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Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Rams-Colts study session: Offense

By Nick Wagoner

EARTH CITY, Mo. -- A look back at the St. Louis Rams' 38-8 win against the Indianapolis Colts after reviewing the coaches' film.

Big Play: Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens hit receiver Tavon Austin for a 57-yard touchdown and a 28-0 lead before the end of the first half.

Tavon Austin
Kellen Clemens took a shot by going deep to Tavon Austin in the first half, and it paid off with a 57-yard touchdown.
On third-and-7 at the Rams' 43, the St. Louis offense came out with three receivers, Austin wide left, Austin Pettis in the left slot and Chris Givens split right. Clemens was in the shotgun with running back Zac Stacy to his right and tight end Jared Cook to the left.

Indianapolis lined up with three down linemen and two linebackers at the line of scrimmage with both safeties deep and the corners playing off.

At the snap, the Colts brought five rushers, one on a delayed blitzed, but none of that mattered as Clemens read it easily from the snap. Givens and Austin ran simple go routes down their respective sidelines with Pettis running a deep in from the seam.

Clemens clearly saw the higher safety roll over the top of Givens on the right side with Austin running free past cornerback Vontae Davis. Austin created separation right away but here's where Clemens deserves credit for his decision and throw: Cook came out of the backfield and ran into the left flat about as open as could be for what would have been a layup of a first down.

Instead, Clemens took the deep shot and dropped in a perfectly placed deep ball that hit Austin in stride for an easy 57-yard touchdown as Darius Butler arrived far too late to help Davis.

Hidden Play: Clemens hit Givens for a 35-yard gain to set up the Rams' second touchdown and take a 14-0 lead in the second quarter.

On third-and-3 at Indianapolis' 36, the Rams lined up with four receivers; Austin split left, Cook in the slot and Givens and Quick bunched to the right. Clemens was in the shotgun with Stacy at his side as Austin motioned into the slot behind Cook.

The Colts had their usual three down linemen with two linebackers at the line of scrimmage and the corners playing up on Quick and Cook with a single-high safety.

At the snap, the Colts rushed four with Stacy slipping into the right flat and Colts pass rusher Robert Mathis dipping to the inside. New Rams right guard Rodger Saffold quickly gets his feet back just in time to push Mathis off the path to Clemens, who slides to the right.

Meanwhile, Givens was running a dig route toward the middle of the field but quickly noticed Clemens being flushed from the pocket. Givens made a savvy move to run back toward the sideline as Clemens rolled that direction. While Stacy took linebacker Pat Angerer with him down the right sideline, Clemens had plenty of room to run to gain the first down.

Once again, though, Clemens showed plenty of faith in his arm and eschewed the easy first down in exchange for a bigger play. Givens created separation quickly and Clemens dropped in a perfect pass in stride to Givens who took it 35 yards before coming up just short of a touchdown at the Colts' 1.

Stacy scored on the next play to make it 14-0 but it was another prime example of Clemens not only extending a play with his legs but taking advantage when an opportunity for a big play presented itself.

Other observations: