|Randy Moss (1 catch) plays decoy, Patriots advance to AFC title game|
|Written by Admin|
|Saturday, 12 January 2008 19:44|
Moss caught just one pass in New England's 31-20 playoff victory over Jacksonville on Saturday night, but just by being on the field he gave Brady and the rest of the Patriots enough room to pick apart the Jaguars.
``They just didn't really want me to bust the game wide open, putting two or three guys on me,'' Moss said. ``But, like I said, we win as a team. I've never been a greedy guy; I'm not going to start now. So hats off, 17-0, what else can you ask for?''
Brady completed 26 of 28 passes to eight different receivers for 262 yards. He also threw for three touchdowns - none of them to the receiver who caught an NFL-record 23 of Brady's NFL-record 50 TD passes in the regular season.
``I think the thing with trying to take away Randy or trying to take away any one player, I mean, you're vulnerable in a lot of other places,'' Brady said. ``If you're taking two guys every play and putting them on Randy, then you leave a lot of other guys one-on-one.''
Wes Welker caught nine passes for 54 yards; Donte Stallworth had the big catch with a 53-yarder; running back Kevin Faulk had five catches; and Benjamin Watson caught two touchdowns for New England. Laurence Maroney and Jabar Gaffney also caught more passes than Moss.
``It's not his fault when he catches 10; it's not his fault when he catches one. He's just doing his job,'' Watson said. ``His job's to run the routes. If he gets the ball, catch it; if it goes to someone else, it goes to someone else.''
Brady didn't have someone else last year, when the Patriots traded 2005 Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch in September to end his contract holdout. It finally hurt them in the AFC title game, when Reche Caldwell dropped two passes and the Indianapolis Colts went on to win the Super Bowl.
New England spent the offseason fixing its No. 1 problem, acquiring Moss and Welker in trades and signing Stallworth as a free agent. More than anything else, the revamped receiving corps is the reason the Patriots are threatening the 1972 Miami Dolphins' status as the only NFL team to go undefeated through the Super Bowl.
``They didn't get 16-0 by just Randy Moss,'' Jaguars defensive end Paul Spicer said.
Moss' only catch was a 14-yarder on a fourth-and-5 in the first quarter. The rest of the time he seemed content to run his routes and draw the defenders away from his teammates.
``They did a great job of controlling me, but they did a bad job of controlling the rest of the team,'' said Moss, who showed up for his postgame interview in a powder blue Superman hoodie. ``It didn't frustrate me whatsoever. It was just something I had to get used to.''