RB Stevan Ridley, New England Patriots
HT: 5-10, WT: 225, Born: 1-27-1989, College: LSU, Drafted: Round 3
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Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full ADP list]Overall: D Thomas (21), R Gronkowski (22), Stevan Ridley (23), M Jones-Drew (24), D Murray (25)
Position: M Forte (14-RB11), C Johnson (20-RB12), Stevan Ridley (23 - RB13), M Jones-Drew (24-RB14), D Murray (25-RB15)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 6th. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: S Jackson (28), D McFadden (29), Stevan Ridley (30), R Cobb (31), V Cruz (32)
Position: S Jackson (28-RB15), D McFadden (29-RB16), Stevan Ridley (30 - RB17), D Sproles (34-RB18), F Gore (38-RB19)
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Stevan Ridley has taken the chance to be lead back for the Patriots seriously, showing up to the team's conditioning program having added quite a bit of muscle. He was already a load to tackle in the first place, and if he added the muscle without sacrificing speed and agility, he could be a nightmare for defenders. Ridley topped 1200 yards for the first time last season and if he can stay healthy (he was knocked out of the AFC Championship game with a concussion) could be looking at similar production as the Pats will likely run just as often.
|1||at Buffalo Bills|
|2||New York Jets|
|3||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|4||at Atlanta Falcons|
|5||at Cincinnati Bengals|
|6||New Orleans Saints|
|7||at New York Jets|
|11||at Carolina Panthers|
|13||at Houston Texans|
|15||at Miami Dolphins|
|16||at Baltimore Ravens|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Ridley was absolutely dynamite in this game. Chris Johnson should study the film of what Ridley did and take it to heart, because Ridley put on a clinic running the ball. In the first three drives, Ridley was stopped for 2 yards or less 5 times. Yet he put his head down, followed the blocks and ran where the play was designed to run. On the first drive, he ran straight ahead for 17 yards, just running right through arm tackles. Later in the 2nd half, his continued hard running paid off again, when he broke off an impressive 15 yard run up the gut. When Ridley cuts, he doesn’t stop moving forward. He makes his move in tight spaces, and doesn’t lose momentum. This causes him to always seem to get extra yards after he gets contact. He showed this on the play right before Gronk’s TD, as he was hit at about the 7, but didn’t go down until the 2 yard line. As the third quarter opened, Ridley continue his clinic, slicing through small holes and running vertically, not laterally. His subsequent runs in the 2nd half were just more of the same, he attacked the holes, squeezed through, and kept the juking and cutting to a minimum. Ridley’s hard running will make this Patriots team very tough to stop.
Week 2 - Ridley is the clear feature back, with about two thirds of the carries. He showed good speed to get outside and he reads his blockers well. Ridley was shifty at times, but drove forward decisively when he saw a hole. In the second half, he had a lot of trouble finding room but showed just enough ability to shed the first tackler to be productive.
Week 3 - His 13 carries were his least amount in the regular season since the Patriots second to last game of 2011. As with Woodhead, Ridley found little running room. He showed nice vision and patience for a 14 yard gain in the third quarter that may have been the nicest run of the night. Ridley’s stats are more of an indictment of Baltimore’s defense than his talents. The Ravens only allowed a long of 20 yards to superstar RB LeSean McCoy last week. What is concerning is that the Patriots, even with the lead, seem to have no interest in running the ball. Only twice this season have they rushed more than six times in a drive, and they did not rush more than five times in any drive last week. The good news for Ridley is that he was a stud in pass protection – something that is sure to keep him on the field.
Week 4 - It was no coincidence that the Patriots' running-backs seemingly all had the best games of their career on the same day. The Patriots' offensive line dominated the Bills' front seven to consistently create wide running lanes for the Patriots rushers. Ridley was a beneficiary of those lanes. Nonetheless, his vision and ability to make quick decisions while still moving forward was impressive. Rarely did Ridley leave yardage on the field by running into defenders rather than attacking space, while he showed excellent balance on his early touchdown run. The one knock on Ridley's performance was a fumble along the sidelines late in the fourth quarter. Ridley likely won't see 22 carries again this season and that fumble may have been a result of his heavy workload.
