By George Bremer
The Herald Bulletin
---- — RAMS 38, COLTS 8
Player of the Game
Rams WR Tavon Austin
The fact the rookie out of West Virginia's two receptions went for 138 yards and a pair of touchdowns would be reason enough to give him this award. But he also averaged 36.3 yards on four punt returns and took one of those back for a touchdown, as well. Austin was a one-man wrecking crew, with scoring plays of 98, 81 and 57 yards to pace St. Louis' dominant victory.
Five turnovers, three on red-zone interceptions, told the story of the game for a unit that still is struggling to find its way without wide receiver Reggie Wayne. Andrew Luck completed 29 of 47 attempts for 353 yards and one touchdown, but he suffered his first multiple interception game of the season. Two of his three picks came in the end zone, and his fumble on the first possession was returned 45 yards for a touchdown. The running game was non-existant, with Luck leading the team with 17 yards on four attempts. T.Y. Hilton had seven catches for 130 yards, shining the lone light in a sea of darkness.
This grade would be even lower, if not for two sacks by outside linebacker Robert Mathis. He moved to a career-high 13.5 for the season and set a franchise record with his 26th multiple sack game. Otherwise, there was nothing but bleakness. Indy allowed reserve St. Louis quarterback Kellen Clemens to throw for 247 yards on just nine completions, and the Rams rushed for 140 yards as a team. And that's without even mentioning Austin's contributions.
Special Teams: F
Four combined kick returns by David Reed and Boom Herron failed to make it past the 20-yard line, adding poor field position to the challenges for a struggling offense. Then there was Austin's 98-yard punt return on a rebound after gunner Sergio Brown attempted to keep the ball out of the end zone. LaVon Brazill's 17-yard punt return was the highlight for this unit.