It's interesting: many felt the lose of Edgerrin James to free agency last year was the beginning of the end for the Colts. It turned out to be anything but. James was replaced by the combination of Dominic Rhodes and rookie Joseph Addai. In these playoffs, Rhodes and Addai have rushed for 380 and 2 TDs. In the playoffs, Edgerrin James had an annoying habit of... well, disappearing. He never cracked the 100 yard mark in the playoffs. Joseph Addai did in his first playoff game. He ran for 122 yards and a TD against the Chiefs. The next week, against a very dominant Baltimore defense, Dominic Rhodes' running helped ice the game, taking over 6 minutes off the clock and setting up Adam Vinatieri's fifth FG. Again the Patriots, Joseph Addai scored the game winning TD.
It seems, beyond any doubt, that the Colts simply do not miss Edgerrin James. James left because Arizona offered more guaranteed money, and because then-coach Dennis Green ran a similar practice schedule that Dungy does. Green is now gone after guiding the Cardinals to another losing season. New coach Ken Whisenhunt will supposedly have tougher practices and expect more from his high-priced RB. Meanwhile, the Colts are in the Super Bowl, and are running the football better than they ever did with Edge.
PaytonMenning discussed this in another entry:
He was the one to be held at the goal-line stand during our 38-34 loss to the Patriots in the 2003 regular season.
I know there are more instances - he was definitely not a great short-yardage back. The Addai/Rhodes combo has been more productive in terms of the power game when we needed it.
I'm a big Edgerrin James fan, but it seems the team simply did not need him, and is better off without him. Would this team be in the Super Bowl is Edge were still on the team? I'm not so sure. Thoughts?