Let’s get deep into the Super Bowl 51 matchup. Why not dive further into the hypothetical world of the biggest football game of the season?
Sure, our comparison of QB / WR greatness will seem a bit odd. One of the parties has been retired for a while and now uses a microphone to earn his “straight cash homie.”
It’ll be fun first of all. Second of all, what else are you gonna do…watch Pro Bowl highlights?
So let me drag you back to 2007 when Randy Moss still had game. Back before he bounced around the League, eventually retiring before we all forgot he used to be good at football.
Here’s Moss’ stats that year with Tom Brady slinging the ball to him.
1493 yards receiving
It was Moss’ best year of his career, and his 23 receiving touchdowns, the most in history.
How’d Jones stack up to those incredible numbers this year?
1409 yards receiving
Clearly, Moss had the better year in his prime with Brady targeting him 160 times that season. Jones played in 2 fewer games, so he did have more yards per game than Moss in the comparison. Ryan targeted his favorite receiver 129 times this year.
While Moss blew away Jones in the TD category, let’s go further.
Brady and the Patriots scored 50 passing TDs in 2007. Moss caught nearly half of those 50, while seven other Patriots accounted for the remainder of the TDs.
Ryan’s Falcons racked up 38 passing TDs this past regular season…. to 13 different receivers.
Now for Matt Ryan up against 2007 Tom Brady.
In 2007 Brady threw those 50 TD passes while getting picked just 8 times, which is astounding. His completion percentage was 68.9, while throwing for 4809 yards.
Ryan threw his 38 touchdowns and only got picked off 7 times. 69.9 percent was his completion rate, and Ryan moved the ball in the air for 4944 yards.
One stat that makes Brady’s 2007 season even more impressive than individual stats is the 16-0 record his Pats posted. Ryan and the Dirty Birds dropped five games in the regular season.
What can we draw from all those numbers headed into Super Bowl 51? Mainly that 2007 was an untouchable season for Brady / Moss.
But just as telling is that the Falcons were able to win even when Julio Jones didn’t light up the stat lines.
The Pats were a historically great team back them. Well rounded too. But in the end they lost the Super Bowl.
Falcons fans can take comfort in the fact that they have more weapons than their number one stud Julio Jones.
Randy Moss accounted for just 62 yards in his lone Super Bowl with Brady. Though he did score a touchdown, the Pats only managed 14 points total.
It’s hard to imagine the Atlanta offense being held to a point total like that even if Jones doesn’t wind up with an MVP-like performance. Ryan has spread the ball around all year. And the Falcons running game has made everything easier for the Atlanta QB.
To wrap up, I give the 2007 version of Brady / Moss the edge over Matt Ryan / Julio Jones of 2016. When it comes to numbers that is.
I’m willing to concede that, knowing that having multiple ways to attack a defense is more important to taking home a Super Bowl Belt.