Indianapolis (6-1) at Miami (5-2)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Miami Gardens, FL
Temp: 80° F
  • Game info: 1:00 pm EST Sun Nov 2, 2003
  • TV: CBS
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Brian Griese’s outstanding performance last week made it easy for Miami Dolphins coach Dave Wannstedt to choose his quarterback.

Griese will start for the second consecutive week when the Dolphins host the Indianapolis Colts.

Griese completed 20 of 29 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns as Jay Fiedler sat out with a sprained knee in Monday’s 26-10 win over San Diego at Tempe, Ariz.

“Brian played really well,” Wannstedt said. “He made good decisions, got rid of the ball and was really into the game. He was in tune to what they were doing and what we were trying to do.”

Fiedler, injured in a loss to New England on Oct. 19, dressed for Monday’s game but was designated the No. 3 quarterback. He struggled in his last four games with five interceptions and just two touchdowns.

Griese’s first pass Sunday went for a touchdown and his only incomplete pass in the first half was dropped. By halftime, the score was 24-3 after he spread the ball around with touchdown passes to Chris Chambers, James McKnight and Randy McMichael.

“It was pretty special,” Griese said. “I wanted to contribute to the team in some way, shape or form, and I had the opportunity to go out there and play. I felt great. It was exciting. On Monday Night Football, I don’t think I could ask for anything more.”

Griese spent his first five seasons with Denver—his last four as the starter. He averaged more than 2,900 passing yards and 17 touchdowns per season as the Broncos’ No. 1 quarterback.

“Right now he gives us the best chance to win,” Wannstedt said Wednesday.

Fiedler is 33-15 as Miami’s starter but has led the Dolphins to only one postseason victory since succeeding Dan Marino in 2000. The Dolphins beat Indianapolis in a wild-card game that season.

The Colts are free of controversy at quarterback, with Peyton Manning having yet another outstanding performance in a 30-21 win over Houston on Sunday.

Manning was 22-of-30 for 269 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions, rallying the Colts from a 17-14 halftime deficit to help them rebound from their first loss of the season against Carolina on Oct. 12.

“Peyton has been outstanding,” coach Tony Dungy said. “The things and corrections we talk about at halftime he is doing.”

Manning is third in the NFL with 1,862 passing yards and leads the league with 15 touchdowns.

Marvin Harrison had his fourth straight 100-yard receiving game and Reggie Wayne caught six passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns, including a 57-yarder to open the second half.

Edgerrin James returned from a back injury and ran for 104 rushing yards on 23 carries. James, who played for the first time since breaking two bones in his lower back Sept. 21, gained most of his yards in the fourth quarter as the Colts killed the clock.

“There’s a reason the Colts won today, why they have a 6-1 record and why they’re leading our division,” Texans coach Dom Capers said. “They’re making plays.”

James, the No. 4 overall pick in the 1999 draft, will be competing against the player chosen with the fifth pick that year—Dolphins star running back Ricky Williams.

“It’s fun watching him,” Williams said of James, who has five 100-yard performances in six games against Miami. “He can run, can cut, can hit the seams, can stop on a dime.”

Williams, who led the NFL with 1,853 rushing yards last season, ran for 69 Monday to increase his season total to 624.

In the last meeting—a 21-13 Dolphins win in September 2002—James carried the ball 30 times for 138 yards, while Williams ran 24 times and finished with 132 yards.

After running over the Dolphins last season, James faces a revamped Miami defense that leads the NFL with just 73.9 rushing yards allowed per game.

The Colts are fourth in the league with 354.9 yards per contest, and will put their 29.8 points-per-game average up against a Dolphins defense that also leads the NFL with 12.4 points allowed.

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