|Patriots running backs have made Tom Brady’s work easier||10.10.12 at 1:38 pm ET|
FOXBORO – Tom Brady joked Wednesday that the pressure is rarely off him as quarterback of the Patriots, but he’ll be the first to admit that his life has been made easier by the Patriots’ multi-faceted running game this season.
Stevan Ridley has emerged as one of the league’s most effective runners, as the second-year back is fifth in the league with 490 rushing yards. Ridley has rushed for 100 or more yards in three of New England’s five games this season, while rookie Brandon Bolden has also been able to produce more than expected (206 yards) and Danny Woodhead has continued to be valuable in both the running and passing game.
Both Ridley and Bolden have broken runs of 20 yards are more, giving the Pats a greater threat on the ground that they’ve had in recent years.
“I think we’re doing a great job of changing field position handing the ball off,” Brady said Wednesday. “It’s different handing the ball off and getting four yards or six yards, which is a good run, but it’s different when you hand off and get 25 and you say, ‘Man, that was easy. Let’s do that again.’
“You get backed up against your own goal line, you run it out there, you’re on the seven yard line 1st and [goal] and you run it for a touchdown like we did, I think we were on the nine yard line. That’s good football. That’s hard to stop. If you can run it and force them to tackle you and force them to get their run fits and worry about run support and then ‘Bam!’ You play action pass on them, I think that’s what makes good football.”
On Sunday, the Pats will go up against one of the league’s stingier run defenses in Seattle. The Pats are third in the league with 165.4 rushing yards per game, but the Seahawks’ 66.6 rushing yards allowed per game makes them third in the NFL against the run.
“We’ve just got to continue to do it,” Brady said. It’s only been five weeks, and we’re certainly doing great in the running game, but it really means nothing if we don’t do it this week.”
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