More fuel for Pats-Colts rivalry

November, 5, 2007
The bizarre non-story accusing the Colts of pumping extra noise into the RCA Dome on Sunday illustrates the bitterness that exists between the Patriots and Colts.

The Colts rightfully were furious to be accused of something that didn't happen. The Patriots know the noise in the RCA Dome makes it hard for Tom Brady to run New England's offense. This just adds to the rivalry.

The league was quick to point out that CBS made the mistake, but that didn't stop the anger coming out from both sides. It will only escalate as the Colts and Patriots await their next meeting in the playoffs.

Kiffin elevates Fargas: One of the most amazing decisions of the weekend came in Oakland. Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin is going with Justin Fargas as the starting running back over LaMont Jordan. A month into the season, Jordan was second in the league with 424 rushing yards. He's been bothered by a bad back, but how quickly he's lost that starting job is remarkable.

Through eight games, Jordan has 521 yards rushing and a 4.0 average. It's pretty obvious Kiffin is using the rest of the season to look at different combinations of players to see what he has for the future. It also tells you Jordan is probably going to be released or traded next March.

Colts' wounded WRs: There is a chance Colts WR Marvin Harrison could play against the Chargers in Week 10, but the situation will have to be closely monitored by Colts doctors. Harrison has inflammation under his knee cap and some swelling. The injury is from the wear and tear of playing so many years. Surgery may or may not help it. The key is calming down the swelling and the pain.

Playing him against the Patriots would have caused more problems down the line because it could have made the swelling worse. The good news for the Colts is Harrison doesn't need microfracture surgery or anything that extensive.

The Colts probably won't have rookie WR Anthony Gonzalez for a couple of weeks because of his dislocated left thumb. The Colts paid a price for being without two of their top three receivers against the Patriots. Aaron Moorehead, the Colts' No. 4 receiver, was asked to step up and make big plays, but that didn't happen. It limited some of the things QB Peyton Manning could do.

Where was Adalius Thomas? As much as many would like to dwell on the amount of time Patriots LB Adalius Thomas spent on the bench against the Colts, it shouldn't be much of a controversy. Sure, the Patriots are paying $7 million a year for Thomas, but Pats head coach Bill Belichick featured a defense that used five defensive backs and only two linebackers. Thomas was used occasionally as a defensive end in the four-man line, but Belichick wanted to have bigger defensive linemen on the field to help stop the run. The Patriots won 24-20 so the strategy worked.

Trying times: Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio is going through the toughest week of his Jacksonville coaching career. He had to suspend tackle Richard Collier and linebacker Justin Durant and bench left tackle Khalif Barnes for off-the-field problems. Making matters worse is the pending four-game suspension of defensive tackle Marcus Stroud. Somehow, Del Rio is keeping the team competitive, but it's a tough battle and it's getting tougher.


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