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Tavon Austin never really lived up to expectations as the eighth overall pick in 2013 out of West Virginia. His speed was evident and he had the ability to impact the game as a runner, receiver and return specialist, but he was never able to put it all together and become a Pro Bowl talent.
He looked like one of the most electric players in the NFL on one Sunday afternoon as a rookie eight years ago when he torched the Colts for an incredible 314 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns. That was back in 2013 when the Rams, who were 7-point underdogs, stunned the Colts on the road, 38-8.
Here’s a breakdown of Austin’s stat line.
1 carry, 4 yards
2 catches, 138 yards, 2 TDs
1 kick return, 27 yards
4 punt returns, 145 yards, 1 TD
He had only eight touches, but those touches averaged 39.25 yards each. In a span of about 11 minutes of game time, Austin scored touchdowns of 98 yards (punt return), 57 yards (reception) and 81 yards (reception) to help put the Rams up 35-0 on the Colts.
— RAMS ON FILM (@RamsOnFilm) September 16, 2021
He became the first player in NFL history with a punt return touchdown of at least 95 yards and a touchdown reception of at least 55 yards in one game. That’s a record that will be difficult to break, considering how rare 95-yard punt returns are in the NFL.
Austin’s 314 all-purpose yards rank second in Rams history for a single game, behind only Flipper Anderson, who had 336 yards receiving (and somehow only one touchdown) back in 1989.
What’s most incredible about Austin’s performance is that he only played 23 total snaps in that game: 15 on offense and eight on special teams.
As forgettable as Austin’s time in St. Louis and Los Angeles was, Rams fans will surely never forget this performance by the former first-round pick.