The New England Patriots backfield situation seemed to get a whole lot more complicated on Sunday during their win over the Tampa Bay. New England running backs Stevan Ridley, Brandon Bolden, and LeGarrette Blount all saw a hefty amount of snaps during the game. Blount finished the game as New England’s leading rusher with 65 yards on 14 carries – 10 of those carries coming in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Brandon Bolden, who had not suited up all year before Sunday, drew the unlikely starting nod from head coach, Bill Belichick. Although Bolden was not called upon much as the game progressed (8 touches), he made the most out of his opportunities as he gained 51 yards on only three carries and caught 5 passes for 49 yards.
Stevan Ridley was terrible again finishing his day with a paltry 35 yards on 11 carries, Ridley was overlooked in the fourth quarter as the Pats looked to put the game away. With the game still somewhat close at 20-3, Belichick opted to use Blount as his primary rusher in the fourth quarter. Ridley’s season is becoming a nightmare in real football as well as fantasy.
For Ridley owners, this week may have closed the case on whether or not Ridley will be considered a bust in 2013. Nonexistent in the Patriots passing game, Ridley’s value is plummeting as he continues to lose touches by failing miserably when his number is called.
Ridley owners can only hope that he snaps out of his funk soon, but the Patriots seem prepared to move to a running back by committee approach. The situation will get even worse when Shane Vereen returns in a couple of months. The Patriots backfield is now one fantasy owners should avoid for the foreseeable future.