Photo Courtesy of the Boston Globe
Statistically, Stevan Ridley is the 2nd best running back in the NFL behind Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy. The best running backs are ranked by Defense-adjusted Yards Above Replacement (DYAR), which is the value of the number of times a runningback caught or carried the ball over his replacement. Ridley has a DYAR of 140 yards, which ranks 2nd only to McCoy's 153.

The other stats given include Defense-adjusted Value Over Average (DVOA), which is different from DYAR because DYAR represents total value and DVOA represents value per play and it's given as a percentage. Ridley's DVOA value is actually higher than McCoy's (20.6% vs 14.1%). DYAR and Yards Above Replacement (130 for McCoy vs 128 for Ridley) are both stressed more, which is why McCoy is ranked higher.

I know I was surprised to see Ridley ranked so high on a list of running backs, but the stats are there to back it up. He is ranked higher than guys like Matt Forte, Jamaal Charles and Adrian Peterson, which is what surprised me, since these guys are the cream of the crop as far as RB's go. More than anything, though, the fact that Ridley is considered statistically better than some of these guys is representative of the shift to a more balanced offense. A lot of these guys are the focus of slightly more run-happy offenses than the Patriots, so they get a lot more attention. Ridley has quietly gone about his business an established himself as a top-notch RB, which is why he is on this list.

Source: Football Outsider

Twitter - @ConorJF1016

Conor Frederick 11/08/2013 12:04:00 PM Edit

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