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Jerry Rice vs Randy Moss

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Jerry Rice vs Randy Moss

Postby blueonion » Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:20 pm

I know, I know...many of you reading this are saying, "This Viking fan is an idiot homer and I am going to straighten this thing out right away."...but here me out.

A couple of weeks I was involved in a debate with my best friend, who is die-hard 9999ers fan. I was playing the devils' advocate by trying to make an argument that Randy Moss in his prime is a better wide receiver than Jerry Rice in his prime. Even has a die-hard Vikings fan, I have always considered Jerry Rice the best of all-time. But when I was making my argument, I stumbled upon something that really made me think:

I conceded the fact Jerry Rice runs better patterns and may even have better hands.
I also conceded that Jerry Rice will go over the middle with considerably more success.

But what I started to realize was, if you took Jerry Rice out of San Francisco, put him on a team that ran more button hooks, down-and-outs and go patterns and put an average quarterback like Jon Kitna at the helm...would Jerry Rice still make 12 catches, for 160+ yards and 3 touchdowns? What if he had Jon Kitna at quarterback and was constantly double-teamed? Could Rice still beat the double-team and could Jon Kitna deliver such a precise pass that only Rice could catch it?

Although I think Jerry Rice is the best wide receiver ever to play the game, I think his numbers and success were a product of being in a system that utilized his strength and he always had a quarterback who could precisely deliver the ball to him in stride.

Now Randy Moss on the other, given the same circumstances of playing in Cincinatti with Jon Kitna at quarterback, I believe he could still produce 160+ yards and 3 touchdowns because of his athletic gifts alone.

I guess in the past I always ranked wide receivers based on the following criteria:

1 Running Routes
2 Hands
3 Consistency
4 Physical Gifts (speed, height, jumping ability)

But obviously these criteria do not do Moss any justice. His physical gifts are far and away so superior to others trying to cover him, he can get his numbers with bad quarterbacks just as well as can get his numbes with a good quarterback. And in either case, every play Moss makes a safety play 20 to 25 yards off the line of scrimmage. Rice never had the speed to do this. If teams double coveraged Rice, they could still play their safety 10 to 15 yards off the line of scrimmage. Not only does this help receivers underneath, it greatly assist the running game.

Obviously, I still think Jerry Rice has the best package of running routes, soft hands and being consistent of any wide receiver I have ever watched. But was Rice ever considered open when he ran a fly pattern with triple coverage? In most cases, Moss is still considered open.

Any thoughts?

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Postby M_Zimm_ffc » Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:28 pm

I am as die-hard Viking fan as they come. I think you left somebody out...Chris Carter. I think he had better hands and could run better routes than Rice ever could.
As far as Moss vs Rice, I don't know if you can compare. Moss is one of the best WRs and so is Rice, but I think Moss is the better WR. Moss is on pace to break Rice's record for yards and TDs. In his first 5 years in the league, he has produced better stats than any other WR in five years. I don't think we will even get to see either one play with a QB like Kitna. I do think Rice was kind of a product of the system. He has never beenas good since he moved to Oakland...all the way to Oakland from SF...anyway, you can disagree, but this is how I see it.
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Postby Purple_Pride » Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:40 pm

another thing that puts Rice above Moss IMO is that look at how long Rice has been able to be a quality WR. Moss may be on track to break records but i do not believe he will last as long as Rice has and longetivity is part of being a great player. but in responce to Zimm i do think Carter has a better WR than Rice. Rice always had montana and young where as Carter has has a stable full of journeyman QB's gannon, salisbury, goerge, etc. Carter could run a route tighter than any i have seen and i dont think anyone can make a sideline grab like CC. and i dont think anyone is tougher in the endzone.
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Postby M_Zimm_ffc » Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:42 pm

I already gave my Opinion, but Viking fans, we have a PB match on here. Them Bronco fans are getting pretty cocky.
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Postby Purple_Pride » Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:44 pm

i have one going with orange and blue already, everyone talks about how lenny walls is so tall and can shut down moss, but how does he expect to stay close to moss? moss will blow right by him! i have faith the Vikes will win this game. with the #1 offence in the NFL and a steady D that makes alot of big plays.
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Postby 9er Fan » Thu Oct 16, 2003 1:53 pm

Rice had an NFL record 23 touchdowns in the strike shortened 12-game season ('87). I'm sure he was in single coverage for most of those however, unlike Moss who constantly gets triple-covered.

Your main argument seems to be that Rice's stats are inflated because he had Montana/Young throwing to him. Did you ever think that having Rice as his #1 is one of the reasons Montana is considered to be one of the best QBs of all time? Christ, even Grbac/Bono were studs when they had Rice to throw to.

Put Culpepper on the 49'ers in the late 80's, and he too would be considered one of the best QB's of all time.
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Postby Purple_Pride » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:01 pm

Rice always had other great recievers around him to take the preasure off. moss has who? D. Bates? K. Campbell? M. Williams? christ he just made Gus Frerotte make Montanna look like a CFL QB.
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Jerry Rice

Postby blueonion » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:18 pm

9er fan -

Don't get me wrong, I think Rice is one of the best wide receivers of all time and it is hard to argue who made who great (Montana, Young or Rice) or if they were all great. I think all three were great, but that is beside the point.

But lets imagine Rice playing in a poor system with a poor quarterback in which the quarterback often did not make good reads or the quarterback often could not throw the ball to a receiver in stride?

I cannot recall Rice ever having to make a 'jump' for a ball or have to stop and reach back to catch a ball. Much of what I remember about Rice was catching the ball in stride. Rice was awesome when it came to 'creating seperation' from the defensive backs. But Rice would still be dependent on a few things:

1 the quarterback making the correct read
2 the quarterback deliverying the ball on target
3 the quarterback deliverying the ball on time

All I am saying is Moss is not dependent on anything. Moss sprints deep and whether there is 1 defensive back covering him or three defensive backs covering, the quarterback can just heave up a big rainbow of a pass. Moss's physical gifts make this a high percentage pass play regardless of the quarterback.

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Postby M_Zimm_ffc » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:21 pm

Purple_Pride wrote:i have one going with orange and blue already, everyone talks about how lenny walls is so tall and can shut down moss, but how does he expect to stay close to moss? moss will blow right by him! i have faith the Vikes will win this game. with the #1 offence in the NFL and a steady D that makes alot of big plays.

There is no way. Remember a couple of years back when the Vikes played vs the Cowboys and Deon Sanders (in his prime) could't stop Moss? And in that game he made an amazing catch...triple covered...
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Postby Purple_Pride » Thu Oct 16, 2003 2:41 pm

remember the thanksgiving day game agaisnt the Cowboys and Moss burned Deon for 3 recptions, over 160 yards and 3 TD. you can not stop Moss, only his own team can take him out if they choose to run the offence a different way.
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