Week 5 - Despite Brandon Bolden, Danny Woodhead, and Shane Vereen seeing time in the backfield, Ridley had quite the impressive day. He showed power and patience to hit the hole and played a majority of the running back snaps early in the game. His balance was a main factor to his bigger runs on day, being able to bounce off defenders at the second and third levels of the defense. After working the ball down to the 1-yard line on consecutive carries, Ridley’s potential touchdown turned into a Tom Brady sneak on third down at the goal line. Ridley’s touchdown came later in the second half on a well-blocked toss play in the red zone. With a head of steam, Ridley dove across the goal line with ease. Ridley lost a fumble with five minutes to play in the game that could have made the game very interesting. New England was only up ten points at the time and Ridley’s fumble squandered a chance to milk the clock and score at least a field goal on the drive.
Week 6 - Coming off of a 155 yard performance in week 6, many assumed Ridley would cool off against Seattle’s 2nd ranked run defence. Not only did it cool off, but came to a near stand-still with a final stat line of 16 carries for 34 yards as well as one catch for 0 yards. Ridley was pulled in most passing situations after an early drop that cost the Patriots a first down. On the ground, he wasn’t given much space, and his longest run was held to 6 yards. Early on, it looked as if game planning was not in Ridley’s favor as RBs Brandon Bolden and Danny Woodhead had out-touched Ridley by a 3:1 margin. Though it was a down game for the Patriots runners, Ridley fans need not worry as he didn’t cough the ball up and his job may have gotten even more secure as back-up RB Bolden left the game with an knee injury.
Week 7 - For the first time this season, Ridley shared the backfield with both Shane Vereen and Danny Woodhead. While Ridley received 17 of the 31 rushing attempts, he was routinely replaced on third downs by Woodhead and replaced by Vereen on every other drive. Given the constant running back substitutions, Ridley was unable to develop any sort of rhythm. Ridley received one goal line carry, but looked a little tentative as he took the handoff off left tackle. Rob Gronkowski’s block wasn’t great, but Ridley did not accelerate into the hole. Ridley tiptoed and took a two-yard loss.
Ridley’s biggest play occurred during his team’s sixth drive. Ridley took a delayed handoff up the middle and accelerated for a 12-yard gain. Outside of this run, Ridley was only able to generate three or four yards per carry. Ridley’s role in the Patriot offense is secure, but the constant running back substitutions clearly affected Ridley’s rhythm.
Week 8 - Ridley struggled on inside runs but more than made up for it around the edge, where a majority of his big runs came. He was especially bottled up early on, including getting blown up in the hole for no gain on his first carry. On a toss left late in the first quarter Ridley seemed to get going, running through an arm tackle and sprinting up the field for a 20 yard gain. He had a chance to finish that drive with a touchdown, but was stopped for a loss of one on 1st and goal from the one. Shane Vereen came in three plays later and vultured the touchdown. Ridley had only one carry in the second quarter, but that was enough to get him a score. He showed good leg drive, going through a defender that met him in the hole for a one yard score. The third quarter was the most active and successful for Ridley. He had great blocking on his first run, a 30 yard run around the right side. He finished that run with seven yards after contact, manhandling the safety that tried to bring him down. On the next drive he was even more impressive with an outstanding hop into a cutback at the line then ran over the safety for a 16 yard gain. Two plays later he picked up 41 yards on a toss right. Again he had great blocking on the outside, and he showed good vision at the second level allowing his receivers to make blocks in front of him. Only an ankle tackle at the six prevented another touchdown.
