley said, “Obviously the game didn’t go the way they wanted it to the first time. They’re going to change something up. They’re going to do some things different. For us, we have to be sound, and know what we have to do. As long as we do that, they can throw whatever they need to at us, we just have to be able to pick it up and adjust. That’s going to show who’s the better team.”
This quote could be giving us the subtle hint that the Patriots won’t have a specific gameplan in place, but rather a loose set of scenarios that they will run through when taking what the Texans defense gives them in the rematch. I agree with Ridley, because the Patriots blew out the Texans and already proved that they are the better team. All they have to do now is play solid, mistake-free football and not find ways to lose the game. That’s my view on playing “sound” football, specifically on offense.
The piece ends with these two quotes from Stevan Ridley, and it’s the perfect mindset to have when going into a game like this. I especially love the sense of urgency in his quotes and his comments on turnovers. “Can’t happen. It’s crunch time man. Turnovers, we can’t have those. Everything’s in front of us right now,” Ridley said. “I don’t want to be that guy that they’re pointing the finger at and say ‘my bad.’ I’m trying to play sound football and play perfect football.
“This is our time. This is what we’ve cashed in for, and this is what we have to do to get to the next step.”
This really is the Patriots time and if they don’t win the Super Bowl this year, then it’s because they beat themselves by making mistakes. I sincerely think that the Patriots have the most talent and the best coaching/intangibles to lead them to a Super Bowl victory.
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