Comparing Moss to Jerry Rice’s Record
As the Pats head into the final weekend of the regular season, they are poised to break several records. With a win, they will become the first team to go 16-0 in the regular season, joining the ’72 Dolphins as the only team to finish the regular season undefeated. With two touchdown passes, Tom Brady will beat Peyton Manning’s record of 49 during the regular season. And with two touchdown catches, Randy Moss will beat Jerry Rice’s record of 22 during the regular season.
Putting aside the Patriotgate issues that have given reason for people to doubt the legitimacy of New England’s pursuit of perfection, there is another record that is called into question: Randy Moss against Jerry Rice. In 1987, Rice caught an incredible 22 TD passes from Joe Montana in only 12 games because of the strike. Through 15 games this year Moss has 21, not 22 TDs. Does it hurt his record if it took him more games to break Rice’s mark?
I think it’s just a small footnote in the record books should Moss catch more than one TD and break Rice’s record. Did anyone say anything about McGwire or Bonds or any other modern baseball record that was achieved in 162 games rather than 154? Not much of a fuss has been raised about this issue since 1961. Just like nobody will remember the close calls against the Ravens and Eagles, nobody will remember that it took Moss extra games. One caveat however: Moss still needs to catch at least two touchdowns to make this argument relevant.
*You might also enjoy a previous comparison in which I argue that Randy Moss is better than Jerry Rice.