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Holt expects Seattle to allow more room than the Chiefs did
By Bill Coats
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
The first half was over last Sunday, the Rams were trailing Kansas City by two touchdowns, and wide receiver Torry Holt was getting anxious.
"Oh, yeah, without a doubt," he said. "I wouldn't be a competitor, I wouldn't belong on the football field, it I didn't feel a little antsy or wonder what's going on."
At that point, Holt didn't have a reception. For a five-time Pro Bowler who has caught at least one pass in 113 consecutive games, a streak that extends to the fourth game of his rookie season in 1999, that's territory rarely traveled.
The Chiefs, who could afford to be cautious after rolling up an early 17-0 lead in the second quarter, "basically played a prevent defense the whole game," Rams coach Scott Linehan pointed out.
By dropping both safeties deep on every play but one, the Chiefs kept Holt and fellow wideout Isaac Bruce from doing significant damage en route to a 31-17 KC win. Holt had three second-half catches for 50 yards.
"We understand that we need to get (Holt) the ball because he's such a good playmaker," quarterback Marc Bulger said. "But at the same time, if it's not there, I'm not going to force it in there."
The gap was filled by running back Steven Jackson. He not only rushed for 86 yards but grabbed 13 receptions for 133 yards, as the Rams exploited the wide-open spaces underneath the deep coverage.
After piling up 37 catches, 526 yards and seven touchdowns in the first six games, Holt figured he'd start getting more attention from defenses.
"I understand there's going to be some games like that; hopefully, there won't be a lot of them," Holt said. "When it's going that way, I just have to focus in on other areas where I can help out, and that's blocking, being the best decoy route-runner that I can be, different things like that."
Still, Holt surmised that the Seahawks, the Rams' foe Sunday in Seattle, aren't likely to copy the Chiefs.
"They're going to pretty much play you straight up," he said. "So this is a game where all the receivers, as well as the backs, should get some opportunities to make some plays in the open field."
All the better to get Holt back on pace for a seventh successive season with more than 1,300 receiving yards. At the midway mark, he has 614 yards on 45 receptions.
"That is one of my goals, 1,300 yards. Also, 90-plus catches and 10-plus touchdowns," Holt said. "But I've been in this position before. My thing is just to play hard, try to get us back in the win column, and try to get us in position for postseason play."
Tinoisamoa to play
Linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa remained questionable on the injury report Friday. Still, Linehan not only expects him to play, he also plans to start him.
"He looks just fine," Linehan said. "Unless something changes between now and then, I think there will be no reason he won't start."
Tinoisamoa has missed two games with a broken left hand. Veteran Dexter Coakley started in his place on the weak side.
Defensive end Leonard Little (knee), safety Jerome Carter (elbow) and linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski (hip) were still probable. Linehan said all three would play.
Linehan also indicated that newly acquired running back Kay-Jay Harris would suit up Sunday. It would mark the first regular-season game for Harris in his two NFL seasons.