Pats offensive balance a challenge for Texans
BY AP Wire Service
Monday, December 10, 2012
12/10/12 at 4:37 AM
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Stevan Ridley has emerged as a top running back in his second pro season. He's not the only Patriots rusher Texans coach Gary Kubiak has to worry about.
The revived New England ground game, with Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden as backups, has brought balance to an offense that relied more heavily on quarterback Tom Brady in recent years.
Ridley, in his second pro season, is third in the AFC with 1,010 yards rushing going into Monday night's game between the Texans (11-1), who have the best record in the AFC and have clinched a playoff berth, and the Patriots (9-3), who have locked up the AFC East title.
Vereen has rushed for just 173 yards and three touchdowns but has scored on an 83-yard pass play. Bolden, a rookie, is second on the team with 234 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
"They're very capable of running the ball very well," Kubiak said.
And, of course, outstanding throwing it.
Brady is having his usual strong season with 25 touchdown passes and just four interceptions, and wide receiver Wes Welker leads the NFL with 92 receptions.