Rams receiver Torry Holt said an official used the video scoreboard to call a penalty yesterday, taking away St. Louis' biggest play of the second half against the Seattle Seahawks.

After the last-play, 23-20 loss to the Seahawks (3-11), Holt said the official called pass interference after watching the replay in the third quarter.

"He said he looked up in the Jumbotron and saw that I pushed off," said Holt, who is in his 10th year with the Rams (2-12).

"I told him I never extended my arm. It is one thing if you extended, because that is pass interference. But everything was in motion catching the football. I don't even know if I had my hands on the guy.

"That was his explanation, and I told him it was a bad call."

With the host Rams leading by 17-13 with 4 minutes, 40 seconds left in the third quarter, St. Louis took possession on its 20 and moved to the Seattle 46. On second down, Marc Bulger threw a strike down the right sideline that Holt caught at the 26 against cornerback Marcus Trufant.

The play was brought back on the penalty, pushing the Rams to their 44. St. Louis moved the ball to the Seattle 29 and settled for a field goal with 11:09 remaining. The Seahawks trailed only by 20-13 and were still in the game.

Rams coach Jim Haslett said he was "not going to touch" the official's decision.

"That is a young guy over there, a rookie referee," Haslett said. "I am not sure what he saw, but obviously he thought it was pass interference, and we have to live with it. If that is what he called, then that is what he called."

Rookie coaches on rise.

It was a great day for rookie head coaches in Atlanta and Miami.

The Falcons beat Tampa Bay, 13-10, in overtime to stay in the NFC wild-card race at 9-5 in their first season under coach Mike Smith. They also clinched their first winning season since 2004.

The Dolphins beat San Francisco, 14-9, in what is becoming an epic season under coach Tony Sparano.

Surprising Miami (9-5) won for the seventh time in eight games. The Dolphins can earn their first playoff berth since 2001 by sweeping their final two games, which would be a remarkable achievement for a team that went 1-15 last year.


Raider Nation is an awful place to be this season. In fact, it has been six years since Oakland fans have had anything to cheer about.

Oakland (3-11) fell behind by 35-14 less than 18 minutes into the game against New England yesterday, allowing the most first-half points against a Raiders team since the merger in 1970.

The 49-26 loss made the Raiders the first team ever to lose at least 11 games in six straight seasons.

Slaton owns Tennessee.

Houston's Steve Slaton seems to have Tennessee's number. The rookie running back had 24 carries for 100 yards as the Texans upset the AFC South leaders, 13-12.

Slaton, a graduate of Conwell-Egan High, rushed for 116 yards in the teams' first meeting. He is the only player to run for more than 100 yards against the Titans (12-2) this season.

Eliminated from playoff contention, the Texans (7-7) are shooting for the first winning season in franchise history. Houston entered the league in 2002.

Andre Johnson had eight catches for 154 yards before halftime and finished with 207 yards and a touchdown. It was the most first-half yards receiving in the NFL this season. Johnson has a career-high 1,408 yards receiving this season.