It's official. Randy Moss, a future Hall of Fame receiver has been traded away from the New England Patriots to the Minnesota Vikings, the franchise that drafted him. His departure leaves New England without a true deep threat, and bolsters a Viking's passing attack that is looking to take some pressure off Adrian Peterson.
While many in the sports world predicted that Moss would leave the Patriots in the offseason (his Game 1 press conference told us that), few would have guessed that he would leave in such a rapid fashion. The polarizing star's return to Minnesota will be much heralded.
In just over three seasons with the Pats, Moss caught 50 TD passes and spurred the Patriot's offense during their historic 18-0 run before an eventual Super Bowl loss.
Let's take a look at Randy Moss's top five moments in a Pats uniform
After being traded from Oakland to New England, Moss was forced to sit out the preseason because of a hamstring injury. Despite the layoff, Moss quickly asserted himself in a Patriots uniform.
In his debut as a New England Patriot, in the infamous "Spygate" game, Moss hauled-in nine passes for 183 yards and a TD. Moss quickly quieted critics who had suggested that his skills had diminished in Oakland and put the league on notice that Brady to Moss would be a dangerous combination.
Even in Tom Brady's absence, Moss caught 69 passes for 1,008 yards and 11 TDs in the 2008 season. After being bamboozled when the Dolphins unveiled the Wildcat formation in their first meeting, the Patriots won an offensive thriller in the season's second showdown between Pats and Dolphins.
In that game, Moss dazzled fans with a couple of one-handed grabs. He caught eight passes for 125 yards and three TDs, as the Pats put on an offensive show in a 48-28 victory.
The Buffalo Bills have been the whipping boy of the AFC East over the last few seasons, and Moss reserved some of his most prolific performances for the hapless Bills. In just over three seasons with the Patriots, Moss played the Bills seven times. He recorded 40 receptions for 562 yards and scored nine TDs.
Against the Bills in 2007, Moss caught 10 balls for 128 yards and four touchdowns in a blowout win over the Bills. This multiple touchdown game helped Moss break Jerry's Rice's single season touchdown record.
In Randy Moss's first season with Tom Brady and the Patriots, Moss set the single-season record for touchdown receptions with 23. With a two-touchdown performance against the New York Giants in the final game of the regular season, Moss's 23rd touchdown catch was the go-ahead score against the Giants and helped seal a perfect 16-0 regular season.
Breaking Jerry Rice's record of 22 (which he set in only 12 games), Moss's 2007 season is one of the best statistical season ever by a receiver. His ability to stretch defenses facilitated the Patriots' ability to throw underneath to guys like Wes Welker. He was certainly at his best in the 2007 season.
Everyone knows what happened in this game. The New England Patriots attempt at perfection was derailed, as the New York Giants pulled off the improbable upset in the Super Bowl. Everyone remembers the David Tyree catch, but few people recall just how close the Patriots were to victory.
Though Randy Moss had been quiet during his first two games of the playoffs, Moss was clutch in the Super Bowl. Not a dominant statistical performance, Moss caught only five balls for 65 yards. But, he did catch the go-ahead touchdown with 2:45 left in the fourth quarter.
Had the Pats defense held, this would have been a fitting ending to a perfect season. Instead, his late Super Bowl catch is overshadowed by their eventual defeat.
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