Pigskin Pick 'Em

Word of the day: Mossed

Posted: Friday, September 28, 2007

It's a simple word to learn.

But a challenging one to grasp.

Mossed verb To be abused, burned and/or humiliated by New England Patriots wide receiver Randy Moss.

Buffalo Bills cornerback Jabari Greer should contact Webster's Dictionary to formally submit it. After all, it was Greer who coined the catchy phrase in the first place.

"I got Mossed," he said after the resurgent wideout schooled him for a pair of touchdowns in Sunday's embarrassing 38-7 loss at New England.

By the end of the season, Webster's may have to seriously consider it, as nearly every team on the Patriots' schedule could mutter it at one time or another.

That's because the formerly troubled wide receiver has already shattered nearly every prediction set forth for him by prognosticators this season.

As if Tom Brady didn't already have enough ammunition at his expense.

Now he's got perhaps the NFL's deadliest weapon on his side.

With Moss on the field, drawing double teams more often than not, Brady is truly living up to the Joe Montana-billing he's so graciously been given over the years.

Having completed 70-of-88 passes that's only six incompletions a game Brady's tossed 10 touchdowns with only one interception, Moss on the receiving end of five of those touchdowns.

That's more than any Pats wide receiver had all of last season and there's still 13 games remaining.

But it's the way Moss is doing it that's shaking some heads.

In single coverage for some strange reason, he was barely touched by Greer on a 3-yard slant late in the first half.

That one was cake.

The 45-yarder later on, however, provided fans a glimpse into the future of what could develop into one of the greatest quarterback-wide receiver tandems in history.

Moss, who already has 22 receptions for 403 yards, beat Greer, again in single coverage, down the right sideline in the fourth quarter. With the ball already arcing downward into the shady corner of Gillette Stadium, the 6-foot-4 Moss used his left hand to fend off the striding Greer while hauling the pass in nearly one-handed with his right arm before easily walking into the end zone.

Once again, he made it look easy.

"How would I guard Randy Moss? I'm not giving away no secrets because right now whatever he's doing is working," said Patriots cornerback Ellis Hobbs. "I'll guard him with a prayer. Just: `Lord, please allow him not to catch the ball on me.'"

Greer should have recited that one prior to the game.

Maybe others will learn from his mistakes.

After dismantling the Jets, Chargers and Bills, New England now travels to Cincinnati for a highly anticipated Monday night shootout.

Desperate for a win of their own after back-to-back setbacks at Cleveland and Seattle, the Bengals also showcase one of the premier offenses in the league with Rudi Johnson running the ball although he was recently ruled out for the game with a hamstring injury and Carson Palmer shuffling between Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

Their defense, on the other hand, is surrendering almost 403 yards and 32 points a game, including 51 to a lowly Browns' team destined for the first pick in next year's NFL draft.

Favored by a touchdown, the Patriots have scored exactly 38 points in each of their first three games while limiting opponents to a total of 35 points 10.7 per contest.

It begs the question, can Palmer, Ocho-Cinco and Housh go score for score with Brady and Co.?

They really have no other choice.

Just in case, though, members of Cincinnati's secondary may want to have a dictionary handy.

Or they could always just deliver a verse from Hobbs 3:16.

PATRIOTS, 38-28.

Baltimore (minus 4) at Cleveland

Used to running wild on the Browns, Jamal Lewis surprisingly turns the table on a stiff Baltimore defense. BROWNS, 20-17.

Chicago (minus 3) at Detroit

Brian Griese was the backup for a reason. LIONS, 24-23.

Green Bay (minus 2) at Minnesota

Vikings have third-best run defense in league. Green Bay has Brett Favre. PACKERS, 27-17.

Houston (minus 3) at Atlanta

Andre Johnson is still sidelined. Joey Harrington should be. TEXANS, 24-20.

New York Jets (minus 3 1/2) at Buffalo

WR Lee Evans finally scores. Buffalo finally wins. BILLS, 38-35.

Oakland (plus 4) at Miami

Daunte Culpepper makes Miami think twice about releasing him. Trent Green makes the Dolphins rethink they're decision to acquire him. RAIDERS, 31-17.

Seattle (minus 2) at San Francisco

Niners make it three straight over Seattle. 49ERS, 35-32.

St. Louis (plus 13) at Dallas

I've stuck with the Rams every week and lost. COWBOYS, 35-24.

Tampa Bay (plus 3) at Carolina

Haven't picked the Bucs yet. Still not going to. PANTHERS, 24-22.

Denver (plus 9 1/2) at Indianapolis

Indy seeking third straight 4-0 start. They get it, but tougher than expected. COLTS, 31-27.

Kansas City (plus 11 1/2) at San Diego

LT's got to blow up sometime. No better opportunity than against a team that's allowed 113 rushing yards per game. CHARGERS, 41-25.

Pittsburgh (minus 6) at Arizona

Anquan Boldin was eight for 118 and a TD the last time these teams met in 2003 and he had Jeff Blake throwing to him. Whether Matt Leinart or Kurt Warner play, they're both better. And so is Boldin. CARDINALS, 28-21.

Philadelphia (minus 3) at New York Giants

Eagles knocked the Giants out of postseason last season. Now they just knock Eli Manning out. EAGLES, 28-24.

LAST WEEK: 10-3-3 (spread); 11-5 (straight up)

SEASON: 27-15-6 (spread); 27-21 (straight up)

Comments and criticisms may be sent to Clarion sports reporter Matthew Carroll at matthew.carroll@peninsulaclarion.com.

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