I thought I would take a moment to detour from all of the Vince vs Fisher fiasco of the afternoon. It seemed as if the our passing game has been struggling the last couple of weeks which happens to coincide with the acquisition of Randy Moss. It is not so much the completion percentage I am referring to but our offense has felt as if it lacked the spark that carried it through most of the first part of the season.
The thought with the Moss deal was that it would help out our passing game by having Moss draw double coverage opening things up for Nate Washington, and it would help the running game by forcing the defense to cover the pass drawing out defenders from the box.
Here are some passing and rushing statistics from before and after Randy Moss. (Rusty's stats are not included)
Game Yards/Completion (VY and KC) Yards/Run (CJ only)
1 Raiders 11.8 5.26
2 Steelers 9.0 2.12
3 Giants 11.8 3.91
4 Broncos 10.2 2.79
5 Cowboys 14.4 6.89
6 Jags 12.2 4.2
7 Eagles 16.2 2.75
8 Chargers 16.9 3.93
Pre-MossAve: 12.68 4.05
10 Dolphins 7.9 6.8
11 Redskins 13.75 6.2
Post-MossAve: 10.2 20% decrease 6.5 49% increase
Although this does not prove a correlation, I believe these stats are directly caused by the addition of Randy Moss. He has undoubtedly helped Chris Johnson, and if he was part of the team from the beginning of the season, CJ may very well have had another 2000 yard season.
However, what was not expected, is Moss negatively impacting the passing game. This is not proof of that correlation but after thinking about it, it makes sense. Moss has caused opposing defenses to not sell out to stop the run. Defenses stacking the box has actually helped our passing game early in the season. The Titans used CJ to setup the play-action deep ball, but Moss causes defenses to specifically cover the deep ball. End result, he has actually hurt the very thing he was brought here to help. Our passing game works when we do not have a wide receiver that other teams respect.
The boost Moss has given CJ is not enough to offset the harm that has been done to the passing game. We cannot score enough points with CJ alone to offset our poor defensive play.
It's possible that this is just an anomaly or that Kenny Britt is really just that good. What does everyone else think?