Wide Receiver G.O.A.T. – Randy Moss > Jerry Rice

Randy Moss scored 90 touchdowns in his first 7 seasons with the Vikings. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Randy Moss scored 90 touchdowns in his first 7 seasons with the Vikings. (Elsa/Getty Images)

Randy Moss, the first WR since Jerry Rice to be voted into the HOF on the first ballot, turned 41 years-old on Tuesday. Being it’s Wednesday, some might say I’m a day late and a dollar short, but I’ll try to make up for it.

In my opinion, when it comes to pass catchers, 84 is the best to ever do it.

Like the basketball G.O.A.T. discussion, most see the “Greatest Of All Time” at wide receiver as a two-horse race. No disrespect to Magic Johnson, Larry Bird or Terrell Owens, but you guys are out on this one. This table is reserved for MJ, Lebron, Moss, and Rice.

Upon initially zeroing in on the 84 vs 80 debate, the most natural place to look is career stats. If you were to leave this head-to-head dual just at those numbers, Jerry Rice has Randy Moss beat. In the event judging a book by its cover is your thing, then be my guest. I advise against that approach, but it’s your life.

For Jerry Rice fanboys/girls who want to take the “he did it longer” than Moss approach, okay.

My stance is that the Rand, W.V. native did it for long enough. Nobody talks about MJ with the Wizards, Shaq with Boston, or Stephon Marbury in Asia. Grow up, Peter Pan. We are comparing GREATS here. If they are in the conversation, they played long enough.

Now, let’s be adults and peel back that statistical onion to compare these two illustrious careers on a per games basis (like you should):

                        Randy Moss                Jerry Rice

Rec.                     4.5                              5.1

Rec. Yards          70.15                         75.56

Rec. TD’s             .72                             .65

Rice takes home 2/3 on that one, but Moss outperforms him on the most important statistic: Touchdowns, homeboy.

Now, let’s toss in the rat-team of the mid 2000’s: The Oakland Raiders. While Jerry Rice spent the entire prime of his career playing with nothing but HOF QB’s, Moss rotted away in the Bay Area for two seasons of his athletic peak. Additionally, he bounced around like a pin-ball at the end of his career. To be fair, ironically enough, Rice had a stop in Oakland, before an extremely insignificant final stint with the Seahawks.

If you remove all of the bullshit that is Rice’s time outside of a 49er uniform, and anything besides Moss’ first tenure in MN or his three full seasons with the Patriots, here are their per game numbers:

                         Randy Moss                Jerry Rice

Rec.                      5.25                           5.38

Rec. Yards           82.2                          80.87

Rec. TD’s             .87                              .74

Well, there you have it. Moss takes the two most important rounds in the numbers argument. That’s game. Unlike the NFC Championship, it was a close contest. It’s not about how you get the W, as long as it’s there when the dust clears.

Q: What about the fact Rice had more career first downs?

A: With Randy being the stronger deep threat, he drew more of the defense’s attention. On top of that, while Rice benefited from the implementation of the West Coast offense, a lot of Moss’ yards and TDs came from just going f*cken deep. Everyone knew the inevitable long ball was coming, but yet they still couldn’t stop it. 

While we’re at it, keep your ring argument, too. Rice rode a San Francisco dynasty, while The Freak spent barely over three years in New England (& dealt with the whole 1998 thing). 

Anywho, In closing, I’m aware that Jerry Rice was much less controversial throughout his time in the NFL. Yes, Randy Moss did some stupid shit, but a lot of what he did was blown out of proportion.

Either way, the character aspect wasn’t taken into account for this debate. It was 100% related to the football field, and the football field only. When it comes down to pigskin and nothing else, Randy Moss is the greatest WR of all time.

And just to pile on, are you an eye test guy/gal? Because if so, then that argument isn’t even one I’d try to bring up as a Rice fan.

Johnny Minnesota @TheJohnnyMN
Minnesota Sports Fan MinnesotaSportsFan.com

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