Comparing Randy Moss to the Greatest WRs in NFL History

Jesse ReedCorrespondent IJanuary 29, 2013

Comparing Randy Moss to the Greatest WRs in NFL History

0 of 5

    Is Randy Moss the greatest wide receiver to ever play in the NFL?

    Per NFL.com, he told media on Tuesday, "I don't really live on numbers. I really live on impact and what you're able to do out on that field. I really do think that I'm the greatest receiver to ever play this game." 

    Ah, the power of personal persuasion. 

    Listen, I'm all for players using whatever legal and moral means necessary to get themselves to play at a high level, but the notion that Moss is the greatest receiver in NFL history has me doubled over in a fit of mirth.

    That's not to say Moss isn't in the conversation as one of the greatest receivers in league history, though.

    As a means of determining where Moss stands among the greats, we'll take a look at how he stacks up against who I believe are the five best receivers in NFL history. 

Randy Moss vs. Tim Brown

1 of 5

    Tim Brown played in a different era than Randy Moss, though their careers overlapped for a while. Brown didn't even crack the starting lineup for much of his first four seasons as a pro, making what he did afterward all the more impressive. 

    Here's how Brown and Moss stack up:

     

    Regular Season Stats

      Games Starts Rec Yds YPC TD
    Brown 255 202 1,094 14,934 13.7 100
    Moss 218 193 982 15,292 15.6 156

     

    Postseason Stats

      Games Rec Yds YPC TD
    Brown 12 45 581 12.9 3
    Moss 14 52 936 18.0 10

     

    Super Bowls

    Both players participated in one Super Bowl, and both were members of the losing team.

    Brown caught one pass for nine yards as a member of the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

    Moss caught five passes for 62 yards and one touchdown as a member of the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII.

     

    Pro Bowls and All-Pro Teams

    • Brown: Nine-time Pro Bowler and one-time Second-Team All-Pro.
    • Moss: Six-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro.

     

    Verdict

    Moss has been more impactful in his time in the league than Brown. 

    Brown had more receptions in his career, but in every other way Moss has been his superior. Whether it be in the regular season, postseason or the Super Bowl, Moss has proven to be better than Brown. 

     

    EDGE: MOSS

     


Randy Moss vs. Cris Carter

2 of 5

    Cris Carter and Randy Moss were teammates as members of the Minnesota Vikings for five years, from 1998-2002. As Carter's career waned, Moss' took off like a rocket. 

    Carter spent 16 productive seasons in the league before retiring in 2002.

    Here's how these former teammates stack up:

     

    Regular Season Stats

      Games Starts Rec Yds YPC TD
    Carter 234 209 1,101 13,899 12.6 130
    Moss 218 193 982 15,292 15.6 156

     

    Postseason Stats

      Games Rec Yds YAC TD
    Carter 14 63 870 13.8 8
    Moss 14 52 936 18.0 10

     

    Super Bowls

    Carter never made it to the Super Bowl in his 16 years in the NFL. 

    Moss caught five passes for 62 yards and one touchdown with the New England Patriots, which lost to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

     

    Pro Bowls and All-Pro Teams

    • Carter: Eight-time Pro Bowler and two-time First-Team All-Pro.
    • Moss: Six-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro.

     

    Verdict

    Carter was more of a possession receiver than Moss, who has always been one of the league's best deep threats. 

    Carter had a tremendous impact in the playoffs, but he fell short of Moss' achievements in the postseason. 

    In the end, though, it is Moss' ability to reel in touchdowns that gives him the edge over Carter.

     

    EDGE: MOSS

Randy Moss vs. Marvin Harrison

3 of 5

    Marvin Harrison's career was shorter than any other receiver we've included in this list. 

    He played for 13 seasons—all but two of them alongside Peyton Manning with the Indianapolis Colts. 

    One of the NFL's all-time great route-runners, Harrison achieved much in his day, though he didn't have nearly the same kind of physical attributes that Randy Moss has been blessed with. 

    Here's how they stack up:

     

    Regular Season Stats

      Games Starts Rec Yds YPC TDs
    Harrison 190 188 1,102 14,580 13.2 128
    Moss 218 193 982 15,292 15.6 156

     

    Postseason Stats

      Games Rec Yds YPC TDs
    Harrison 16 65 883 13.6 2
    Moss 14 52 936 18.0 10

     

    Super Bowls

    Both players participated in one Super Bowl.

