Week Ten Game Notes: Colts 8, Rams 38

Michael Hickey

The Colts played the worst game of the Andrew Luck era and lost to the St. Louis Rams 38-8. They were awful all around.

We knew coming into this game that the St. Louis Rams were better than what their 3-6 record indicated.  But they aren't a good enough team to come into Indianapolis and destroy the Colts 38-8.  For that, the Rams needed help.  And the Colts certainly gave them all the help they needed.

I could basically just go through the entire roster and entire coaching staff list and tell you why each person was bad.  But instead, I'll just focus on some of the bigger things that went wrong.

  • The coaching staff was terrible today.  This team wasn't prepared and it showed.  I defended Chuck Pagano this past week, but not this week. This week, he gets no such defense from me.  Check back tonight or tomorrow morning for an article on that.  But here, in summary, is basically the fact that Chuck Pagano's team was unprepared and his defense was torched.  Pep Hamilton called a terrible game and his offense followed suit.  Perhaps the worst thing was that the coaches didn't make any in-game adjustments and the Rams just kept steamrolling the Colts.  It's very fair to wonder whether the Colts were looking ahead to their game this Thursday night against the Tennessee Titans.
  • Andrew Luck played his worst game as a pro today.  I'll have more on this in my weekly Andrew Luck recap on Wednesday morning after looking at the film, but it was clear just from the initial viewing that Luck was bad.  He overthrew many receivers and looked anxious and rattled.  He threw three interceptions, matching his season total through the first 8 games combined.  He was bad today.
  • On the slightly positive side, Andrew Luck got his 2nd 300+ yard passing day of the season and his 8th of his career, tying him for 3rd most 300+ yard passing days in Colts history.
  • Back to the negative - the Colts had 6 giveaways through the first 8 games of the season combined.  They had 5 today.
  • The Colts' offensive line was terrible today and completely overwhelmed by the Rams' good defensive front.  It was bad, and Andrew Luck had no time whatsoever to throw the ball.  When he did, he was errant.  Those two combined does not add up to a good offensive showing.
  • Trent Richardson carried the ball 5 times for just 2 yards, but you can't blame him for that.  The line gave him nowhere to go.
  • Andrew Luck rushed for 17 yards.  The rest of the team combined rushed for 1 yard.
  • T.Y. Hilton again had a good day, catching 7 passes for 130 yards.  But Pep Hamiton seemed to forget about him for much of the game.  On the first drive, Pep was getting him the ball in short passes and screen plays to get him in the open field, but after that it seemed the offensive coordinator forgot about him for the rest of the half.
  • Darrius Heyward-Bey is hurting this team way more than he is helping it.  I've held off from saying that for a while, but I can't any longer.  Maybe it's time to give LaVon Brazill a chance.  I'll have a more in-depth look at DHB this week as well.
  • Stanley Havili actually played well today.  Credit to him.  Shows that Pep's fullback strategy doesn't always work...
  • Jerrell Freeman played well today.  There's a positive.
  • Robert Mathis notched two sacks, brining his season total to 13.5, a new career high.  One of the biggest differences early on in this game was that the Rams got a lot of pressure from the whole team while the Colts only got pressure from Mathis.  He can't do it all by himself.  I would have liked to see Bjoern Werner get more playing time in a game like this that was a blowout, because it's clear that the Colts are going to need another pass rush threat if they want to make a playoff run.
  • David Reed is awful.  Absolutely, pathetically terrible.  Chuck Pagano needed to do more than just tell him to take a knee in the end zone - he needed to cut him at halftime.  The loudest cheers of the day for Colts fans came when Reed would take a knee for a touchback.  Hopefully he takes a hint.  The coaching staff has him back there because he's apparently a home run hitter, but I thought home run hitters were supposed to hit a home run sometimes?  I thought at least they were supposed to bat better than .000?  Because that's what Reed is doing right now.
  • Daniel Herron got very, very limited time but looked good.  He racked up the third most receiving yards of any Colts player, and he only caught one pass (went for 57).
  • Donald Brown.  Honestly, he keeps impressing so much.  He caught 5 passes for 64 yards and the lone touchdown for the Colts today.  He is having a great year.
  • I liked the Colts trying out LaVon Brazill as punt returner, and he looked promising at times.  It will be interesting to see what the Colts decide to do moving forward.
  • Give credit to the Rams' Tavon Austin: 1 rush for 4 yards, 2 catches for 138 yards and 2 touchdowns, 1 kickoff return for 27 yards, and 4 punt returns for 145 yards and a touchdown.  All combined, Austin had 8 total touches for 314 yards and 3 touchdowns.  In other words - he averaged nearly 40 yards ever time he touched the football and he scored nearly every other time he touched the football.  That's incredible.
  • Adam Vinatieri's streak of 146 consecutive regular season games of scoring at least one point came to an end today.  That streak went back to September 14, 2003.  Today, he never saw the field.
  • In the Andrew Luck era, the Colts have only given up more points than they did today (38) twice, and only one of them was Chuck Pagano on the sidelines for - his first ever game as a head coach.  This was the fewest point total (8) an Andrew Luck led offense has ever scored in the NFL.
  • The Colts play in just five days, on the road against the division rival Titans.  It doesn't get any easier, and the Colts don't have much time to fix the problems they had today.  In no way do I expect them to be this bad, but the Colts need to take this game as a reality check.
I just listed the basics.  Anything else you want to rant about?  Go ahead and do so in the comments - just keep it clean and appropriate.
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