What a game on Sunday night. After being down by 24 at halftime, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots came back and forced overtime against the Denver Broncos. After multiple possessions from each team, it looked like we would have the second tie game of the day. However, after a muffed punt, the Patriots recovered and won by a field goal.
However, rewind the game back to the first quarter, and the Patriots were in trouble. Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount both fumbled within three minutes of each other. As a result, neither man took a snap for the rest of the game while Shane Vereen and Brandon Bolden took turns running the ball.
While Vereen didn’t run the ball well with just 10 carries for 31 yards, he was very effective as a pass-catcher collecting eight catches for 60 yards. The biggest benefactor from the early fumbles was Bolden. He had 13 carries for 58 yards (4.46 YPC) and scored from the one-yard line. The 58 yards were the most from Bolden this year.
If Ridley or Blount never fumbled, who knows if Bolden would have seen the field in this game. That said, Bolden has been successful on limited carries before. In Weeks 7 and 8, he had eight carries and scored a touchdown in each game.
Depending on the status of Ridley and Blount, Bolden could see more playing time against the Houston Texans. The Texans are 18th against the run, allowing 14.7 fantasy points per game. Maurice Jones-Drew rushed 14 times for 84 yards and a touchdown, leading the Jacksonville Jaguars to their second win.
Bolden is owned in just 2.5 percent of ESPN leagues, and is worth adding if Ridley and Blount sit this week. Though it’s unlikely, it’s worth keeping an eye on.