Monday, October 24, 2016

NFL Thursday Night Football matchup: Tavon Austin vs. Charles Sims

Austin Sims

This week’s Thursday Night NFL match-up will feature Charles Sims and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers taking on Tavon Austin’s  Rams in St. Louis. Kickoff is slated for 8:30 PM EST on the NFL Network.  

Tampa Bay’s record sits at a somewhat surprising 6-7, while the Rams are a disappointing 5-8.  As for Sims and Austin both have sporadic but productive seasons thus far in 2015. The game will feature Nike’s “Color Rush” uniforms. Because the Buccaneers will all red and the Rams with don all yellow uniforms some have dubbed Thursday’s game as the “Condiment Bowl.” (Austin’s jersey looks suspiciously like his old WVU jersey)

Charles Sims, despite playing behind Doug Martin, has contributed in both the run game and passing game. Sims has carried the ball 92 times for 419 yards. Good for 4.6 yards a carry and putting him 12th in the NFL in that category. Sims has also caught 36 passes for 393 yards and three touchdowns.

Sims has emerged as the Bucs go-to back out of the backfield on third downs.  He has improved tremendously in the run game and has shown more confidence and better burst in year two.

Tavon Austin has also had a bounce back season for the Rams in 2015. Like Sims, Austin has contributed both carrying and catching the football.  Austin has carried the ball 39 times for 358 yards, an eye-popping 9.2 yards a carry. Austin also has three touchdowns on the ground to date. Through the air, Austin has hauled in 41 catches for 386 yards and four more scores.  Austin is still one the league’s most dangerous return men and has returned one punt for a touchdown in 2015.

Both West Virginia products should be factors Thursday night as both teams hope to keep their slim playoffs hopes alive. Keith Tandy will also play in the game for Tampa Bay.



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