Consistent Holt earns league honor for big game vs. Seattle

Friday, October 20, 2006

ST. LOUIS -- Sometimes, Torry Holt amazes even himself.

The eighth-year St. Louis Rams receiver can get overlooked when talk turns to the great receivers in the league.

Yet it is Holt who, with 154 yards receiving and three touchdowns in last Sunday's 30-28 loss to Seattle, reached 10,000 yards faster than anyone in NFL history.

His effort Sunday resulted in Holt earning the league's player of the week honor.

"He never ceases to amaze me," said first-year coach Scott Linehan, whose Rams are 4-2 entering a bye this weekend. "He's one of the best I've ever seen."

Holt's latest catch, a would-be game-winner before Seattle responded with a field goal on the final play, impressed even the guy who caught it.

Down 27-21 in the closing moments, Marc Bulger threw a long pass deep down the middle. Holt reached high above Seattle's Michael Boulware, tipped the ball forward, tipped it again, juggled it briefly, then hauled it in for a 67-yard score.

"It's like wow, this kid may have a job in the NFL," Holt said. "But, with the loss, it kind of gets overlooked. But that's fine.

"I call it a lot of luck. Any time you make a play like that, you're in total shock. I'm in total shock and total awe right now."

Linehan said the catch "rates up there with one of the all-time greatest concentration catches I've ever seen."

Holt penned his own "Big Game" nickname soon after his arrival as a first-round pick out of North Carolina State in 1999. Teaming with Isaac Bruce, the tandem helped lead the Rams to that season's Super Bowl championship, 23-16 over Tennessee, and back to the Super Bowl two years later, where they lost 20-17 to New England.

In 116 career games, Holt has 656 catches for 10,013 yards and 61 touchdowns. He's been selected to the Pro Bowl five times.

For a 6-foot, 190-pound receiver, Holt has been remarkably healthy. He's missed just two games -- both in 2005 -- due to injury.

And he's been consistent. After making 52 catches for 788 yards his rookie season, Holt has caught at least 81 passes every year since, with a high of 117 in 2003. He's also topped 1,300 yards receiving every season since 1999, becoming the first player ever with six straight 1,300-yard seasons. In 2000, he averaged a stunning 19.9 yards per catch.

This season, he's third in the league in yards receiving (526), fifth in receptions (37), seventh in scoring (42 points), and leads all receivers with seven touchdown catches.

Holt already is moving high up on some impressive lists among receivers. He already ranks third in team history in receptions and yards receiving. His three TDs on Sunday, a single-game high for Holt, moved him past Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson for ninth place on the Rams' all-time scoring list. He has caught at least one pass in 111 straight games, the longest streak in franchise history.

And, at 30, he clearly is in his prime.

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