If Randy Moss played as good a game as he talks one now, he wouldn’t have to tout himself as the best NFL receiver ever because it would be obvious. But Moss never followed the example set by San Francisco 49ers legend Jerry Rice, who made his most important statements on the field.
It’s why ignoring the latest rant from Moss is so easy for knowledgeable football fans.
Randy Moss puts himself ahead of Jerry Rice
RELATED: Why Jerry Rice Hated Taking Days Off
Jerry Rice, Randy Moss, and Terrell Owens are clearly among the greatest wide receivers to have played in the NFL, though many observers of the sport assumed it was clear enough that Rice was the best of the bunch. That’s not so, as far as Moss is concerned.
Appearing on a recent episode of Owens’ Getcha Popcorn Ready podcast, Moss was asked who the greatest NFL receiver of all-time was. His response was, “You’re looking at him,” and Moss went on the say Owens was No. 2 on the list.
“I would put Jerry probably third or fourth,” Owens continued. “I’m talking about dominating the game and changing the game of football. I don’t live on statistics because if you live on statistics and live on championships, that’s all political.”
Before throwing out statistics because Moss says so – How are stats political? — here are the actual numbers:
- Jerry Rice: 303 games in 20 seasons, 1,549 catches, 14.8 yards per reception, and 197 touchdowns.
- Randy Moss: 218 games in 14 seasons, 982 catches, 15.6 yards per reception, and 156 touchdowns.
- Terrell Owens: 219 games in 15 seasons, 1,078 catches, 14.8 yards per reception, and 153 touchdowns.
It’s apparent right off the bat why Moss wants to throw out the statistics. His numbers are indistinguishable from those of Owens, who was also a little more proficient at turning targets into catches.
As for Rice, the best argument Moss can make in a head-to-head comparison is that Rice piled up big numbers by playing past his 42nd birthday. How that might constitute a negative is a riddle for another day.
It’s easy to dislike Moss, and plenty of peers probably do
The latest claim by Randy Moss that he is the greatest receiver was disputed immediately by a number of people on social media and other observers – just was the case in the past.
Moss made the same boast about himself before Super Bowl 47, where he made two catches for 41 yards in the San Francisco 49ers’ loss to the Baltimore Ravens. That game was the last of his career, and it could have been argued that Moss hadn’t even distinguished himself from Marvin Harrison or former Minnesota Vikings teammate Cris Carter by then, let alone Jerry Rice. The continued failure by Moss to properly acknowledge those two, both more than 100 catches ahead of him in career catches, is disrespectful.
Moss also isn’t persuasive when he touts his immediate impact. Moss led the league in touchdown catches as a rookie in 1998 and again two years later. But Rice led the league five times in his first six seasons.
The best part of the interview, though, was the false modesty.
“I really don’t like talking about being the best wide receiver in the game because I never set my goals to being the best,” Moss said … after talking about being the best receiver in the league.
Jerry Rice fires back at Randy Moss again
Jerry Rice probably thought he was through talking about Randy Moss back in 2011 when he said what others were thinking. In an interview with Pro Football Talk, Rice said Moss would have rated among the greats had he just tried harder.
“It was hard for me to swallow because I was not as talented, and I had to work harder,” Rice said. “To see a guy with that much talent not give it 100 percent, it was almost like a little slap in the face. But Randy was Randy.
“He could have been one of the greatest if he had worked just a little bit harder. I don’t think he wanted to give it 100 percent. You never knew what you were going to get with Randy. Sometimes you’d get the unbelievable guy, the amazing guy. Other times you’d get the guy that took a couple plays off.”
With the “debate” revived this week, Rice answered on Instagram with a since-deleted post putting his numbers side by side with those amassed by Moss. The final two lines of the chart showed Rice with three Super Bowl rings to none for Moss and one Super Bowl MVP to none for Moss.