New England Patriots: Shane Vereen Proving To Be More Than Just A Change-Of-Pace Back

Shane Vereen

Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

With the New England Patriots‘ win against the Buffalo Bills Sunday officially in the books, it is now time to look ahead to Thursday night’s game against the New York Jets.

While most of the personnel decisions for the game have already been decided, there is one that still remains a question: what to do with Stevan Ridley?

As all Patriots’fans know, Ridley put the ball on the ground twice in Sunday’s game, the second resulting in a turnover and a touchdown going the opposite direction. This is not the first time that Ridley has shown the propensity to fumble the football.  Last season, he also struggled with coughing up the football as he put the ball on the ground four times in 2012.

Although Ridley has been very productive, his career stats mean nothing if he continues to turn the football over.

As for Shane Vereen, he has been much more sure-handed throughout the course of his career. In 91 career rushing attempts, he has only coughed the ball up one time. That fumble came in a game where the field conditions were treacherous.

Compare that to Ridley’s six fumbles in 386 career rushes, and it is clear that Vereen has better carrying ability. Add that to the fact that he is a faster, more explosive running back, and there is little reason not to make him the starter at this stage.

Vereen has showed both the tangibles and the productivity as a running back to succeed in the NFL. Whether it be against the Houston Texans in the AFC Divisional Playoffs last year, or against the Bills on Sunday, he clearly has demonstrated elite playmaking ability in both the running and receiving games.

Will Gellman is a New England Patriots’ Writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter at Will_Gellman, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google


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