Vince Verhei of Football Outsiders has an article up on ESPN In$ider today about how the Patriots offense hasn't been the same without Randy Moss. A lot has been made of the fact that Moss only had 9 catches for 139 yards in his 4 games with the Patriots this season, but that doesn't even come close to tell the story of what Randy Moss does for an offense. The article above breaks down Tom Brady's stats with and without Moss. Brady's completion percentage, yards per attempt, touchdowns and ratings are all down since Moss was traded. He has also taken more sacks, and his DVOA has gone from 1st in the league to 14th.
The article also talks about the effect Moss had on Wes Welker and the Patriots tight ends. Welker's DYAR (defense -adjusted yards above replacement) went from 59 with Moss to -19 without him. In other words, as Verhei says in the article:
After Moss left, though, Welker's value vanished. Note the right-hand column of that table. "DYAR" stands for Defense-Adjusted Yards Above Replacement, and the fact that this number is negative indicates that Welker is actually playing worse than your typical unemployed wideout right now.
The moral of the story for us is to keep in mind that Randy Moss brings so much more to the team than just his actual numbers. Of course we all want to see him go 5 catches for 110 yards and 2 TDs against the Dolphins, but keep an eye on the numbers of guys like Nate Washington and Bo Scaife. That will give you a better since of his overall value to the offense.
Then there is what he will do for Chris Johnson. Moss just being on the field takes the 8th guy out of the box, and while the unblocked man hasn't been the only problem with the rushing game so far this season, sometimes it is because our interior lineman are getting blown into the backfield, we all know that CJ2K is deadly once he gets into the second level. It only takes one play with one less guy around the line of scrimmage for CJ to change the complexion of a game.
Just like the man himself said- Take the ball deep. Take the top off the defense (This video will never get old).