NFL Takes, TooAthletic Takes

Many are saying that Antonio Brown’s path to the doorstep of the New England Patriots’ roster is like the road Hall of Famer Randy Moss took to Foxborough.  While Brown does bring his Hall of Fame talents and résumé to the AFC East, it will take a lot for the 31-year-old to match the three years that Moss had catching passing from Tom Brady; and I don’t think he will able to do it unless Brown becomes the number one receiver for a team that wins the Super Bowl, something Moss couldn’t do in his career.

The first year that Randy Moss donned the Red, White and Blue of the New England Patriots was for the 2007 season, the same year that the franchise had a perfect regular season and, after winning two playoff games, went to the Super Bowl as an 18-0 team before losing to the New York Giants.  That season, Tom Brady tossed a career-high 50 touchdown passes, with 23 of them caught by Moss, earning the wide receiver a first-team All-Pro selection.  The 23 TD receptions lead the NFL that season, one of two times in the three full seasons Moss played for the Patriots that he led the league in scoring receptions; and all three years saw the wide receiver tally at least 1,000 yards.  The biggest mark against the New England Patriots and Randy Moss is that having a Hall of Fame wide receiver posting huge numbers never turned into a Super Bowl championship; the lack of a ring is the same hole that Antonio Brown has on his career résumé.

Antonio Brown’s stats would be good enough to earn him a spot in Canton if he never played again; since his second season (2011), Brown was recorded more receptions (821), receiving yards (11,400) and receiving touchdowns (74) than anyone in the league.  Brown’s rookie season saw the Pittsburgh Steelers earn a trip to the Super Bowl but losing to the Green Bay Packers; Brown didn’t play much that entire year and wasn’t a major factor in the team’s Super Bowl loss. 

If the New England Patriots can earn a trip to the Super Bowl with Antonio Brown on the team, then by default the wide receiver has matched what Randy Moss did with the team.  If, by chance, the new diva on Tom Brady’s offense can win the Super Bowl, even if Brown leaves the team after only playing one year, then Brown’s efforts would surpass those of Randy Moss, because proving that he can be a positive, not a negative force is the biggest mark again Antonio Brown as he joined the Patriots’ team this week.

I wouldn’t bet against Antonio Brown and the New England Patriots this year; but I also wouldn’t bet against Brown being unable to control himself and having at least one or two ugly moments as the team sails toward another AFC Championship game and maybe even the Super Bowl.  Randy Moss set the bar for what wide receiver can do with talent and Tom Brady throwing them the football, now all Antonio Brown has to do is raise the bar without raising Hell.

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