Has Moss been a decoy?

I know NFL people would scoff at that notion, but the same people scoffed when I suggested to them that Laurence Maroney might emerge as a serious force down the stretch, particularly in the playoffs. The Patriots, they said, are a passing team all-around now, and they will not change what they do in the post-season.

Well, they did change what they did in the playofffs. During the season, QB Tom Brady attempted 36 passes per game, yet in the playoffs he’s attempted only 33 and 28 passes. Maroney averaed only 14 rushes per game in his 13 games, yet in the playoffs he’s rushed 22 and 25 times. His stat lines in their two games have been almost identical: 22/122/1 and 25/122/1.

Meanwhile, Moss, who averaged a whopping 6/93/1.4 per game during the regular season, is averaging a miniscule 1/16 per game in their two preseason games.

If it was just like the Patriots to basically ignore Maroney during the season only to turn to him in the playoffs, then my theory on Moss makes some sense. I’m not saying they’ve ignored Moss the last two games, and the Jags and Chargers did do a good job covering him these last two weeks. But I think the Pats are “OK” with Moss being a non-factor in their two playoff games. The Giants will certainly pay a lot of attention to Moss in the Super Bowl, but you have to think they’ll be more concerned than usual with Wes Welker, Kevin Faulk, Ben Watson, and Jabar Gaffney.

And that is why I think Moss, typically at his best when the spotlight is on him, will shine one week from Sunday.

Category: Fantasy Football


8 Responses

  1. tpwaller says:

    Tom Brady was always a steady Fantasy Football performer throwing 24-28 TDs a season. It was nice.

    Once Randy Moss came into the picture, Tom Brady throws over 50 TD in a season and becomes the league’s MVP.

    The QB gets all the credit, but Brady never put up these numbers before Randy Moss.

    I’m shocked none of the Fantasy Football writers or magazines even put Randy Moss in the top 10 WRs this past season. How hard would it have been to rank him higher than Javon Walker or Chad Johnson or Steve SMith?

  2. jbeau says:

    Giants CBs won’t be able to keep up with Moss on a good surface in nice weather. I look for a 50 yd TD early from Moss, and then Welker shines cause they double Moss the rest of the way.

  3. PackFan says:

    Moss screwed the Raiders by giving them a couple of years of bad attitude and little effort, for which he was paid millions. When he arrived in New England he rarely played in the pre-season, so who outside that organization really knew just how much he had left in the tank? The only sign that I could see that maybe things would turn around for him is that he took a whopping big pay cut to join the Patriots, but that was no sure-fire indicator either.

    Randy might be a free agent, but just how many teams are going to be willing to shell out big dollars for this cat? Are they going to get the Good Randy or the Bad Randy? I don’t think he’s much of a leader, but he does seem to compliment good players very well-they seem to bring out the best in him, so my guess is he stays with the Patriots … unless his girlfriend problems somehow wind up costing him big big dollars, forcing him to go to the highest bidder.

  4. tpwaller says:

    PackFan, you have a point about the pre-season, but a lot of players with attitudes have come to NE and performed well. Corey Dillon was a perfect example.

    Truth is Randy Moss makes everyone around him look great. What’s Daunte Culpepper or Nate Burleson or Mewelde Moore done without the entire defense worrying about Randy Moss’ deep threat? Nothing.

    I’m a huge fan of Wes Welker, but defenses are more concerned about Moss and that opens up Wes Welker.

  5. PackFan says:

    No question about it, Randy has to be accounted for on every play, and that makes his Patriot teammates even more dangerous – but I don’t think we can say the same about his days in Oakland – I don’t think he made anybody better out there. He was just another guy. So his recent track record overshadowed the fact that he became a Patriot over the summer – after all, they got him for what – a fourth round pick? Who really knew what was to come?

    But these days, New England seems to be a magical place. Randy seems to have fit right in, and look at the year he’s had. In our league, I could have picked up Moss as late as the 4th round, and in hindsight it should have been a no-brainer. But hindsight is 20-20. Oh Well.

    I wouldn’t be suprised if Randy Moss had a monster game Sunday – maybe even wins the MVP, gets the new car, and goes to Disneyland. At the same time, I wonder what kind of year he would have had at Oakland had he not been traded. Maybe 3 TDs?

  6. jbeau says:

    PackFan… the atmosphere around Oakland was and is cancerous. I think this is the reason Randy was a shell of his real self.

  7. PackFan says:

    There really are some interesting stories coming out of Oakland these days – will ‘the kid’ survive or will somebody like Denny Green become the new Raider coach.

    Makes for some good off-season reading.

    Enjoy the Superbowl gentlemen!

  8. John Hansen says:

    The bottom line with Moss is he’s the ultimate front-runner. He’s the deadliest receiver in the league when things arond him are great, and a pile of crap when they are not. Steve Smith had to play with the horrific David Carr for a lot of games, yet there was no drop in his effort. Moss would have quit on that team this year. I was on the field for the 2000 championship game and Moss quit midway through the first quarter, and the Vikings lost 41-0. I respect his talent, but I don’t respect Moss the football player.

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