For Vikings fans, Randy Moss hasn't had the type of season many expected -- primarily because he didn't score the touchdowns with the same regularity that he did in his first three seasons.
However, the numbers are still there, but VU is being told there is a strong chance that Moss' comments and not his play on the field could prevent him from being named to the Pro Bowl roster for the NFC, which will be announced later today.
The numbers speak for themselves. Moss' 10 touchdowns are second among NFC wide receivers to Terrell Owens of the 49ers. If he has just 50 yards in the season finale, he will be the first player in NFL history to have four straight seasons with 1,300 receiving yards or more -- a feat he accomplished in his first four seasons. Yet, the word we're hearing is that his off-field sound-offs are carrying more weight than his on-field ability.
For the last two years, Moss has been the runaway favorite among internet voters at NFL.com, which administers the fan portion of the Pro Bowl voting. According to the league, equal one-third shares are given to fan voting, player voting and coach voting. While VU finds that to be a little ambiguous because the results are never publicly given as to the breakdown of votes among players and coaches, the fan vote has been amazing this year -- 42 million votes as opposed to 19 million last year.
While Moss doesn't deserve to start -- that should go to Owens and David Boston of Arizona -- he should be one of the four wide receivers sent to Honolulu. The biggest competition should come from Keyshawn Johnson, who has led the league in receptions most of the year, but has just one TD to show for it. To bypass Moss, the league would have to take Chicago's Marty Booker, Isaac Bruce or Tory Holt of St. Louis or Joe Horn of New Orleans. While all of them had put together solid years, none of them can compare to Moss for ability or star power or even numbers. Granted, Horn's numbers are very similar, but he's had Aaron Brooks all year, whereas Moss has been forced to play with three QBs this year.
Moss was good enough to start the last three years and this season he has had more receptions than any year in his career, despite constant double-teaming. But the perception he's brought isn't good at all.
VU asked some of our sources that cover other NFL teams to ask about how players perceive Moss and the result was surprising. One writer told us that players talked about the ballot and said not to vote for Moss, while others told us that players have begrudgingly given Moss the vote, but that some intentionally kept him off because of his attitude.
Is Moss going to make the Pro Bowl? If he doesn't, there is something wrong and, if he's asked to go as an alternate if, for example, Holt or Bruce get named and decline because they play in the Super Bowl, it wouldn't surprise any of us if Moss declines the inviation -- nor should he be blamed if he is snubbed.
* A pair of former Vikings led the fan balloting for the AFC. Rich Gannon of the Raiders and John Randle of the Seahawks got the most votes among fans for the Pro Bowl and both will likely get invitations for the anticlimactic all-star game.
* VU is being told the Vikings may have no players make the roster this year and, if they do, Moss or center Matt Birk are the only two players who will even receive consideration.
* An MRI done on Shawn Worthen's injured ankle should no structural damage, simply a high ankle sprain.
Will Moss Get Jobbed Out of Pro Bowl?
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