Week 10 - After Ridley and the now suspended Brandon Bolden bludgeoned the Bills rushing defense in their first meeting, Ridley found the sledding a bit tougher on Sunday (comparatively speaking). Ridley came just short of the century mark, averaging 4.5 yards a carry on 22 carries with a long of 24 yards. However, Ridley did struggle at times running the ball inside the Bills’ five yard line, getting four carries inside the Buffalo two yard line, but only finding pay dirt once and getting knocked for a loss the other three times. The powerful running back found most success on straight dives between the tackles, able to use his deceptive quicks to attack the hole and explode to the second level. Ridley’s long was just that, as he took the carry and wasted no time blasting through the gap, easily reaching the back end of the defense and just missing a much longer run before corner Justin Rogers made the tackle. Ridley just missed a 2nd TD late, barely missing an opportunity to seal the game late. Running from the Bills’ 12-yard line, Ridley prepped for immediate contact with a forward lean. Clearly off balance with the lean, Ridley stumbled through the hole and fell just short of the goal line with almost no contact. Safety Da’Norris Searcy was able to touch the sprawling Ridley down at the two. The Patriots tried to catch the Bills off guard with a quick snap and ran Ridley off the right tackle, but DT Kyle Williams did a nice job blowing the play up in the backfield, dropping Ridley for a loss. Like Brady, Ridley didn’t look spectacular on Sunday, but he still was productive and perhaps most important of all did not turn the ball over. Ridley received one target in the passing game, but failed to register a catch.
Week 11 - Ridley's first carry went for just four yards as he burst through a hole in the line of scrimmage, but ran into his own blocker on the second level. Ridley's second carry went for four yards again when the Colts were slow to react to the Patriots' hurry up. Ridley came back with another two carries on the next drive, but the Colts crowded him at the line of scrimmage for two negative plays. Ridley wasn't getting much success at all running the football, his first carry of the third quarter resulted in a hard hit at the line of scrimmage for no gain. Ridley finally escaped for a gain of 11 yards after the Patriots completed a few passes underneath to slow down the defense. Ridley struggled all day, as the Colts' defensive front repeatedly stuffed him at the line of scrimmage, but he did get an easy touchdown from three yards out after Julian Edelman's long run in the fourth quarter..
Week 12 - After taking a season low 13 carries against the Colts, Ridley was given ample opportunities to gash the generous Jet defense. Ridley’s carries were evenly distributed by half, but his best running occurred during the third quarter. With the Patriots holding a 35-12 advantage, Ridley took eight carries for 37 yards. Five of Ridley’s eight carries went for five or more yards as he lowered his pads level and gashed Jet linebackers. During the fourth quarter, Ridley took a stretch play to the right for an eight-yard touchdown. Aided by the blocks of Wes Welker and Daniel Fells, Ridley ran into the end zone untouched. Shane Vereen was used throughout the game, but Ridley took all of tough inside runs early in the game.
Week 13 - Ridley was once-again the lead back when New England had their best drives of the game. His 19 carries more than doubled the rest of the New England running backs, who combined for nine carries. Ridley’s fantasy production was limited as he was not involved in the passing game. In fact, Ridley has just four targets in the past 10 games, with zero receptions in that span. His touchdown came early in the game at the goal line. New England’s line blocked well at the point of attack and allowed Ridley the time to pick his opening off-tackle for the score. Ridley converted two of his three short-yardage chances against Miami, including one in the red zone with just four minutes to play. He was a big advantage in the second half as Miami’s defense looked out of gas. Ridley continued to run hard and gain yards after contact between the tackles. Ridley scored for the fifth straight game and has 13or more carries in every game this season.
Week 14 - Ridley ran hard against the Texans 3-4 defense on Monday night. While large gains were hard to come by, he ran hard on the interior and helped keep Tom Brady clean in the pocket. Ridley's touchdown came on a run off guard to the left on third down from the 14 yard line. By the time Ridley had the ball, the Texans' defensive front had been pushed three yards off the line of scrimmage. He motored through the hole, cut back to the middle of the field, and scampered in to the endzone untouched. Ridley also had a fumble near the goalline that was recovered by Aaron Hernandez one play before Hernandez's first touchdown. Ridley continues to impress by being a reliable option between the tackles regardless of down and distance. The stout Texans defense worked hard to wrap him up quickly once he got to the line but Ridley was able to push forward and gain positive yardage most of the time.
