Holt's ninth 100-yard game ties team record

Monday, December 15, 2003

ST. LOUIS -- After hobbling out of Sunday's game with a sprained ankle in the second quarter, Isaac Bruce fully expected Seattle would squeeze fellow Rams wideout Torry Holt.

"I was expecting the defense to pretty much roll toward him, but they didn't do it," Bruce said. "He ended up hurting them."

Pressing his pursuit of team records, Holt finished with six catches for 100 yards -- 40 coming on a second-quarter touchdown pass from Marc Bulger -- as the Rams edged the Seahawks 27-22 for their sixth win in a row and third NFC West title in five years.

Holt's 100-yard effort was his ninth this season, tying him with Bruce for the team record in what already had been Holt's finest NFL season since he burst into the league in 1999.

Holt, who entered Sunday's game as the NFL's leading receiver, has 102 catches this season for 1,518 yards and 11 touchdowns, making his case for the league's offensive player of the year.

With games still remaining against Cincinnati and Detroit, Holt needs 17 catches and 263 yards to tie Bruce's 8-year-old team records for catches and yardage in a season. Holt had 1,635 receiving yards in 2000, when Bruce had 1,471.

To Rams coach Mike Martz, Holt "has always been a terrific player" who rises to any occasion, this time after Bruce limped off with just two catches for 43 yards, including an 18-yard TD catch that put the Rams ahead 24-3 with 1:10 left in the first quarter.

Holt's shoestring touchdown grab was his first in four games for the Rams (11-3).

"Torry has some big shoulders, and obviously he makes some big plays and you have to have him," Martz said. "Right now, he's on a different level."

Holt takes it all in stride, saying the season is "kind of going the way I planned it."

"I hadn't had a chance to sit back and think about what I have done individually," he said as half of one of the NFL's top receiving tandems. "It's great to have my first 100-ball season. I hope I can continue to build on it."

Gawdy numbers aside, Holt won't talk smack.

"I just let my actions do the talking for me," says Holt, who last season had 91 catches. "I don't get caught up in all that jibber-jabber."

After Bruce's departure Sunday, Holt pulled aside St. Louis' young receivers.

"I said, 'Hey, we've got a soldier down,'" Holt said he told Dane Looker, Mike Furrey and others. "'We've got to step up and make some plays."'

And they did. Furrey finished with four catches for 45 yards, Looker had three grabs for 30 yards.

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