Division I-AA — regular season[ edit ] Most games with a touchdown reception in a season — 11 Most consecutive games with a touchdown reception in a season — 11 Most receiving yards gained by a freshman in a season — Most touchdown receptions caught by a freshman in a season — 19 — record for all NCAA divisions Division I-AA — playoffs[ edit ] Most touchdown receptions in a single game — 4 vs.
Before the draft Moss was quoted as saying teams that passed on him "will regret it once they see what kind of a player I am and what kind of guy I really am. Moss grew up a Cowboys fan and wanted to play for the Cowboys. The Cowboys wanted Moss,  but because of many off-field incidents of their own, team owner and GM Jerry Jones did not feel the team could draft Moss. In a game held at Texas Stadium , Moss torched Dallas with a yard, 3-touchdown performance.
The Vikings opened the season with a 31—7 rout against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. His first touchdown was a yard acrobatic grab over defensive back Floyd Young late in the first quarter, in which Moss juggled the ball 3 times before securing it for the score. He added a yard touchdown reception on the Vikings first possession of the second quarter to give the Vikings a 21—0 lead. He also had a yard touchdown catch on the Vikings first possession of the game that was nullified due to an offensive holding penalty.
However, the Atlanta Falcons stunned the Vikings by winning the NFC Championship Game 30—27 in overtime, with Gary Anderson missing a late 4th-quarter field goal that would have iced the game, after finishing with the first ever perfect regular season by a kicker in NFL history.
He went on to record five receptions for yards and a touchdown in the Vikings 27—10 NFC wildcard playoff win over the Dallas Cowboys. Louis Rams 49—37, despite Moss catching nine passes for yards and two touchdowns. There was a stipulation that he would have to pay the difference in addition to any other fine if he had another run-in with the league. He had 9 receptions for a Pro Bowl record yards and was given the game's Most Valuable Player award. Culpepper had been the team's first round draft pick in ; with a pick they received from the Redskins for quarterback Brad Johnson.
He had been selected largely due to his extremely strong arm, which the team believed was perfectly suited for Moss's deep routes.
For the second time in three seasons, Moss punished the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas on Thanksgiving Day, including a spectacular 2nd half touchdown in which Moss caught the ball with his entire body out of bounds, aside from his toes.
The play would be the feature shot in NFL commercials for years to come. Moss finished the season with a career-high 1, yards and league leading 15 touchdown catches.
In doing so, he became the youngest and fastest player to ever catch over 3, yards and 45 touchdowns, earning him his 3rd consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl, and 2nd selection to the All Pro team. But Moss, who was entering the final year of the rookie contract he signed in , was seeking a long-term deal that would make him the highest-paid player in the NFL. One of the strategies the Vikings first-year head coach came up with was a formula to get Moss the ball more often.
Coach Tice called it the Randy Ratio. The Randy Rules, similar to the Jordan Rules , were a defensive strategy that teams employed when facing the Vikings to try and eliminate or reduce Randy's impact on the game, and to prevent Moss from being matched up one-on-one with defenders because of his ability to burn them deep or outjump them in single coverage. Opposing teams would routinely double cover Moss with techniques such as having a cornerback attempt to jam him at the line of scrimmage, having a corner defend underneath with a safety defending against the deep ball, having a zone defense roll to Moss' side of the field, and assigning "spies" to follow Moss everywhere he went.
Coach Tice discussed the strategy, explaining that Moss would be running more short and intermediate routes and fewer deep patterns. In training camp, Moss worked specifically on 12 new routes that he had rarely run in his first 4 NFL seasons, such as crossing patterns over the middle of the field and hook routes. In fact, we'll probably throw the ball down the field to Randy this year even less. Randy Moss said "I didn't really care much about the Randy Ratio when it was brought up.
I just wanted to win. Tice suggested after the season that it was a mistake to inform opponents about his offensive gameplan, but that it was a tool "to motivate [Moss] and say he was the guy.
He finished with receptions for 1, yards and 17 touchdowns. All three numbers either tied or became a new personal best for Moss. Vikings finished for the season. One of Moss's memorable highlights that year was when he lateraled to Moe Williams for a last second touchdown during a home game against Denver.
However, he sustained a hamstring injury to his right leg against New Orleans in Week 6 that hampered him for the next five weeks. He played in Week 7 against Tennessee , but had no receptions in a game for the first time in his career.
He also played the following week against the Giants, but again recorded no receptions and was used mainly as a decoy. The injury eventually sidelined him for 3 straight weeks.
He returned to the lineup in Week 12 with a touchdown catch against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Even though he finished the season with 13 touchdowns in 13 games, he posted career lows in receptions 49 and receiving yards Moss made the Pro Bowl five times in his seven-year career with the Minnesota Vikings —, , and Adding a player of Moss's caliber generated optimism in Oakland,  but the Raiders' poor play continued, while Moss suffered nagging injuries which limited his production.
However, Moss only managed yards on 42 balls in Moss was not happy in Oakland, and on November 14, , when he was honored as a kick returner by having an award named after him, he responded to questions about his dropped passes and lackluster effort in several games.
Moss said, "Maybe because I'm unhappy and I'm not too much excited about what's going on, so, my concentration and focus level tend to go down sometimes when I'm in a bad mood". First-year Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin went so far as to contact their division rival Denver Broncos to "gauge interest",  but the Patriots and Green Bay Packers were the two teams most interested in acquiring Moss.
Packers QB Brett Favre , who once said, "There is no one in this league who puts fear in people more than Randy Moss,"  tried to persuade team management to trade for him, but a deal that both sides could agree to did not get done. Bill Belichick spoke with Moss for the first time about the possibility of joining the Patriots at 2: The draft pick had been acquired by the Patriots the previous day from the San Francisco 49ers , and the Raiders selected John Bowie.
Once the Patriots had Moss on their roster, he quickly agreed to a new one-year contract to replace his old one. He has a proven track record. He quickly quieted critics who claimed that his skills had deteriorated by hauling in 9 receptions for yards, including a yard touchdown pass in which he ran past 3 Jets defenders.
Sports wrote, "Every week, in addition to out-leaping at least one defender for a touchdown, [Moss] keeps making incredible one-handed grabs that make you mutter, 'How the heck did he come up with that? On December 29, the Patriots defeated the New York Giants 38—35, finishing their regular season with a perfect 16—0 record. Moss caught two touchdown passes for a total of 23, breaking the single season record of 22 touchdown receptions previously set by Jerry Rice in 12 games in the strike-shortened season.
On the same play, Tom Brady broke Peyton Manning 's single season record set in with his 50th touchdown pass. He also earned his sixth Pro Bowl selection. His season featured touchdowns in 13 of 16 games including 8 multi-touchdown games , nine yard games, and six touchdown receptions of 40 or more yards. Super Bowl XLII[ edit ] Despite his record breaking season, Moss was relatively quiet in the playoffs going 2 consecutive games without a touchdown for the first time all season.
However, this was still not enough to enable the heavily favored Patriots to eclipse the only undefeated season with a Super Bowl win, held by the Miami Dolphins. Eli Manning drove the Giants down the field connecting with Plaxico Burress , for what proved to be the game winner and huge upset over Moss and the Patriots. Moss described what he saw on the play by saying "any time you see something like that, that looks foul, it looks dirty, it opens your eyes.
So, me personally, it looked dirty. In , Moss hauled in 69 catches for 1, yards and 11 touchdowns despite losing quarterback Tom Brady in the first game of the season.
In a snowy Week 6 game against the winless Tennessee Titans , Moss caught three touchdown passes from Tom Brady, two of them in the 2nd quarter as Brady set a record for most touchdown passes in a single quarter with five.
This was Moss's 34th multi-touchdown game, and his 8th game with 3 or more touchdowns. During the Patriots bye week, Belichick stated that Moss "is the smartest receiver he's ever been around. He said Moss not only knows what he's doing on a play, but what everybody else on the field is doing as well.
They just have a sixth, seventh sense", Belichick said. The touchdown reception was the th of his career, which moved him into a tie for 2nd place with Terrell Owens. The following week, in a prime time Sunday night matchup against the Indianapolis Colts , Moss had yards and two touchdowns, including a yard touchdown in the 2nd quarter that moved him ahead of Terrell Owens for sole possession of 2nd place in career touchdown receptions.
He finished the season with 83 receptions for 1, yards and 13 touchdowns. After the game, Moss told reporters that it would be his final season with the Patriots. The following week against the Buffalo Bills , Moss had two more catches, both for touchdowns. His final game in New England came in Week 4 on Monday Night Football against the Miami Dolphins ; he did not record a catch in the game for the first time in his Patriots career as a touchdown pass attempt off a fake spike bounced off his hands in the end zone.
Return to Minnesota[ edit ] Randy Moss with the Vikings in Tennessee Titans[ edit ] Moss was claimed off waivers by the Tennessee Titans , the only team to submit a claim, on November 3, He made six catches for 80 yards and no touchdowns.
Moss finished the season with career lows in receptions 28 and receiving yards The Titans stated that they did not plan to re-sign Moss for the season, and he became a free agent. Initial retirement and comeback[ edit ] On August 1, , Moss's agent, Joel Segal , announced Moss's decision to retire from professional football.
In a live video chat with his fans via Ustream , Moss stated, "I wanna play football. Your boy is going to come back here and play some football, so I'm really excited. I had some things I had to adjust in my life.
San Francisco 49ers[ edit ] On March 12, , Moss signed a one-year contract with the San Francisco 49ers for undisclosed financial terms after a workout with the team's head coach Jim Harbaugh. After Alex Smith suffered a concussion against the St. Louis Rams in week 10, Colin Kaepernick took over as the team's quarterback, but Moss had at least two receptions in each of the remaining five games of the regular season.
He finished the season with 28 catches for yards and three touchdowns. Since the retirement of Terrell Owens at the end of , he had been the NFL's active leader in receiving yards.