Week 15 - Ridley was largely ineffective all game, and his fumbling problems led to his eventual benching. His first carry of the game almost resulted in a fumble, as Ridley cut right and spun as the defender hit him in the back. As Ridley went to the ground the ball came out, but Ridley was ruled down. The rest of his carries resulted in minimal gains, as Ridley didn’t possess the same quickness that would eventually lead to Woodhead’s success. Instead, Ridley ran hard and made one cut, but his power couldn’t match that of the collapsing 49ers’ defense. The fumble that resulted in Ridley’s benching came when Ridley ran straight up the middle and Donte Whitner dove, landing his helmet against the point of the ball and forcing it out. The ball security wasn’t sloppy, but the hit by Whitner was in the perfect position to force the fumble.
Week 16 - This was a staple game for Ridley. He was targeted twice, but again did not register a reception. In nine straight games, he has not caught a pass and has just six on the season. That leaves a high volume of rushes and goal line work for the lead back in the frustrating New England backfield. After his dud performance last week against San Francisco (23 yards, losing a fumble), Ridley rebounded against the beatable Jacksonville run defense. He exceled in the hurry-up offense, getting consecutive carries multiple times with great success early in the game. He did not have much success on perimeter runs, not showing that extra gear to get the edge. However, he was rugged and showed solid vision between the tackles. Late in the game, twice he eluded the initial defender in the backfield en route to 18 yards on those two carries. He did not see any goal line work this week and was a liability in the passing game. On his most notable target, Ridley bobbled and misplayed a wheel route pass against linebacker coverage. The ball was tipped into the air and intercepted by the safety, which started New England’s deficit early in the game. In a game that New England was predicted to control from the outset, this was a disappointing game script and performance by Ridley this week.
Week 17 - Once again, Ridley was the Michael Turner of the New England offense. He received 20 carries, but no targets for the ninth time this season. He converted both of his point-blank goal line attempts into touchdowns, giving him eight scores in the past nine games. Ridley’s yardage total was aided by just a few longer gains. In general, he was stuffed at the line of scrimmage more times than not. He showed his burst and good lateral agility for his size to get to the outside and between the tackles. While his value takes a hit in PPR scoring, Ridley’s potential for 20 carries and multiple touchdowns any given week playing on a high-powered offense keeps his fantasy value elevated heading into 2013.
Week 19 - Certainly overshadowed by Vereen’s explosion, Ridley had a solid game in his own right. Ridley averaged 5.5 yards a carry, including breaking a 23-yard run late in the 3rd quarter. Not getting his 1st carry until the 3rd drive, Ridley was clearly rearing to go by the time he hit the field. Opening the drive up, Ridley burst through the middle of the field for 16 yards. Ridley only received three more carries in the 1st half, but the layoff didn’t hurt the RB in the least. Just out of halftime, the Pats turned to Ridley in the red zone. After a short run took the offense inside the Texan 10, Ridley took the next carry eight yards into the end zone. Ridley was explosive on the run, but he has the blocking on the run the to thank for the TD. Ridley took the carry through the middle of the Texan defense and wasn’t touched until he was three yards deep in the end zone. Two drives later, Ridley reappeared with a pretty seven-yard run to open the drive up. Running up the middle, Ridley shown tremendous patience at the line while waiting for the hole to open up for the seven-yard gain. Three plays later, Ridley showed an ability to pick up the tough yards, keeping his legs churning and carrying tacklers an extra three yards for a five-yard gain. Going up-tempo, Ridley attacked the unprepared Texan defense with ferocity on a stretch run. Ridley used one cut and just missed completely breaking the run off for a TD on the 23-yard run. Ridley also caught one ball in the passing game, picking up 13 yards on the Patriots’ first TD drive.
Week 20 - Ridley started the game and was the primary ball-carrier early on. He wasn't making any flashy moves or big plays on the edges, but consistently gained good yardage between the tackles and helped move the offense down the field. Ridley had 46 yards on 13 carries in the first half with a long of eight. He didn't break many tackles, but instead took advantage of good blocking between the tackles from his offensive line. After a third quarter when Ridley wasn't heavily involved, he opened the fourth quarter with three good carries for 11 yards. His fourth carry was worrying however. Ridley escaped at speed outside right tackle, before taking a massive helmet-to-helmet hit(a legal one) from Bernard Pollard that knocked him out. Ridley crumpled to the ground and lost the ball before his knee was down. The Ravens recovered the football.