FOXBORO -- Logan Ryan and Stevan Ridley both scored touchdowns last week. Both also showboated on their way into the end zone - Ryan with a crotch grab; Ridley slowing to a trot to antagonize a Jets defender.
This week, neither player got into the game in the first quarter. Ryan didn't get into the game until the second half. Given Ridley's potency in the running game and Ryan's early-season progress as a cornerback, the decision to keep them both on the bench was curious.
In the case of Ryan, it seemed odd since the Patriots were without Aqib Talib and Kyle Arrington was fighting a groin issue all day.
Bill Belichick revealed nothing when asked if the players were down for disciplinary reasons.
"We do what we think is best to win," said Belichick.
Ryan said after the game he wasn't benched for disciplinary reasons. Later, he added, "I'll let coach speak on whatever it was. I just know when my opportunity came, I made the most of it."
Ridley also insisted his being idle had nothing to do with a disciplinary message.
The Patriots are accomplished at keeping disciplinary actions "in-house" and that could be the case here. Because, given the contributions of both players, the path to victory on this Sunday got a lot smoother when both players were in the game.