Giants Coach Jim Fassel is considering the radical change of using a lot more spread offense.

The formation, which uses at least three receivers, mostly one back and TE Pete Mitchell, produced two fourth-quarter touchdowns and had the team in position for another in the closing minutes of a 27-19 loss to the Colts on Sunday.

Fassel refused to say whether the Giants (5-4) would use the spread offense as their base formation Sunday against the Redskins.

"My whole focus in putting the game plan together and moving the football is I want to get the ball in the hands of the guys who can make plays--Pete Mitchell, Ike Hilliard, Amani Toomer," Fassel said yesterday.

New York gained 176 of its season-high 384 total yards in the fourth quarter.

STICKING WITH IT: Lions Coach Bobby Ross declined to second-guess his decision to go for a two-point conversion late in a 23-19 loss at Arizona on Sunday.

"If [the media] wants to second-guess me, that's fine," he said. "But I know the mentality of this team, and that requires taking some risk. No one else is going to understand that."

TAYLOR QUESTIONABLE: Jaguars RB Fred Taylor's availability for Sunday's game against the Saints is uncertain. Taylor aggravated his left hamstring in last Sunday's win over the Ravens. . . .

Broncos FS Eric Brown might be lost for the season because of a partially torn posterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, marking the ninth Denver starter out with a major injury. . . .

49ers Coach Steve Mariucci said the team plans to release suspended RB Lawrence Phillips after it investigates the salary cap ramifications.