2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Austin takes big step as Rams blow out Colts 38-8

By MICHAEL MAROT - AP Sports Writer
    2013-11-11 02:58

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - The Rams drafted Tavon Austin to be their game-changer.

He's finally starting to play like it.

On Sunday, Austin accounted for 310 combined yards returning and receiving, scored three touchdowns and led the reeling Rams to a stunning 38-8 victory at Indianapolis. It was the Colts' worst home loss in two decades.

''I know I have a big role on this team, as far as special teams,'' Austin said. ''Right now I'm just waiting for opportunities and trying to keep making plays.''

He's likely to start seeing the ball a lot more after turning the Colts game tape into his own personal highlight reel.

The rookie receiver raced right past Vontae Davis for a 57-yard score in the first half and cut right through the Colts defense for an 81-yard TD catch in the second half. Those were his only two catches of the day, giving him 138 yards and matching the two TD catches he had in St. Louis' first nine games.

But the turning point came on one of the strangest plays of the season - as Austin duped the Colts into positioning themselves to down a punt inside the Rams' 5-yard line and then grabbing the bouncing ball at his own 2. The Colts (6-3) were caught napping and Austin made them pay with 98-yard sprint down the sideline to give the Rams a 21-0 lead.

The Rams were not surprised.

''He has the chance to change games,'' Fisher said. ''We're just going to keep working to get him the football.''

Austin now has two weeks to tune up for Chicago.

Here are five other things we learned from Sunday's game.

LIFE WITHOUT REGGIE: No quarterback in the league may miss his favorite receiver more than Andrew Luck. Yes, Luck finished with good numbers 29 of 47 for 353 yards, though most of that production came after the Colts trailed 38-0. Luck also was sacked three times and picked off three times. The bigger concern is that Indy's offense has struggled terribly in their first two games without Reggie Wayne - and that has to be fixed.

PRESSURE PACKED: If anyone doubted St. Louis' pass rush, they shouldn't now. Luck was under constant duress Sunday, and even when he tried to scramble out of harm's way, the Rams' inside pass rushers didn't let him escape. The result: Indy rushed just 14 times for 18 yards, and Luck who routinely seems to make something out of nothing, managed four carries for 17 yards.

COMEBACK KING: Luck has been terrific in the clutch, leading 10 fourth-quarter comebacks in his first 25 NFL games. But the Colts would prefer to not need his fourth-quarter magic and that means they must do more early. Luck was sacked and stripped of the ball on the sixth play of the game, a turnover Chris Long returned 45 yards for a TD. The defense and special teams gave up four more touchdowns over the next 28 1/2 minutes, digging themselves into a 35-0 deficit that even the masterful Luck couldn't recover from. It's time to end the slow starts.

NEVER GIVE UP: Yes, the Rams fate seemed doomed when they lost quarterback Sam Bradford with a season-ending knee injury and then lost three straight games. But even in the rugged NFC West, the Rams believe they can still reach the playoffs - and if Austin continues to play this way, they might. Bradford's replacement, Kellen Clemens, went 9 of 16 for 247 yards with two TDs and no interceptions. The scoring passes to Austin were the two longest completions of Clemens' eight-year NFL career.

PERSPECTIVE: While there were plenty of boos inside Lucas Oil Stadium, and rightly so, Colts fans saved their loudest ovation for something more meaningful - the return of an American soldier from Afghanistan. Fans overwhelmingly cheered when Army First Sergeant Jeremy Inocencio hugged his wife and children in the most poignant moment of the day.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

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Jimmy StatenNov 26 09:43p

The Seattle Seahawks signed free-agent DT Jimmy Staten (Seahawks) to their practice squad Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also released OT Andrew McDonald from their practice squad.

Marcus ThigpenNov 26 09:03p

The Buffalo Bills claimed WR Marcus Thigpen off waivers from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Wednesday, Nov. 26. The team also waived DE Bryan Johnson.

Richard GordonNov 26 09:03p

The Tennessee Titans waived TE Richard Gordon Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 26 08:33p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Dwayne AllenNov 26 07:33p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

C. PattersonNov 26 06:23p

Minnesota Vikings WR Cordarrelle Patterson (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jerick McKinnonNov 26 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) did not practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Brandon LaFellNov 26 06:03p

New England Patriots WR Brandon LaFell (shoulder) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 26.

Jace AmaroNov 26 05:13p

New York Jets TE Jace Amaro (head) is not expected to play in Week 13, because he is going through the concussion protocol.

Reggie BushNov 26 04:53p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle, back) was limited in practice for the third straight day Wednesday, Nov. 26, and is questionable for Week 13 against the Chicago Bears.

Jordan CameronNov 26 04:43p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) remains day-to-day, but the team is looking for him to practice symptom-free this week, according to head coach Mike Pettine.

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