Rapid Reaction: Indianapolis Colts
November, 10, 2013
By Mike Wells | ESPN.com
INDIANAPOLIS -- A few thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts' 38-8 loss to the St. Louis Rams at Lucas Oil Stadium:
What it means: The Colts gave up a trifecta before halftime in their worst home loss under coach Chuck Pagano. The Rams scored a touchdown on defense, offense and special teams while jumping out to a very easy 38-0 lead during an embarrassing performance by Indianapolis. Rams rookie receiver Tavon Austin entered Sunday averaging 6.7 yards a catch. The Colts allowed him to have the breakout game that he needed. Austin roasted Colts cornerback Vontae Davis twice, as he finished with two catches for 138 yards. Both catches were for touchdowns. Austin also had a 98-yard punt return for a touchdown, which was helped by Sergio Brown tapping the ball to him while trying to save it from going into the end zone. And the Colts’ running game? It finished with 19 yards on 13 attempts. Andrew Luck and Matt Hasselbeck combined to throw four interceptions.
Stock watch: Colts linebacker Robert Mathis recorded two sacks -- both in the first half -- increasing his season total to 12.5. His second sack set a team record for multisack games in a single season -- six -- and multisack games in a career with 26. Dwight Freeney has the Colts’ single-season record with 16, set in 2004. Mathis has seven more games to surpass that total and increase his odds to win Defensive Player of the Year.
Playing into the fourth quarter: Luck didn’t take all the snaps for the second time in his career. Pagano pulled Luck with the Colts down 38-8 with a little less than six minutes remaining. It’s a little surprising that Pagano didn’t take his franchise player out sooner, because it was pretty obvious that the Colts weren’t going to win the game. Luck finished the afternoon 29-of-47 for 353 yards, a touchdown and three interceptions. He was also sacked three times. Luck entered the game having thrown only three interceptions.
What’s next: The Colts (6-3) don’t have much time to think about this loss because they have a short turnaround between games. They travel to Nashville to take on AFC South counterpart Tennessee on Thursday.