San Francisco 49ers: Why Randy Moss Won't Meet Expectations in 2012
Since day one in the NFL, Randy Moss has drawn comparisons to the all-time great receivers in history. Therefore, it's only expected that he would be the San Francisco 49ers' No. 1 receiver in 2012 and put up Pro Bowl numbers.
With an illustrious career like Moss', it isn't hard to believe that he still has plenty of gas in the tank at age 35.
Jerry Rice earned himself a trip to the Pro Bowl at 40 years old. Why can't Moss do it at 35?
The truth is, he's no Rice. Even though Moss is physically more gifted than any other receiver in history, he lacks the mindset and determination of the G.O.A.T.
While he still has the tools to be productive with the Niners in 2012, don't expect "The Freak" that many fans have grown accustomed to watching.
1. Alex Smith Can't Feed Moss the Ball Consistently
Last year, Alex Smith had an impressive passer rating for throws over 20 yards.
According to Pro Football Focus, he was 21-of-51 for 723 yards, six touchdowns, two interceptions and had a 111.4 passer rating in 18 games including the playoffs.
However, those stats were inflated.
In 2011, Smith was notorious for dumping the ball off. To his advantage, this led to big gains.
It's difficult to take that into account by strictly looking at the numbers. Nevertheless, as many Niners fans know firsthand, Smith isn't gifted with a rocket-laser arm.
While he has shown the capacity to throw it deep on occasion, he can't feed Moss the ball like Daunte Culpepper or Tom Brady did.
2.Too Many Weapons and Just One Ball
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With the Niners reloading by adding a bounty of weapons on offense this offseason, it will be interesting to see how the ball is distributed.
With so many wide receivers and tight ends, no one player will have eye-popping numbers. However, as a unit, they'll put up impressive stats. Moss will have to share with the likes of Vernon Davis, Michael Crabtree, Mario Manningham, Delanie Walker, A.J. Jenkins and Kyle Williams.
Even though Smith has been labeled a game manager because of his style of play, it isn't necessarily a bad thing. He's smart enough to steadily distribute the ball and not lock on to favorite targets when the pass is simply not there.
3. All the Running Back Options Will Take Away from the Pass Attack
Frank Gore is still the lead running back, but he'll have plenty of help with the addition of LaMichael James and Brandon Jacobs
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In 2011, the 49ers were a well-balanced team and didn't focus on one aspect in particular on offense.
Unlike many of the top teams in the league, Jim Harbaugh's squad wasn't a particularly pass-happy or run-heavy offense.
In the 2011 campaign, this team averaged just 183.1 passing yards per game and 127.8 rushing yards.
However, since the running back position is so deep, it should take away from the pass attack as far as stats go.
Having said that, a strong running game does help the offense move the chains because it adds to the play action.