While it's truly impossible to put any kind of stock in meaningless numbers from a meaningless contest, it still has to be a little discouraging for Niners fans to see Moss return home with a bunch of goose eggs on the stat sheet, especially since the legendary wide receiver got his first start as a member of this squad with Mario Manningham not in uniform.
When it comes down to it, though, the lack of catches isn't the concerning part, it's the amount of targets:
And I'm not even sure if the one attempt thrown Moss' way can be described as a target. No. 84 ran a nine-route, only to find himself in triple coverage as the Broncos secondary was clearly partying like it was 2009.
Alex Smith launched the ball about 40 yards downfield, but out-threw the foursome by a healthy margin.
With that misconnection, Moss' impact was complete. But what exactly do you make of the uninspiring effort?
To be blunt, not a lot. This is, after all, the preseason.
It's not like the world was expecting Moss to return to his 2009 form. He didn't play in the NFL last year and racked up just 28 catches for 393 yards with three separate teams in 2010. A quiet preseason game is far from shocking, even if he did get the start.
Contrarily, that one incompletion might just tell you more about Moss' potential impact than anything else. The formerly freak of a WR can still get down the field in a hurry, and he is still going to draw attention from the defense.
For a team that is normally conservative and more likely to do its work in the middle of the field, it's important to have someone who can spread the field and take defenders with him. Randy Moss proved with one incompletion that he can be that guy.
Not bad for what appeared to be such a lackluster performance on paper.
Other than that takeaway, Moss is who we thought he was: A solid role player. You can go ahead and take this preseason tape and—just like most other preseason tapes—throw it away.
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