Stevan Ridley stood in the visitors’ locker room at EverBank Field in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday afternoon, surrounded by media, and talked about the Patriots’ unexpectedly difficult road win over the Jaguars.
Ridley’s answer about the Patriots’ slow start came in the context of the team, but it also could have described his personal approach to a season that has seen the second-year running back top 1,000 rushing yards yet deal with a recurring ball-security problem.
If you make it an issue, it can be an issue, Ridley said. For us, it’s just like the losses, the same with the wins: You have to put it behind you. Learn from your mistakes, go in there, and try to fix them.
Ridley had put the ball on the turf three times in two games before Sunday’s 23-16 win. A fumble Dec. 10 against the Houston Texans was recovered by the Patriots. Another drop early in the game six days later against San Francisco was overturned when it was determined that Ridley had been down by contact before the ball popped loose. But later in the game, a Ridley fumble was grabbed by the 49ers, sending the 23-year-old to the sidelines, with Danny Woodhead coming in as his replacement.