On Tuesday of this week, Randy Moss made some headlines when he proclaimed himself the greatest receiver to ever play the game. For some this was just an outright joke. Still other tried to see how they could make a case for him.
There really is no debate that Jerry Rice is the greatest receiver in NFL history. I would even say there is not only plenty of daylight between he and Moss but there are a few players between Rice and Moss on the list. Still, Moss had his chance to back up his words in the Super Bowl and perhaps cement himself as a Hall of Famer. All he had to do was come up big in the Super Bowl. Heck, it may have just taken a decent performance and a 49ers win to get that Hall of Fame decoder ring.
He would do nothing of the sort. His final stat was 2 catches for 41 yards. He was targeted five times in the game. One of them was an interception. The ball went over his head and into the waiting arms of Ed Reed and Moss made no attempt to go after Reed once he had the ball.
The two other incompletions were at very least partially Moss fault. One was a ball that was to his inside shoulder instead of his outside shoulder. But he didn't shield off the defender or fight for the ball and it was batted down and nearly intercepted. The other incompletion he could have come back for the ball and didn't.
Overall he just didn't seem like he should have been on that field. He looked like he should have stayed retired. He came out of retirement in the hopes that he could contribute just enough on this team to ride them to a title. He found out there are no free rides. If you want a championship, you have to fight for it. And Moss wasn't fighting for anything.
The 49ers never led in this game. It started out extremely lopsided. The Ravens took the first drive for a touchdown. Then the 49ers starting turning the ball over. First it was LaMichael James fumbling it away and then it was the Colin Kaepernick interception. Before they knew it, they were down 21-3 before halftime.
That lead ballooned to 28-6 when Ravens return man Jacoby Jones returned the second half kickoff 108 yards for the score.
No team had ever come back from more than 10 points down in a Super Bowl. The 49ers, down 22 points, would have to make some serious history to pull this one out. No better time Randy Moss to show the world he is indeed "The greatest receiver to every play the game".
Then the lights went out - literally. The power outage lasted 33 minutes and afterward, the 49ers began showing some life. Moss showed some life too. He had both his catches in the second half. The second of his catches went for 32 yards to put the 49ers in Baltimore territory on a drive in which they would score a touchdown to pull within two points at 29-31.
That's as close the 49ers would get to the Ravens. The lead was back to five on the next drive and then was only down to three because the Ravens took an intentional safety so they could kick off with :04 seconds remaining.
Randy Moss left the Super Bowl a loser for the second time in his career. I would expect he will retire again and this time for good.
He will have to hope the Hall of Fame voting committee looks past all the times he gave up on plays, gave up on his team, and his empty fingers, and focus solely on his stats. Oh wait, he said not to look at the stats when judging him. So...then look at his highlight reel. There's plenty of meaningless plays in meaningless games in there from which to choose.