February 1, 2013
The clip above is from 2010, back when Randy Moss was still a Patriot. In Moss’ prime, there was no stopping him once he was locked in. Darrell Revis found out the hard way. Whether you believe he is the best WR of all time or not is debatable, however there is one thing for certain…
His best seasons 2003 (111 catches for 1632 yards, 17 TDs) and 2007 (98 catches for 1,493 yards, and a NFL record 23 TDs) are better than Jerry Rice ever had. Debating on Jerry Rice v. Randy Moss for GOAT status gets tricky because they are different types of receivers. Rice was a possession receiver. His success was predicated on running smooth/crisp routes to get open and move the chains. Moss was more of an explosive playmaker. When he got to the NFL, he was so incredibly talented, his ability overwhelmed everyone he faced. Running precise routes aren’t necessary when you are taller and faster than all of your opponents.
Both Randy and Jerry were perfect compliments to the offensive systems they were in. Randy Moss was most successful when he was in an offense that relied heavily on the deep ball and had a QB with good arm strength (i.e. Daunte Culpepper and Tom Brady). Jerry Rice spent most of his career in a West Coast offense, which required him to run a lot of quick to intermediate routes. The goal of the offense is to get the ball out of the QB’s hands as quickly as possible when passing. West Coast offenses are heavily predicated on timing, so Rice needed to become a masterful route runner. This system treats quick passes like running plays, and they are frequently used to get first downs.
With all that being said… If you asked me to pick one of the two in their prime I’d go with Moss. You can’t teach that kind of height and speed.