The 6-2 Colts were facing the 3-6 Rams. Playing at home, it seemed like the Colts would get their seventh win of the season.
Well, not exactly.
By now, you probably know what happened and most importantly, how bad it was. So let’s take a look at the Colts’ three units and see how they performed against the Rams, while also picking the best player on both offense and defense.
The Colts started at their own 35. They got a first down after an offside penalty and soon they were in Rams’ territory. After that, to put it nicely, it all went to hell.
On 3rd and 13, Luck got hit by Robert Quinn, lost the ball and the Rams recovered it and took it to the end zone to make it 7-0.
Their next two drives ended on three and outs.
After a recovered fumble by the defense, the Colts started at their own eight. On 3rd and 10, Pep Hamilton called a FB draw. That’s right, A FB DRAW. The crowd booed the play, but they didn’t boo it enough. It was a horrible call by the OC. It wasn’t a 3rd and 20 or something. It was 3rd and 10! And he decides to use the FB! Unbelievable.
So, that’s the third straight three and out for the Colts.
On their next drive, they moved the ball well and got near midfield. On third down, Luck threw a long pass to Coby Fleener. The defender hit him before the TE had a chance to catch it, so the refs threw a flag for pass interference. For some reason, though, the refs picked it up. It would’ve put the Colts near the Rams’ 30-yd line. Instead, the Colts had to punt.
Their next two drives also finished in punts. If you’re counting, that makes it six straight drives that ended in punts. Six.
The offense looked better at the start of the second half. Luck threw a deep ball to Hilton who made the catch. Hilton was at the 30, 25, 20, and just when he was getting to the 15, he tripped. It wasn’t a bad play but it could’ve been a lot better. It was just that kind of game for Indy. The drive would finish with an INT in the end zone. Luck tried to find Darrius Heyward-Bey but he was well covered by two players. It was just a bad choice by the Colts’ QB.
The Colts weren’t any better after that, as Luck threw his second INT of the game. It was another bad throw that was easily intercepted by James Laurinaitis.
On their next drive, the Colts would score their only points of the game. They moved the ball well, and finished the drive with a 12-yd throw to Donald Brown for the TD. Luck found threw it to Fleener to get the two-point conversion.
Things got a bit better after that. Again, the Colts found a way to get inside the Rams’ 5. After a pass interference penalty, the Colts faced a 1st and goal on the one. Instead of trying to run it on first down, they decided to throw it. Luck got sacked for a 9-yard loss. Luck would try run it in on fourth down but was inches shy of the end zone.
Their next drive was even worse. The Colts got to the red zone again only to get intercepted again after a tipped pass in the end zone. That was Luck’s third INT and his final play of the game as he got pulled after that pick.
It was a pathetic game for the offense. Andrew Luck had probably the worst game of his young career. He finished with 29/47, 353 yards and a score, but also three INTs. He sailed his passes all game long and made a couple of bad choices. He has struggled a lot without Reggie Wayne.
There’s not much to say about the running game since it was virtually non-existent. Richardson and Brown finished with 1 yard combined on 7 carries.
About Pep Hamilton, probably that FB draw on 3rd and 10 and not trying to run it on 1st and goal at the one says it all.
This was probably the Colts’ worst game ever playing at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Offensive player of the game: Donald Brown
Brown only got two carries, but also caught 5 passes for 64 yards and the Colts’ only score of the game.
Editor’s note: I’m just throwing this in here b/c I don’t want it to go unnoticed: Hilton had 134 yards on seven passes. No issues w/ Marco giving the award to Brown, but good game for Hilton outside of the trip. He’s the clear No. 1 with Wayne out.- KJR
The defense started strong. Robert Mathis sacked Kellen Clemens and the Rams had no choice but to punt on their first drive.
Mathis would get another sack on the Rams’ next drive, but that didn’t stop the Rams from getting near the Colts end zone. Luckily, the Rams fumbled the ball after a bad handoff from Clemens. Indy recovered, keeping the score 7-0.
Sadly, it only went downhill after that recovered fumble.
On their next drive, the Rams would make it 14-0 on a 1-yd carry by Zac Stacy.
The defense saw the field again with the score 21-0 and they did very little to keep it that way. Clemens threw a 57-yd pass to Tavon Austin to make it 28-0. Vontae Davis was “covering” the WR, but his effort was simply pathetic. Not sure if he’s hurt or anything but he barely tried to run on that play.
