What Does No Moss Mean?

The proponents of the Randy Moss trade claim the Vikings did just fine last year without him. At VU, we let the numbers do the talking and you do the deciding.

Remember the start of last season? It wasn't Peyton Manning who was getting headlines as the QB capable of breaking the touchdown record, it was Daunte Culpepper. Even without Randy Moss putting up the monster yardage numbers early, he became the team's top goal-line threat.

When Moss got injured, things changed dramatically for the Vikings -- which is a full-time question now that he's been traded. But, talking about it is easy. Looking at the numbers is a better barometer.

In the five games Moss played before his injury, Culpepper completed 72.2 percent of his passes, threw for 18 TDs as opposed to just three interceptions, had three five-TD games and was on pace to throw 58 touchdowns over a 16-game season.

In the six games Culpepper had with a less-than-100 percent Moss, his numbers declined, but didn't fall off the table. He completed 67 percent of his passes and had 12 touchdowns and five interceptions. Over the course of a full season that would play out to 32 touchdowns.

But, in the five games in which Culpepper had no Moss, he threw just nine touchdowns and three interceptions, which plays out to 29 touchdowns for a full season.

You do the math. A full season with Moss healthy and Pepp was on pace to throw 58 TDs. Games without Moss and Culpepper's pace was exactly half that total. How important was Moss? You decide.

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