FOXBORO, Mass. — Bill Belichick wisely gave credit to Troy Polamalu for Stevan Ridley‘s fumble on Sunday rather than blaming the running back. But that doesn’t mean Ridley felt good about the play.
Polamalu stripped Ridley in the Patriots’ first drive of the second half. Belichick didn’t give up on his starter, though, and brought him back for the next drive. The decision paid off, as Ridley ran for 60 yards in the second half, helping to close out the game.
“I hated it. It made me sick,” Ridley said of the fumble. “I really think it motivated me more to go out there and finish the game strong.”
Ridley appreciated not being relegated to the bench, though. Previously, Belichick has punished running backs for fumbles. Ridley didn’t see much action after he fumbled against the Bills in Week 1.
“That was definitely the low of my night, for sure,” Ridley said. “For the coaches to stick with me and ride it out, it said a lot. I think my team really — everybody’s made their mistakes at different times. That’s something that I’ve had to work on and focus on since I’ve been here. For me, I just couldn’t hang my head. It wasn’t the time for me to hang my head. It was time for me to go out there and try to close that game. Because that’s what the team needed me to do. That’s really what I did. I just leaned on my offensive line. They had made some creases for me the whole night.”
Ridley finished the game with a season-high 26 carries for 115 yards. It was his first 100-yard performance of the year, which he said was something he’s been trying to accomplish.