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Patriots Week 1 Game Ball: Stevan Ridley

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Stevan Ridley led the Patriots on the ground, picking up 125 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' 34-13 victory over the Titans.
Stevan Ridley led the Patriots on the ground, picking up 125 yards and a touchdown in the Patriots' 34-13 victory over the Titans.

Handing out a "game ball" to a Patriots player following the team's 34-13 week one victory over the Tennessee Titans:

While the Patriots had a lot of really strong performers this Sunday against the Tennessee Titans, it wasn't hard to hand out a "game ball," as running back Stevan Ridley really stood out for the Patriots today.

When the Patriots allowed two-year starter and 1,000 yard rusher BenJarvus Green-Ellis walk via free agency, many questioned whether or not second year back Stevan Ridley would be ready to take over full-time duties as the primary back. It's still very early, but it looks like the Patriots may have made the right decision, as Ridley put on a clinic in his debut as a starter against the Titans.

Ridley finished the game with 125 yards on 21 carries, and also picked up a 3rd quarter touchdown to extend the Patriots lead to 28-10. In fact, that touchdown capped off a drive that was Ridley-dominted - he picked up a total of 45 yards on four carries, including a one yard touchdown.

Overall, it was a magnificent performance for Ridley, who answered a lot of questions about the Patriots running back situation. Also of note: Ridley helped the Patriots produce tremendous balance on the offensive side of the ball, with the team running the ball 35 times, and throwing it 32 times (including the one time Brady was sacked).

If a team has that type of balance, they're going to win a lot of games. Stevan Ridley had a lot to do with that balance today.