Archive for December, 2009

Was Randy Moss Really Out?

Monday, December 28th, 2009

To clinch the AFC East division championship, the New England Patriots routed the Jacksonville Jaguars 35-7.  In the game, Randy Moss caught only four passes for 45 yards.  But three of those catches were for touchdowns.  This is just the second game after the Carolina Panthers claimed that they knew that if they shut down Moss, he would just give up on the field.

In that game, Moss caught one pass for 16 yards.  And the post-game talks were about how Moss mailed in the second half because he was frustrated.  Some “experts” said that he didn’t and was actually shutdown by the defense, and others said that he gave up.  One tiny fact wasn’t really talked about through all of it: The New England Patriots won the game 20-10.

And all the talk probably awoke a sleeping giant in the Brady/Moss combination.  The next game in Buffalo, Moss went 5-for-70 with a touchdown.  And then home against Jacksonville, a team that needed to win to keep their playoff hopes alive, they again went to the tandem utterly destroyed the Jags.

With one game left on the schedule, at Houston, the Pats don’t need to win.  They are assured a home game during the Wild Card weekend, and will either be in the third or fourth spot (depending on what happens with Cincinnati).  Coming out of a really tough stretch of five games of Miami and the Jets at home, and Indy, New Orleans, and Miami on the road, going 2-and-3, the Pats have won three in a row.  They are now 10-5, with all five loses coming on the road.  And with all home games played, they are definitely a tough-team-at-home.  Unfortunately, they will only have one game in the playoffs at home (barring some big losses by Indianapolis and San Diego).

But it was good to see the Patriots put together a nice string of wins using both offense and defense.  Many of the games that were lost were close games where one or two plays by the defense (or completions by the offense) in the fourth quarters would have made the difference.  Perhaps having a defense on the up-swing and an offense with a hungry Randy (and hopefully a complete set of running backs), this could be a fun postseason to watch.