Moss-Holt form statistical rarity for Pats

Based on the patience Bill Belichick showed with Joey Galloway last summer, we can assume Torry Holt won't ruin his chances of dressing for the New England Patriots on opening day.

When that happens, the Patriots will field the most prolific receiving duo in NFL history that didn't include Jerry Rice.

Holt and Patriots receiver Randy Moss will be only the second pair of teammates to enter a season with at least 900 receptions, the Elias Sports Bureau found. The only others to do it were Rice and Tim Brown for the Oakland Raiders in 2002 and 2003.

To further illustrate how rare it is for a team to have two receivers with such gaudy numbers, no other duo has opened a season with at least 800 catches apiece.

Moss ranks 10th on the NFL's all-time receptions list with 926. Holt is one place and six catches behind him, giving them a total of 1,846.

"You’re talking about playing with some of the most prolific offensive football players that the National Football League has," Holt said upon joining the Patriots. "To have the opportunity to fit in with those guys, to learn the offense, I think the sky’s the limit."

But they would have to stick together several more seasons to break the record. Rice and Brown started 2003 with 2,474 receptions.

As reader LFR2010 pointed out in the comments section, Moss and Holt will be a combined 67 years old when the season starts.

While that might sound ancient to some, Rice and Brown totaled 76 years at the start of 2002. That year, Rice went to the Pro Bowl with 92 catches for 1,211 yards, while Brown had 81 receptions for 930 yards. The Raiders won the AFC West and went to the Super Bowl.