I don’t care how big of a headache Randy Moss is. I don’t care that he caught one pass for eight yards in Minnesota’s 28-18 loss on Sunday against the New England Patriots.
After the loss, Moss made a big deal at his press conference about how much he missed everyone in New England, including coach Bill Belichick. Then he criticized how the Vikings didn’t use the information he had as a former Patriot himself, and the decision not to kick a field goal right before halftime.
Now, a day later, Moss’ agent told the Star Tribune that the wide receiver had been waived by the team.
But why did Randy have to go?
When your team is winning, that’s when you have time to worry about a player’s antics. Not when you are 2-5 and in the basement of the NFC North — tied with the Detroit Lions.
What did letting Moss go accomplish? The Vikings certainly are not a better team without Moss than with him.
Against the Patriots this was absolutely relevant. On several occasions, the Fox broadcast showed New England relied on multiple players to stop Moss. It opened up more room for Percy Harvin to work over the middle and Adrian Peterson has had to deal with fewer safeties in the box. More space is open underneath in general.
In one instance during the fourth quarter, Fox color-analyst Troy Aikman pointed out how deep the Patriots’ safety was playing on Moss’ side of the field. That created an opening for Toby Gerhart on a quick check down. He rumbled for a first down because of the large amount of field in front of him.
Later in the fourth, Moss drew an important pass interference penalty on a play he actually did have a one-on-one opportunity with a cornerback.
Wouldn’t you be mad too if you had one catch all game and the team you were playing for was 2-5? Moss had an issue in New England when he wasn’t featured in its offense and the Patriots now have the best record in the League. Of course he was going to be miffed after Minnesota lost again and his numbers weren't there. His little outburst, if you can call it that, during the press conference was hardly worth letting go of a desperately needed offensive weapon.
Bernard Berrian and Greg Lewis are not Randy Moss — that’s obvious. I hope Brad Childress or whoever made the decision to put Moss on waivers understands the effect it will have on the passing game. If the reason was because Moss was becoming a distraction, this was hardly the first outside thing that this team has had to deal with.
Maybe we don’t know Moss’ whole story, but this is the same team that sent players down to Mississippi to recruit Brett Favre to play. That showed me that the Vikings were all-in to win this season. Putting Moss on waivers doesn't make sense to me then. Dealing with questions week in and week out about a 41-year old quarterback’s ability to play has to have some negative side effect on the team, doesn’t it?
Moss shouldn’t have said what he said. He did undermine the coaching staff with a few of his comments and talk about how much he loved his former team. But Minnesota knew who he was when the team acquired him.
The Vikings are 2-5 before Randy Moss is gone. What’s it going to be like without him?
There are many other problems from Sunday’s game that should be addressed rather than Moss speaking his mind during a press conference.
The real problem is no Viking could get pressure on Tom Brady when he hit Brandon Tate for a 65-yard touchdown on a broken play where the receiver had to improvise. The real problem is Madieu Williams let an interception bounce off his hands and into Tate’s for a 32-yard gain that set up another New England touchdown.
The problem is that the Minnesota offense scored three points in two trips in the red zone — one right before the half, and the other to start the second half. The real problem is that for the third straight game, the Vikings failed to record a sack. It was the first time in franchise history that Minnesota went three straight games without a sack. And this is supposed to be the best front four in football?
The problem is that is seems unfortunate turnovers — like Favre’s interception which was stripped out of Harvin’s hands — are becoming plays that are common.
Randy Moss being upset is far from being the biggest problem facing the Minnesota Vikings. If they do in fact let him go, that’s just creating another problem and hole in the offense that Childress and Co. will have to overcome.
He can catch one long pass per game, but his presence is felt on every play. It doesn’t matter how terrific his stats are, or how much he whines — he’s a game changing wide receiver. And until Sidney Rice returns, the Vikings have no one comparable on the roster who can take the pressure off of Harvin and Peterson simultaneously.
We’re all going to have headaches watching this offense without Randy Moss.