Ridley avoids fumbles, sparks Patriots run game

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FOXBOROUGH (AP) - Stevan Ridley learned the hard way as a rookie. Hold on to the ball or grab a seat on the bench.

His fumble in the third quarter of New England's divisional playoff win over Denver was the final time he received the ball last season. He didn't suit up for the AFC title game, and was in uniform for the Super Bowl, but didn't play.

But now, with a renewed focus on holding the ball high and tight with two hands, Ridley is off to a good start this season as the Patriots' new top running back.

In the season opener, he rushed 21 times for 125 yards and a touchdown and caught two passes for 27 yards. That's a total of 23 touches, 152 yards, one touchdown - and no fumbles.