With the Super Bowl now just three days away, there has been a lot of talk here at the Super Bowl about Randy Moss and his legacy as far as one of, if not the best ever wide out in the National Football League. Moss even stated last week about his status, and how he feels with his 23 TD’s this season (an NFL record) that he should be known as the best every, irking all-time great Jerry Rice. What do you think? Has Moss redeemed himself enough to prove that he is the all-time best? Is he better than Rice? Great question that deserves more thought.
First off, Moss did indeed set an NFL record with 23 TD’s this season in 16 games for a team that set records up and down for being one of, if not the best ever. Rice’s record beaking season took place in 1987, when he set the then NFL record with 22 TD’s, and mind you this came in just 12 games (it was a strike-shortened season). If Rice would have played in 16 games, (he averaged 1.8 per game), he could have, and likley would have ended with plenty more. Take the average of what he did in 12 games, Rice would have put up about 28-29 TD’s. You have to wonder if Moss thought of that.
Next is the yardage. Rice put up 22,895 in 20 seasons, averaging 1114.75 per season, and that does include the 1997 season, a year in which he was hurt in the second game of the season and had just 1 catch for 7 yards. His best year yardage wise was 1995, when he had 1848 yards for 115.5 yards per game. Onto Moss. He has 12193 yards to date in 10 seasons, 1219 yards per season on average. His best year yardage wise was this past one, with 1493 yards, 93.3 yards per game.
Can Moss catch Rice? Unlikley. He would have to put up 10,702 yards to reach Rice, meaning even if he plays another 10 years, (he’d be 41, so forget it), he’d have to put up over 1,000 yards per season. Forget it. Not going to happen, and Moss would be best to simply give the props to Rice as the best in terms of pure numbers. They are such gaudy numbers, that even playing for possibly the best offensive team ever is not enough for Moss to reach Rice.
Now is the simple fact that Rice was well known as one of the best team players in the game. He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer, a guy known as a great teammate, and would go out of his way for blocking for the backs, wide outs, or even in the later 49’ers years when Steve Young would take off running with the football. This is not something Moss would, or ever is going to do. He’s had what appears to be an attitude change, and has brought into the Pats system – BUT, I would not doubt if he got a ring Sunday fled via free agency, and went back to his selfish ways.
Rice is, and likely may always be the best ever. Moss is a great wide out – on the verge of the Hall of Fame? Maybe. He has more to prove, and needs to do a lot in the later part of his career to prove and go down as one of the best ever. Right now though, there is still no comparsion – Rice is the better wide receiver.