The Detroit Lions lost 16 games in one season. The St. Louis Rams are on the verge of doing the same in one year.
It was on Oct. 19, 2008, that the Rams last won a game, 34-14 over the Dallas Cowboys. Since then, the Rams have lost 15 straight. This Sunday, at Jacksonville Municipal Stadium, the Jaguars will attempt to make it 16 and one of the principal players in the Jaguars' effort will be wide receiver Torry Holt, who also happens to be one of the great players in Rams and St. Louis football history.
Holt signed with the Jaguars last spring after having been cut by the Rams. The release of the popular Holt announced a rebuilding program under new coach Steve Spagnuolo.
"He had a great career there, a lot of great memories," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said of Holt. "I'm sure it'll be strange seeing the other uniform that he's worn all those years on the other sideline, but he's a pro. He's going to be ready to play. There's no question he had a tremendous career there. He did a lot of great things on and off the field. He's a future Hall of Fame guy."
The irony of Holt's move from the Rams to the Jaguars is that he moved from one rebuilding team to another. In St. Louis, he was cut to be replaced by a younger player. In Jacksonville, Holt was signed to help ease the transition to younger players.
Not too many years ago, Holt was the star receiver on a Rams team nicknamed "The Greatest Show on Turf." They were Super Bowl champions and Holt was a 1,600-yard receiver. Now, the Rams are on a 15-game losing streak and the team is seeking new ownership that'll stabilize the franchise's future.
How did they get from there to here?
"Well, you know, they're really not that bad. I've seen worse. If you watch them on tape, defensively they fly around. Offensively, two or three turnovers in the red zone against the Vikings, if they don't do that, that game changes and who knows what happens. I think it's a matter of them becoming a little more disciplined. I could be biased because it's my former team, but I can be that way. We're looking for them to come in with their ears pinned back and try to come in and get a win," Holt said.
Five games into his Jaguars career, Holt leads the team with 22 receptions for 306 yards. Clearly, he's not the player he was in his prime, but he still possesses a dependable pair of hands and an attitude that would be welcome in any locker room.
The Jaguars would like to develop some of Holt's consistency. The same team that blew out the Titans, 37-17, two weeks ago, was blown out in Seattle this past Sunday, 41-0.
"I don't think it has anything to do with a lack of talent or anything of that nature. I think it comes down to executing at critical times. We've lacked there," Holt said.
This Sunday's game will send the Jaguars into a bye week, which usually serves as motivation for teams to curry the coach's favor and be rewarded with an extra day or two off by scoring a victory. At 2-3, this is clearly a pivotal game in the middle of a favorable five-game stretch of schedule. The Jaguars clearly need to pile up some wins as a hedge against a stern finishing stretch of schedule.
"I expect a lot of emotions. I can't pinpoint one. Like I told the guys in St. Louis, I'm just going to ride the wave with those emotions. I have a lot of feelings for that organization and for that team and for those guys that are on that squad. Once we get between the lines, we've got to go out and play and try to win a ballgame. I'll be all in for that," Holt said.