Randy’s no Rice: Moss kept quiet in Super Bowl loss
|02.04.13 at 1:30 am ET|
The claim was a head-turner. Of course, no surprise there — Randy Moss is used to utterances that are controversial, fascinating, provocative, nonsensical or brilliant.
Still, his claim on media day prior to this year’s Super Bowl represented a fairly extreme claim, even by Moss’ own standards.
“I really live on impact and what you’re able to do out on the field,” Moss, now a receiver for the 49ers, told reporters in New Orleans. “I really think I’m the greatest receiver to ever play this game.”
While there’s a strong case to be made that Moss turned in some of the best — if not the best — seasons ever by a wide receiver (particularly his 2007 campaign with the Patriots, and perhaps some of his early-career seasons with the Vikings, when he posted huge yardage totals that failed to account for the incredible amount of yardage he added through pass interference penalties), it was difficult to suggest that he could match up with Jerry Rice for the title of greatest receiver ever.
And when it comes to performances on football’s biggest stage, there’s no debate at all between the two receivers. Moss did little to back his boast on Sunday as his team lost, 34-31, to the Ravens. He hauled in a pair of catches for 41 yards while never reaching the end zone. Frequently, it seemed he was neither the primary nor secondary option for 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, even when the 35-year-old was in single coverage.
His relatively unimpactful performance in this year’s Super Bowl followed a solid but less-than-standout performance with the Patriots against the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, when Moss caught five passes for 62 yards and a touchdown. While that performance was fine, it’s intriguing to note that it closely resembled Rice’s effort as a 40-year-old in Super Bowl XXXVI, when he caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. That was, far and away, Rice’s worst performance in any of his four Super Bowls.
In other words, Rice was more impactful in his worst Super Bowl than Moss was in his best. A look at the Super Bowl game logs of the two players underscores the notion that Moss’ performances in championship games have fallen far short of Rice’s.
On Sunday, Moss’ effort — or lack thereof — became the subject of considerable ire in San Francisco, as former 49ers Bill Romanowski and Dwight Clark ripped the receiver for having “alligator arms” and failing to make an attempt to prevent a second-quarter interception by Ravens safety Ed Reed.
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For now, then, it seems unlikely that those around the 49ers will endorse Moss’ claim that he deserves the title of greatest receiver of all time. Certainly, even Moss would be hard-pressed to make such a claim about himself when it comes to the Super Bowl.