New England Patriots: Running Back Stevan Ridley Reaches 1,000 Yards on the Season

Mike Ehrmann

For the first time since 2010, the New England Patriots have a 1,000 yard rusher. Stevan Ridley's 71 yards against the Miami Dolphins was good enough to push the second-year back's rushing total of the 1,000 yard mark on the season.

Heading into Week 13, New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley needed just 61 yards to eclipse the 1,000-yard mark on the season—and for the first time in his career.

Ridley not only accumulated those 61 rushing yards, but he finished with an impressive 71 yards on 19 carries while punching in the team's first touchdown on the day.

Following the game, Ridley spoke with the media and was certainly excited to reach one of his preseason goals:

"I just knew that I was going to work hard, and God just keeps opening doors for me. I’m very thankful—a 1,000-yard back in my second year."

Ridley becomes New England's first 1,000 yard rusher since BenJarvus Green-Ellis did so back in 2010, as he finished with 1,008 rushing yards. New England's franchise record for most rushing yards in a season is held by Corey Dillon, as he recorded 1,635 yards in 2004.

Ridley is 625 yards away from Dillon's record with four games remaining on the year—so it's unlikely that the second-year back out of LSU will set the record, as he'll need an average of 156.3 yards per-game.

Franchise record or not, it's definitely promising of what we've seen Ridley do thus far in 2012. Ridley has not only made New England's offense far more balanced than it's been in a while, but he's turned New England's ground-attack into one of the NFL's finest, as the Patriots have the most rushing scores in the league with 19.

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