- Nick Wagoner, ESPN Staff Writer
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Tavon Time: Rookie receiver/returner Tavon Austin is one of the biggest storylines in the league, let alone for the Rams, coming out of this one. He had 314 all-purpose yards in a breakthrough performance.
Austin’s efforts nearly single-handedly put the Colts away and gave the Rams a much-needed big-play element that has been sorely lacking this season, and for the better part of the past decade.
Still only 10 games into his rookie season, Austin has plenty of room to improve. Though it’s unlikely he’ll be able to repeat Sunday’s effort on a regular basis, giving opponents the knowledge he can should help open things up for others.
As efficient as it gets: Since he took over as the starter three weeks ago, quarterback Kellen Clemens has never been asked to throw the ball all over the field. There were no expectations of monster statistical games.
No, the Rams want Clemens to take care of the ball, manage games and make plays when the opportunity arises. Well, they couldn’t have asked for much more than what he did Sunday.
Clemens posted the first triple-digit quarterback rating of his career at 140.6 as he threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns while completing only nine passes. More impressive was the damage Clemens did on third down, where he completed 7 of 9 for 229 yards, two touchdowns and six first downs.
St. Louis would gladly take six more performances like that from Clemens to close out the season.
Saffold stands in: Rodger Saffold made his first career start at right guard Sunday in place of injured starter Harvey Dahl. According to Saffold, it was his first start inside since he was a seventh grader in Ohio.
With only a week to get acclimated to the position, Saffold acquitted himself pretty well. Coach Jeff Fisher was pleased with Saffold’s performance at first glance, and Saffold said he felt surprisingly comfortable given his relative lack of experience inside.
In their ongoing effort to put the five best linemen on the field at the same time, don’t be surprised if the Saffold-at-guard experiment continues.
Win with Quinn: Defensive end Robert Quinn got Sunday’s win started with a big play when he sacked Colts quarterback Andrew Luck and forced a fumble. Chris Long recovered the fumble and scored the first touchdown of his career.
Later, Quinn would add another sack, and was his usual disruptive self the rest of the game. Quinn has 12 sacks and five forced fumbles this season.
Quinn has made it crystal clear that he’s the Rams’ best and most productive player, but with each passing week, he’s making a stronger case that his name needs to be in the mix among greater honors, such as defensive player of the year.