Perhaps the most interesting individual matchup in Sunday's Patriots-Raiders game will be New England wide receiver Randy Moss taking on Oakland cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. In theory, anyway. Asomugha has quietly -- because he plays for Oakland -- become one of the league's best corners, while Moss continues to be, well, Randy Moss. Granted, he's not going to haul in 20+ touchdowns this season, but he's still a force to be reckoned with in the passing game.
One would think that since Asomugha is the best in the business at shutting down opposing receivers, and because Moss is still one of the NFL's best big-play threats -- even without Tom Brady -- the Raiders would use their franchise player to shadow Moss everywhere he goes. But, since they're the Raiders, they won't.
File this under: this is why you're 3-10.
I realize Welker leads the NFL with 96 catches, and already has over 1,000 yards, but this just doesn't seem to make much sense from an Oakland standpoint. If I were Tom Cable or Rob Ryan, I'd have Asomugha following Moss everywhere he goes on Sunday. If Moss goes to the left side, Asomugha would be going left. If Moss goes to the right, Asomugha would be going right. If Moss leaves the field to go to the bathroom, Asomugha would be following him there, too. Just to send a message.
Welker is a nice player, and as it turns out, tough as nails, but everybody in the NFL knows where he's going to be in the Patriots' passing game - behind the line of scrimmage, or, at most, six yards down field. Of his 96 catches this year, 33 have been caught behind the line of scrimmage, while 54 have been on passes thrown less than 10 yards in the air. Only nine times this season has Welker caught a pass more than 10 yards down field.
Doesn't make sense. Though, I'm sure the Patriots are loving the idea.
Randy Moss Won't Be Seeing Much of Nnamdi Asomugha on Sunday originally appeared on NFL FanHouse on Sat, 13 Dec 2008 12:30:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.