GameScout: Rams at Colts

The game basics, factoids and some injury details from

KICKOFF: Monday, 9:00 ET

SURFACE: FieldTurf 
TV: ABC, Al Michaels, John Madden, Samantha Ryan 
SERIES: 41st meeting. Colts lead the series, 21-17-2. The teams have played only twice since the Rams moved to St. Louis in 1995. That season, the Rams traveled to Indianapolis with a 4-0 record and lost 21-18. RB Marshall Faulk, then with the Colts, scored three touchdowns and rushed for 177 yards on 19 carries in that game. In 2001, with the Rams on the way to the Super Bowl, they beat the Colts in St. Louis 42-17.

Rams: offense 2nd (23rd rush, 3rd pass); defense 26th (12th rush, 28th pass). 
Colts: offense 15th (17th rush, 14th pass); defense 7th (16th rush, 9th pass)

PREDICTION: Colts 30-24

Joe Vitt makes his debut as the interim Rams head coach for Mike Martz, and figures to get RB Stephen Jackson more carries. Martz is the mastermind behind the Rams' pass-heavy attack, but Vitt also has to be concerned about wearing down his defense. St. Louis has allowed an average of 9.0 and 7.9 yards on first down in its past two losses, and the Rams' depleted secondary will be overmatched against the Colts' deep receiving corps. That means the Rams can't afford to have many offensive drives that end without points. 

The Colts have allowed just 29 points in five games, but have yet to face an offense ranked higher than 14th. It's important that the Rams pick up positive yards on early downs to avoid long passing situations in which Colts DEs Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis, who will be working against rookie RT Alex Barron, can pin their ears back and come after QB Marc Bulger.

 Rams: Bulger passed 11,000 career passing yards in his 41st games, second fastest all-time behind former teammate Kurt Warner. ... RB Marshall Faulk needs 41 rushing yards to pass Franco Harris (12,120) for 10th place all-time. 

Colts: Their seven-game home winning streak is the longest since moving to Indianapolis in 1984. ... QB Peyton Manning has a career passer rating of 104.9 in 29 games against NFC teams.

--FS Mike Furrey, a former Colt, who was switched to the position in the off-season from wide receiver, will start Monday night against Indianapolis after the 
release of FS Michael Hawthorne.
--WR Torry Holt did not practice Thursday because of a knee injury. He remains questionable on the injury report.
--CB DeJuan Groce did not practice Thursday because of a hamstring injury and is questionable for Monday's game against the Colts.
--DE Leonard Little said he will play Monday night despite a back injury. Little did not practice Thursday and is listed as probable on the injury report.
--WR Isaac Bruce, who has missed the last two games with a toe injury, remains doubtful for this week, and missed at least some of the team's 11-on-11 drills on Friday..
--G Claude Terrell was added to the injury report Thursday because of an injury to his shin. Terrell did not practice Thursday.

--CB Joseph Jefferson (turf toe) is listed as doubtful but is hoping to be available for practice on Friday. Jefferson has missed the last four weeks. 
--LB Keith O'Neil (shoulder) did not practice Thursday and is listed as questionable for the Rams game. O'Neil suffered a dislocated right 
shoulder against San Francisco. 
--DT Vincent "Sweet Pea" Burns (knee) did not practice Thursday. Burns returned to practice last week after sitting out the first four regular season games with medial collateral ligament damage in his right knee. He was inactive for the 49ers game. 
--LB Gilbert Gardner (ankle) practiced Thursday and may be able to play Monday night. Louis. Gardner has yet to play in a regular-season game after suffering a high right ankle sprain in the final preseason game at Cincinnati. 
--RB James Mungro (knee) is questionable and probably won't be available for the Rams game. Mungro incurred a sprained right knee against Jacksonville four weeks ago. 
--S Bob Sanders (biceps) practiced Thursday and expects to play Monday night. Sanders suffered a left biceps injury at San Francisco last week. 
--TE Ben Utecht (chest/ribs), although listed as questionable, participated in Thursday's workout. Utecht may be cleared to play against the Rams. 
--LB Cato June (knee) practiced Thursday and will start.
--G Jake Scott (knee) will be in the starting lineup after practicing Thursday.
--G Ryan Lilja (neck) is probable and will play against the Rams. Lilja practiced Thursday. 
--DE Josh Thomas (knee) practiced Thursday and will be available for the game. Thomas has been nursing a sore right knee all season.
--LB David Thornton (groin) went through a full practice and will start against the Rams. Thornton has been bothered by a sore groin since
he intially incurred the injury at Baltimore in the season opener.

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