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Thursday, December 18, 2014

An Analysis of Randy Moss’ Quitting Antics Through the Years

In a move that has become sadly familiar to football fans, Randy Moss has mailed it in on another season because he’s unhappy.  We’ve seen this act before, but I don’t think we’re going to see it again.  That would require Moss playing at a high level for a portion of next season before having a game with one or no catches and giving up.  I’m not convinced Moss will even be given an opportunity to do that.

Moss has been held without a catch seven times in his 13-year career.  All but one of those games have come in his either his final game or final season with a team.  He had two zero catch games in 2004 during his final season with the Vikings.  In his seven previous seasons with Minnesota, he had never gone a game without a catch and had only caught one ball on four separate occasions. Moss also sat out three games that season with a hamstring injury.  Before that, he had never missed a game since his career began in 1998.

After being shipped to the Raiders in 2005, Moss again played every game.  That was the one season in which he had a one-catch game and didn’t change teams afterward.  Not sure what happened with Randy there, but another such game in 2006 must have been too much to stomach and it turned out to be his last season with the team.  Once again, Moss played in 13 games in his final season in Oakland — missing the last three with an ankle injury.

In 2007, Moss was traded to the Patriots for a fourth-round pick and the Randy Moss everyone remembered from his early years in Minnesota came roaring back.  He played in every game through three full years in New England and had at least one catch in every game.  He had Tom Brady throwing him the ball for most of his tenure in New England, but Moss was impressive when Matt Cassel was under center, too.

Moss kicked off the 2010 season by griping about his lack of a contract extension and setting the stage for another dramatic production.  In his last game with the Patriots, Moss had — you guessed it — no catches.  He was then traded to the Vikings for a third-round pick and racked up a total of 174 yards in four games with Minnesota before being waived. Since being scooped off waivers by the Titans — the only team to put in a claim for him — Moss has had two no-catch games.

Unsurprisingly, Moss’ three lowest receiving yard totals have come in his final year with a team (incuding this season where he was bounced around).  After beginning his career with six straight seasons of 1,200 receiving yards or more, Moss had only 767 in 2004.  He eclipsed 1,000 yards again in his first year in Oakland.  The following season he had just 553 receiving yards.  After starting anew in New England, Moss had three-straight 1,000 yard seasons.  This year, Moss has played in 13 games with three different teams and amassed just 375 yards.

No one can question Moss’ talent.  You won’t find a safer bet for the Hall of Fame, but the guy just shuts it down when he’s unhappy.  LB even compared Moss to the greatest receiver of all-time, Jerry Rice.  At only 33, he’s still capable of making unbelievable plays — when he wants to.  The problem is he rarely wants to.



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