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Randy Moss Biography

Randy Moss Biography

By Loot, NFL Handicapper,

By the time it was all said and done, only 3 players in NFL history scored more touchdowns than Randy Moss. A lightning rod of controversy, Moss emerged from it all to forge one of the more impressive NFL careers in history. The 7X Pro Bowler caught almost 1000 balls for over 15000 yards. He was excellent at scoring touchdowns, as illustrated by his stats, which show 157 of them from 1998 to 2012.

Many predicted that Moss would never reach the rarified air he now occupies in the annals of NFL football. A troubled youth, Moss was almost out of the game before he even got started. And even during his NFL career, he tested coaches and front offices with his on and off-the-field behavior.

Moss would sometimes be chastised for his lack of effort, as he would run low-effort routes when the ball wasn’t coming to him. There were off-the-field incidents. He tested positive for the hippie lettuce. He also did things like leave the field during the game, make outrageous and undermining quotes to the press, and sometimes his play was lazy. Not too lazy because the guy did manage to see the end zone well over 150 times.

Moss was all set to attend Florida State out of high school, but after getting high prior to going to jail for battery in 1996, he tested positive and the scholarship was off the table. Forced to regroup, Moss enrolled at then Division 1-AA Marshall. They would switch to Division I-A the following year, which meant Moss wouldn’t have to sit out a year. His first season with Marshall underlined his scary potential, as he caught 78 passes for 1709 yards. He also began his pattern as a touchdown machine, with 28 touchdown receptions.

Marshall moved up to Division 1-A in 1997, but the increased level of competition did little to slow the budding Moss, who caught 96 balls for 1820 yards and 26 touchdowns--giving him an incredible 54 touchdowns catches in a mere 2 years at Marshall. Following 1997, Moss sought fame in the NFL and was drafted with the 21st pick by the Minnesota Vikings. He would have gone higher, but teams were still skeptical of a young man with so much talent, but also an air of rebellion and danger. Minnesota would be happy they took the leap of faith.


Moss’ impact was immediately felt by the Vikings, who went from 9 wins in 1997 to a sterling 15-1 mark in Moss’ rookie season. Moss’ first year may be the greatest of all wide receivers in history, as he caught 69 balls for 1313 yards and 17 touchdowns catches. Only an overtime loss to Atlanta kept Moss and the Vikes out of the Super Bowl.

Moss had an excellent second season, as the Vikings again made the playoffs. There were some bumps on the road, but it was hard to argue with the results, as Moss established himself as perhaps the league’s best receiver during his first years in Minnesota. He had 43 touchdowns in his first 3 seasons. He continued his productivity in 2002-2003, with 217 catches in those 2 seasons. After 6 straight 1000-yard seasons, Moss caught only 49 balls for 767 yards in 2004, though 13 of those 49 catches were for touchdowns. But Moss’ welcome had worn out in Minnesota and he was traded to Oakland.

His two seasons with Oakland did not go particularly well. Moss seemed disinterested and nagging injuries limited his potential. Some thought it would be a good fit, but after catching 42 balls for 553 yards and 3 touchdowns in 2006, Moss needed something to pump some life into his sagging career. Enter New England.

Being part of a budding dynasty in New England pumped wind in Moss’ sails and he showed he was still the electric receiver people remembered him as. His 2007 season may have been his best, as he caught 98 balls, an amazing 23 of them being for touchdowns--a new single-season NFL receiving record.

Moss had 2 more big seasons with New England, before Randy the malcontent began to resurface. It led to him being traded back to Minnesota. He then bad-mouthed the coach and was soon off to Tennessee. After playing for 3 teams in 2010, Randy called it quits. After sitting out the entire 2011 season, Moss returned as a member of the 49ers and chimed in with decent production, as the Niners made it to the Super Bowl.

It might not have always gone smoothly, but Moss was a unique and deadly wide receiver--almost impossible to cover when he was at his best and in the right mood. Sure, he wasn’t Jerry Rice. But you don’t end up with over 15000 yards receiving and over 150 touchdowns without being special, which Moss most assuredly was.

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