Ridley, Green-Ellis not battling each other

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Ridley, Green-Ellis not battling each other

FOXBORO -- The case of Stevan Ridley v. BenJarvus Green-Ellis continued Sunday.

Ridley got the start -- just his second in 16 games -- over Green-Ellis and racked up 81 yards on a 15 carries against Buffalo. It marked the third straight week he led New England in rushing. He also had more total snaps for two consecutive weeks (Ridley: 28, Green-Ellis: 11 versus Dolphins).

Green-Ellis had his say, though.

He scored both of New England's rushing touchdowns. In fact, just when you thought Ridley was doing all the work -- like in the second quarter, when he ripped off a 21-yard gain on his second of three straight carries -- Green-Ellis came in as the goal-line closer. And when Ridley fumbled on a third quarter second-and-10, who do you think got the ball on the next drive? Green-Ellis. He took Tom Brady's short second-and-10 pass and gobbled up 53 yards on the gain.

Green-Ellis said he's not looking for a fight.

"I don't even really look at it like that. Whenever we're in, whoever is in -- me, Danny Woodhead, Stevan, Shane Vereen, Kevin Faulk or Lou Lousaka Polite -- we go out there and try to make plays for our team and make us better. Its a team effort.

The stats could be volleyed all day.

Ridley has just nine carries for no gain on 87 attempts.

Green-Ellis has almost 100 more carries and 10 more touchdowns.

Ridley has five carries over 20 yards. Green-Ellis has zero.

Is this really a case for one over the other? The Patriots aren't worried about figuring out a pecking order or applying definitive theories on how the running game works. What's important is that it's working. New England is finding success in offensive balance. It's also developing young talent. This is why you're seeing Ridley get more carries as he earns them.

"He's just like a lot of us," said veteran guard Brian Waters. "He's got a lot of areas that he can grow in and get better in. The potential's definitely there for him to be a great back."

If he can tack some tough playoffs yardage to the resume, he'll be on his way.

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Patriots punter Ryan Allen named AFC special teams player of the week

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Patriots punter Ryan Allen named AFC special teams player of the week

FOXBORO -- Ryan Allen was the definition of an x-factor on Thursday night against the Texans. 

He punted seven times for an average of 47.6 yards per boot, and none of them were returned. A career-high six of his seven landed inside the 20-yard line, and the one that did not was marked right at the 20. He dropped his other punts at the 11, 10, 10, 14, 5 and 4-yard lines, helping to limit Houston's average starting field position to the 15-yard line. 

Allen has won the award now twice in his career. He also took it home in 2014 following a Week 14 win over the Chargers.

It is the second AFC Player of the Week honor for a Patriots special teamer this year. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski picked it up after kicking the game-winning field goal against the Cardinals back in Week 1.