For being one of six active players with 800 career catches, Randy Moss always seems to have something to prove.
Last year, he was called the volatile teammate, who wasn't happy unless he was scoring, dancing and winning, and who couldn't go a season without complaining. Wrong. Thanks in large part to Randy, the Patriots won 18 straight, and he scored and daced more than any player in NFL history.
This year, the naysayers were out again, calling for Randy to explain his lack of production and apparent lack of interest after New England suffered key injuries and a pair of tough losses.
Moss has passed that challenge too. Just as convincingly.
In the past two games, Moss has been every bit the weapon a quarterback like Matt Cassel needs to survive in the NFL. The most impressive part is how he's become it.
Moss, designated a captain before the year, has changed his game entirely, a huge reason the once-inept Patriot offense has posted 64 points the past two games. A deep threat whose job was to run in a straight line down the field for much of last year, Moss has seamlessly switched to doing the dirty work. Against Denver, No. 81 caught screens (one for a touchdown) and passes over the middle, and scored his other touchdown on a jump ball when New England made it down to the goal line.
Against St. Louis, Moss again did everything it took to win. He was out blocking for Wes Welker on several passes, and took shots on slants over the middle in order to catch the 10-yard passes for first downs that he never would have tried last year. The same 10-yard passes that allows a quarterback like Cassel, essentially a rookie despite four years in the league, to feel he can lead an NFL offense.
Consider the naysayers silenced. When the times were roughest, Moss transitioned into a weapon the struggling Cassel could use. Just like a captain should.