When Moss reached out and made a one-handed grab after beating Jets defender and chief nemesis Darrelle Revis at the goal line in Week Two, no one could foresee it would be his last true highlight reel catch in a Patriots uniform.
With the Randy Moss era in New England ending so abruptly and unexpected this week with his trade to Minnesota, Moss leaves an indelible mark on the Patriots franchise.
In just three-plus season in New England, Moss is ranked 11th on the Patriots all-time receiving list with 258 receptions; eighth on the all-time list for receiving yards with 3,904; and is tied for second overall with Ben Coates with 50 touchdown catches. He's also second all-time with eighteen 100-yard receiving games (Stanley Morgan, 38 in 12 seasons) and tied for seventh all-time in scoring with 302 points (Coates).
In Moss' first season in New England in 2007, he was Superman. He caught an NFL-record 23 touchdown passes, surpassing Hall of Famer Jerry Rice's previous record of 22 in 1987. He was also key in the Patriots setting several NFL single-season records that year, including most points in a season with 589 and most touchdowns in a season with 75 en route to completing the NFL's first 16-0 regular season.
Moss set a Patriots franchise record with 1,493 receiving yards in 2007, breaking Morgan's previous mark of 1,491 yards in 1986. Moss also set team records for receiving touchdowns (23), overall touchdowns (23) and points scored by a non-kicker (138).
Besides the numbers, Moss provided Patriots fans with great moments. Here are the top 10 Moss moments as a Patriot in chronological order:
1 – On Sept. 9, 2007, in his Patriots debut at the Meadowlands against the Jets, Moss garnered the third most receiving yards in a single game in team history with 183 yards and caught his first touchdown pass in a Patriots uniform on a 51-yard bomb from Tom Brady in a 38-14 victory.
2 – On Oct. 21, 2007, Moss leaped over Dolphins safeties Renaldo Hill and Cameron Worrell and came down with a 35-yard touchdown reception at Miami and turned in an equally amazing touchdown catch later in the game with a one-handed grab for a 50-yard score in the 49-28 win.
3 – On Nov. 18, 2007, Moss set a single-game career high and franchise record for touchdown receptions with four, all coming in the first half of the Patriots' victory over Buffalo and became just the fifth player in NFL history to grab four touchdown receptions in the first half of a game.
4 – On Dec. 9, 2007, Moss was the focal point of a double lateral gadget play when he returned a perfect cross-field spiral to Tom Brady that resulted in a 56-yard Jabar Gaffney touchdown reception against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
5 – On Dec. 29, 2007, during the last game of the season, Moss set the NFL all-time single-season touchdown receptions record with his 22nd and 23rd touchdown receptions of the season in the Patriots' comeback win at the Meadowlands against the Giants. He broke the NFL single-season record on a 65-yard go-route down the right sideline.
6 – On Feb. 3, 2008, Moss had five catches for 62 yards and one touchdown against the Giants in Super Bowl XLII, including a go-ahead six-yard scoring grab late in the fourth quarter.
7 – On Nov. 13, 2008, Moss made a diving catch in the right corner of the end zone in tight coverage for a 16-yard touchdown reception from Matt Cassel with one second remaining in the game against the Jets to send the game into overtime.
8 – On Nov. 23, 2008, Moss had his fifth career game with three or more touchdown receptions and the 59th 100-yard receiving game of his career, grabbing eight receptions for 125 yards and three touchdowns at Miami.
9 – On Oct. 11, 2009, Moss snagged his first career interception at Denver on the final play of the first half, hauling in a Kyle Orton Hail Mary pass when he lined up as a deep safety.
10 – On Sept. 9, 2010, Moss snatched the ball out of the air with one hand over Revis at the end of the first half. He palmed the ball and held it out without securing the ball with his other hand, probably in an attempt to show up Revis, his chief rival. Revis limped off the field with a hamstring injury. Terrell Owens would later say that Revis "Got Mossed!"
Thanks for the memories, however short! Good luck in Minnesota!
Kevin Saleeba is a frequent contributor and columnist to Patriots Insider. A former beat writer for local media, Kevin has extensive knowledge of the team and experience covering the Patriots. Share your thoughts on this article, or send your questions to Kevin (here. )
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