The Patriots were able to come back from 21-17 down in the second half to grab a 23-21 victory over the Bills.
They did it without much help from starting running back Stevan Ridley. Ridley had nine carries for 46 yards in the first half, but did not see the field after his fumble in the second quarter was returned for a touchdown by Bills safety Da’Norris Searcy. Ridley slipped on the play and lost the ball when he hit the ground, but replays showed he was not contacted by a Bills player before losing the ball. Ridley had gotten an earlier fumble overturned on replay, but he had no such luck the second time around and wound up with a seat on the bench as a result.
Shane Vereen had 101 yards on 14 carries and seven catches for 58 yards while picking up the slack for Ridley, a strong performance that led to questions for Ridley about whether he felt he needed to win the job back.
“Absolutely. Two turnovers, I was out of there the rest of the game,” Ridley said, via WEEI.com. “Hey, I’m not going to pout about it, just keep grinding.”
Ridley has fumbled five other times in his Patriots regular season career and twice more in the playoffs, losing four of them. It may not be an immediate return to the backfield for Ridley, but he’s going to get another shot at some point and the Patriots seem to be well-staffed at running back regardless of which of their top two backs is in the lineup.