New England Patriots: 30 greatest players in franchise history

(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images) /
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Randy Moss, New England Patriots
(Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images) /

. WR. (2007-10). Randy Moss. 28. player. 47

  • Pro Football Hall of Fame (Class of 2018)
  • NFL 2000s All-Decade Team
  • 2x NFL touchdown receptions leader w/Patriots (2007, 2009)
  • NFL record for most touchdown receptions in a season (23)
  • First-Team All-Pro w/Patriots (2007)
  • Pro Bowl w/Patriots (2007)

Though his New England career wasn’t all that long, lasting merely 3.5 seasons in length, we can’t possibly think about leaving an all-time great wide receiver like Randy Moss of this list. Moss was one of the most recent inductees into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in the Class of 2018.

Though the bulk of his accomplishments came with the team that drafted him in the Minnesota Vikings, how could anyone ever forget Moss’ first season in New England in 2007? Moss may have first became a superstar wide receiver playing for Dennis Green and being mentored by another Pro Football Hall of Fame wide receiver in Cris Carter in Minnesota. However, Moss was largely seen as a washed player after two bad years with the Oakland Raiders in 2005 and 2006.

Moss simply needed a change of scenery. Oakland had been a football graveyard quickly after Jon Gruden jumped ship to captain the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With all the talent in the world, Moss certainly tapped into that in his first year with the Patriots.

He quickly became the greatest wide receiver Tom Brady ever threw touchdown passes to. Moss had 98 catches for 1,498 yards that season, setting an NFL record for most touchdown receptions in a year with a ridiculous 23. Brady would also set an NFL record for most touchdown passes in a season with 50. Obviously, both were First-Team All-Pros in 2007, as Brady won his first NFL MVP award.

With an elite vertical threat in the passing game, the Patriots largely cruised to a perfect 16-0 during the 2007 NFL regular season. The 2007 Patriots were one of the most talented football teams in the history of the NFL. They seemed destined to join the 1972 Miami Dolphins as the only undefeated teams in NFL history in the Super Bowl era.

Of course, the New York Giants’ pass rush and wide receiver David Tyree’s helmet had other plans. No, Moss and the Patriots couldn’t finish the drill to perfection. The 2007 Patriots remain the greatest team in NFL history to not win a Super Bowl.

Moss wasn’t done putting up big numbers for New England. He went over 1,000 yards receiving in both 2008 and 2009. Keep in mind that he had Matt Cassel slinging him the pigskin in 2008, as Brady tore his ACL in Week 1 that year. Though he led the NFL in touchdown grabs with 13 in 2009, Moss didn’t make it to the Pro Bowl.

That would prove to be his last productive season in the NFL. 2010 was a year of great frustration for Moss, as he mustered just 28 catches for 393 yards and five touchdowns playing for three different teams. Moss would briefly retire after the 2010 campaign that saw him end it with the Tennessee Titans after a brief stop with the Vikings.

He did return in 2012 to play for the San Francisco 49ers. This was Moss’ last chance to win a Super Bowl, but the 49ers came up short against the Baltimore Ravens in XLVII in New Orleans. He would retire for good in 2012.

Overall, there may not have been a more gifted playmaker at wide receiver than Moss. Minnesota saw that first-hand for seven seasons. New England was blessed to get arguably the best season of his career with that stellar 2007 campaign of his. While Moss largely got into Canton on the first ballot due to his first seven years in the league with the Vikings, his 2007 NFL season with New England made his enshrinement in 2018 a no-brainer.