Will The Randy Moss Acquisition Leave Peyton Manning at Home For The Playoffs?
Randy Moss is no stranger to being passed on. In an experience that closely resembled his draft day, Randy Moss slipped all the way through the waiver order to the Titans. The Titans are a perfect fit for Moss, it just seemed unlikely that he would get past the Redskins, Rams, and Seahawks.
The Titans have a head coach in Jeff Fisher who has complete control of his locker room. Vince Young and Chris Johnson headline an explosive offense. When you add Randy Moss to Kenny Britt at wide out, the Titans could easily be one of the most feared offenses in football. Although Britt is out for a few weeks with a minor injury, when he returns the two will be one of the best wide receiver tandems in the league.
Although Chris Johnson is probably ecstatic that Moss is going to take some of the heat off the run game, there are plenty of people who are less than pleased about Moss landing in Tennessee. To further investigate the impact of Randy Moss, we must first look at the playoff picture.
The Ravens and Steelers appear to be set to lock up an AFC North division title and wild card spot. The Jets and Patriots seem to be the favorites in the AFC East, as well as the remaining wild card. The AFC West will produce one playoff team, in all likelihood, which leaves one more spot.
The Colts, Titans, and Texans all are battling for AFC South supremacy. While the Colts maintain the top position, injuries to Dallas Clark and Joseph Addai have blown the division wide open for the time being. While they looked like they did not miss a beat against the Texans on Monday Night, they were probably not pleased to hear Moss would be in their division.
The Titans are in second place, having one more loss than the division leading Colts. The moss acquisition came during a bye week, giving the Titans time to work Moss into the system before he goes out and takes on the Dolphins. Moss won't master the playbook in a week's time, but Vince Young and the Titans improvise just about as much as any team in the NFL.
The question is, which Randy will we see? I believe we will see the New England Patriots Randy Moss, circa 2009. Moss is, once again, on the team of a playoff contender. Unlike Minnesota, Tennessee has a head coach who will probably relate well to Randy Moss. The Titans aren't in panic mode, they are in hunger mode. A hungry, competitive Randy Moss will surely account for multiple wins down the stretch.
If the Titans and Colts both manage to make the playoffs, that means either the Jets, Patriots, Ravens, or Steelers will not. While it seems unfathomable that a team who could potentially pull off an 11-5 record could miss the playoffs, the Patriots are all too familiar with how this could play out. In 2008, they failed to even slip into the second wild card position, despite being 11-5.
The Titans and Colts have yet to face each other this season. They face off in week 17, in a matchup that will likely determine the fate of the AFC. Randy Moss has the entire AFC nervous. If the Titans become a threat for the division title, the AFC South could have a real shot at obtaining the second wild card spot. That means an elite NFL team is probably going to miss their shot at a Super Bowl championship.
With the second half of the season still in front of us, everyone in the AFC is already in playoff mode. The Randy Moss debacle is going to bring the best football out of the entire conference, which is fantastic for the fans. Let the games begin.
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