    Harrison hauled in five receptions for 59 yards and zero touchdowns to help the Colts win Super Bowl XLI over the Chicago Bears.

    Moss caught five passes for 62 yards and one touchdown with the New England Patriots in defeat against the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII.

     

    Pro Bowls and All-Pro Teams

    • Harrison: Eight-time Pro Bowler and three-time First-Team All-Pro.
    • Moss: Six-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro.

     

    Verdict

    Harrison was one of the NFL's best receivers of all time, but his lack of production in the playoffs really hurts him when pitted against Moss. 

    To have only caught two touchdown passes in 14 playoff games shows that Harrison wasn't at his finest when his team needed him the most. 

    Conversely, Moss' 10 touchdowns in the playoffs—including one in Super Bowl XLII—proves that he rose to the occasion and played his best in pressure situations. 

     

    EDGE: MOSS

Randy Moss vs. Terrell Owens

4 of 5

    Terrell Owens and Randy Moss are contemporaries. 

    Owens entered the league two years before Moss, and they both took the league by storm during the same stretch of time. 

    Both of them are physical freaks of nature who changed the way NFL experts look at wide receivers, and they're two of the best to have ever played the game.

    Here's how they stack up:

     

    Regular Season Stats

      Games Starts Rec Yds YPC TDs
    Owens 219 201 1,078 15,934 14.8 153
    Moss 218 193 982 15,292 15.6 156

     

    Postseason Stats

      Games Rec Yds YPC TDs
    Owens 12 54 751 13.9 5
    Moss 14 52 936 18.0 10

     

    Super Bowls

    Both players participated in one Super Bowl, and both lost.

    Owens, if you recall, played Super Bowl XXXIX on a broken leg. Even on one leg, he managed to limp around to the tune of nine catches for 122 yards, and his courageous effort won't ever be forgotten.

    Moss caught five passes for 62 yards and one touchdown in Super Bowl XLII.

     

    Pro Bowls and All-Pro Teams

    • Owens: Six-time Pro Bowler and five-time First-Team All-Pro.
    • Moss: Six-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro.

     

    Verdict

    To say Moss is better than TO or that TO is better than Moss doesn't sit well with me. 

    Both players made a huge impact on the NFL and their respective teams, both played well in one Super Bowl and both were highly productive in the playoffs in general. 

     

    EDGE: EVEN

Randy Moss vs. Jerry Rice

5 of 5

    Without a doubt, Jerry Rice is the NFL's all-time greatest wide receiver.

    The impact he left when he retired is one that's still felt today. Every wide receiver that comes into the league looks up at the records he left behind, and every one of them, to this point, has come up well short.

    Randy Moss is certainly among the greatest to have ever played, but he doesn't come anywhere close to matching Rice.

    Here's how they stack up:

     

    Regular Season Stats

      Games Starts Rec Yds YPC TDs
    Rice 303 284 1,549 22,895 14.8 197
    Moss 218 193 982 15,292 15.6 156

     

    Postseason Stats

      Games Rec Yds YPC TDs
    Rice 29 151 2,245 14.9 22
    Moss 14 52 936 18.0 10

     

    Super Bowls 

    Rice participated in and won three Super Bowls during his tenure with the San Francisco 49ers. During these three games, Rice caught 28 passes for 512 yards and seven touchdowns. Toward the end of his career, Rice appeared in a Super Bowl with the Oakland Raiders. He had five catches for 77 yards and a touchdown in a loss against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. 

    Moss participated in and lost one Super Bowl with the New England Patriots. He caught five passes for 62 yards and one touchdown in that contest.

     

    Pro Bowls and All-Pro Teams

    • Rice: 13-time Pro Bowler and 10-time First-Team All-Pro.
    • Moss: Six-time Pro Bowler and four-time First-Team All-Pro.

     

    Verdict

    The notion that Moss has had a greater impact on the NFL than Rice is laughable.

    Rice surpasses Moss in every conceivable way.

    Period.


    EDGE: RICE 

     

    Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78