Jan 25, 2008
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.