When the Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots took the field at Bank of America Stadium it matched up two former LSU Tigers offensive stars on Monday Night Football. Brandon LaFell and Stevan Ridley were teammates at LSU from 2008-2009 and both were third round picks in the NFL Draft.
LaFell started the scoring in the Monday night tilt when he reeled a Cam Newton pass to score from nine yards out.
His former teammate on the other hand has not had a great first half as he continued his problems holding onto the football and put the ball on the turf in the second quarter. This was Ridley’s eighth fumble since Jan. 1, 2011 and sixth lost in that span.
With running back Shane Vereen activated from the injured reserve prior to tonight’s game that is the last thing Ridley could afford in a season that has seen its share of ups and downs. He had been on fire of late with six touchdowns in his past four games, including a season-high 115 yards on 26 carries in his last game.
The look on Bill Belichick’s face pretty sums up what most Patriots fans felt after seeing him put it on the ground and I think he’s looking for LeGarrette Blount and other Patriot backs to come in against the stingy Panthers defense where points are at a premium. Ridley has not been back in the game since his fumble.
The Panthers took a 10-3 lead into halftime as LaFell has bragging rights on his former college teammate after 30 minutes, but we’ll see if Ridley can get back in the game and redeem himself for the fumble and if LaFell can reach the end zone again.
UPDATE 10:30 p.m.: LaFell and Carolina was able to hold on for the win over Ridley’s Patriots 24-20. LaFell finished with a team-high seven receptions for 59 yards and the touchdown and Ridley finished with 48-yards, one shy of the team lead, but did manage to score for the fifth game in a row.