Raider Vault: The Time Randy Moss was a Raider

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We remember the rest of the story. Randy Moss went to New England and was paired with Tom Brady.  He had the best season of his career in 2007, catching a league-record 23 touchdowns as the Pats went on to an undefeated regular season record before losing the Best Super Bowl Ever Played to the New York Giants, a game in which Moss scored a go-ahead touchdown for New England with 2:45 left in the game before Eli Manning’s heroics. Moss would go on to catch 50 TD’s in 3.25 seasons with Brady in Foxboro, before being shipped off after week four of the 2010 season to re-join the Minnesota Vikings and play with Brett Favre, a quarterback whom Moss always had great affinity for as an opponent. He would have 12 receptions for 166 yards and 2 TD’s in his first three games with Favre, then had a poor showing against New England, after which he publicly criticized Vikings coach Brad Childress and the organization. Moss was waived and claimed by the Tennessee Titans, where he was re-united with Kerry Collins. The Titans, who were 5-3 before they acquired Moss, went 1-7 after acquiring him. He contributed six receptions in eight games.

Moss spent 2011 out of football and spent 2012 with the 49ers, contributing 28 receptions and 3 TD’s to the NFC Champions. He managed his 154th touchdown reception that year, placing him ahead of Terrell Owens in sole possession of 2nd place on the all time receiving TD’s list. He played in one more Super Bowl, contributing 2 receptions in a loss to the Ravens. Moss then retired after the 2012 season having scored 157 total touchdowns and amassed over 15,000 receiving yards on 982 career receptions. Many will remember him for his brash and often abrasive personality and clashes with coaches, teammates and the NFL throughout his career, but most will remember him as perhaps the most physically gifted receiver ever to play in the NFL.

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  • The Raiders, meanwhile, have not had a 1,000 yard receiving season or an 8 TD receiving season since Moss did both in 2005. In fact, his 60 receptions that year (3rd on the team in ’05) have only been matched or exceeded six times in the eight seasons since (James Jones is on pace for more this year). The Raiders have not managed to finish better than .500, obviously, while Moss managed to play on an undefeated team and compete in two Super Bowls after leaving Oakland. The saga of Randy Moss in Oakland is the go-to for pundits and Raider haters who label Oakland as a Black Hole for careers. His tale is a cautionary one about the impact that losing games can have on even the greatest of players, as he stated several times that his poor performance was often rooted in the sense of frustration he felt with losing over and over and over in Oakland. While losing a lot of games in a rebuilding period is par for the course, the Raiders will need to get things turned around, and soon, before the talents of young stars like Khalil Mack and Derek Carr begin to fade under the oppressive hopelessness of losing.