INDIANAPOLIS -- This is what the entire city of St. Louis has been waiting for with rookie receiver Tavon Austin. The speed. The playmaking ability.
Austin scored three touchdowns against the Colts - the first Ram to do that since Steven Jackson five years ago - with two coming on offense and one via the punt return. Among the notes from Austin’s big day:
· His 145 punt return yards are the second most in a single game in franchise history.
· Austin is the first Rams player with two TDs of 57-plus yards in a game since Torry Holt in 2000 (ESPN)
· He had 314 all-purpose yards (145 punt return, 138 receiving, 27 kickoff, 4 rushing)
· He’s just the third player in NFL history to have three touchdowns of 55 yards or longer in a game (Elias)
Austin has to be feeling pretty good about himself after a game like that, don’t you think?
“I mean definitely. That’s anybody. I’m just glad that my opportunity came. The coaches and players trust in me, and I’m glad we got the win,” Austin said.
His most electric play was his 98-yard punt return for a touchdown in the first half where he scooped the ball up at the two after waving all of teammates off. What exactly what he thinking doing that?
“Oh it was definitely a last minute decision,” Austin admitted. “I waved them all off there. I should have caught the ball and had good field position on the 10-yard line. I let it bounce, so I just had to make a split decision, went with my instincts, and I just made a play.”
And what were his teammates thinking?
“I think we were all like, ‘No, don’t do it. Don’t do it.’ And then we’re all like ‘Ya, ya, ya, ya’. It was right. He did a good job,” Jared Cook said.
“Take it to the crib. If you’re going to do that and pick it up you better take it to the crib,” Chris Givens said.
Either way, it was a huge coming out party for Austin. Rams fans can only hope it’s a prelude to more great days like this.