The second half didn’t change a thing. On 3rd and 9 from their own 19, Clemens threw a short pass to a wide-open Austin who would score another TD (his third of the game) to make it 35-0. Who was covering him? Yes. Vontae Davis. Last week it was Andre Johnson. Now, it was Tavon Austin.
The Rams scored a FG to make it 38-0. Fortunately, that was their final score of the game.
There’s not much to say here. The defense didn’t play well, especially Vontae Davis, whom Tavon Austin destroyed twice to score two long TDs (57 and 81 yd-TDs).
Other than Mathis’ two sacks, they did very little to stop the Rams. To be fair, they got little help from the offense but you just can’t allow 24 points on defense playing at home against Kellen Clemens.
Defensive player of the game: Robert Mathis
Robert Mathis finished the game with 4 tackles and 2 sacks (13.5 for the season). Unfortunately, the Rams threw the ball 16 times and since they finished the first half with a 28-0 lead, Mathis eventually disappeared from the game. Still, no other player was even close to getting this award.
It was a long day for the special teams.
Pat McAfee finished the game with 6 punts. On the other hand, Adam Vinatieri couldn’t do a single thing in the entire game. No field goals, no extra points, nothing.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest plays of the game was a punt return for a TD by Tavon Austin. That put the game 21-0. Austin let the ball bounce and after finding himself with a bit of space to run, he picked it up and returned it 98 yards for a TD. That just can’t happen.
The most notorious player on STs was David Reed and not in a good way. He tried to return the ball in almost every kickoff. It didn’t matter if the ball was nine yards deep inside the end zone. And even after poor result, he didn’t learn until late in the game.
Fortunately for Reed, he also got the biggest cheer of the game. He didn’t score a TD or had a decent return. No. He just took a knee. That’s how bad it was.
After the game, Pagano addressed the issue, saying that all those dumb returns were a “matter of poor communication” and “poor execution”. He forgot “poor coaching”. I’m not sure how hard can it be for Chuck to tell Reed “STOP DOING THAT!” but whatever.
First game in awhile I haven't been able to watch the whole game. I watched all of the texans game, but changed this at every miserable turn. We better about-face for the Titans game.
If Pep Hamilton calls for a Richardson run on the 1st and goal, and he get's stuffed or loses yardage, I can hear the choruses of "Why do they think we're a running team, we can't run. We should give Luck the ball he's our best player". I don't love Hamilton's play calling all the time by any mean, but I think at this point he can't win with the fans...
I think you graded them too highly in all three phases.
I would give the defense a G(ardner)
I would give the offense a U(goh)
And I would give special teams a V(anderjagt)
Got to be practical. This is a team 2 years removed from 2-14. We've lost several starters we could not afford to lose. Bad game for the defense but I'm OK where they are going. Must improve interior OL and get a #2 receiver next year. We'll win the AFC South but "best in class" is still in the future. We must keep Luck unharmed; physically and mentally = roll himout of the pocket please and go back to pass sets up run like last year. I like the run first strategy but we simply don'y have the horses Chuck!!!
Color me bad, but I'm not sure the units all deserved F's. They lost emphatically but it seems like the Linebackers did okay. The run game for the Rams did not do well. Fleener had no drops that I could remember (nothing obvious). A few of the receivers got open and Luck overthrew them, but they were open. Whalen got hit hard but held onto the ball and jogged off the field. Brown had a couple of strong, nasty runs.
No question there were a ton of bad things but some bright spots as well.
@bjg actually, first and goal from the 1 is *exactly* the kind of runs that have been successful with this line, Richardson, and the Power Run set. The complaint is that Pep wants to use that from first and 10 on the 40, instead of first and goal from the 1 - while taking 9-yard dropback passes in the latter situation instead of the former.
Even *this* line, given four downs, would almost assuredly have allowed Richardson to score from the one. And if not? At *least* it would have been the right play call for the situation.
But there have been *many* similar goal-to-go situations where Pep goes to a pass play, instead of letting Richardson pound it.
@buymymonkey I agree. Luck and the OL were the one's with the horrible day. I'm really starting to wonder if it is Luck's fault that the Colts start so slowly.
Although, the opposite would also apply. ie look how bad the Colts are when Luck is ordinary.