Cornerback Chris Gamble(notes) said that getting Moss all pouty was part of the game plan. "We knew he was going to shut it down," Gamble told Breer. "That's what we wanted to do him. That's what we did. ... He'd just give up a lot ... Slow down, he's not going deep, not trying to run a route. You can tell, his body language."
Safety Chris Harris(notes) concurred. "You get physical with him, and I don't want to say he quits, but he kind of doesn't run the routes the way they're supposed to be run," Harris said. "If you get a jam on him, he'll just ease up. He had the one catch, and he fumbled. ... We stayed on top of him."
"They're two different breeds," Gamble told Breer. "Welker's just a tough, hard-nosed guy. He got hit and he got back up. I can't see Moss getting hit, catching slants, getting banged around, and getting back up."
And Harris' opinion of No. 83? "He's a backyard football player."
Welker caught 10 passes for 105 yards and remained productive even as the Panthers rolled more coverage to him. Because as Gamble concluded, "We know from watching film on Moss, once you get him out of the game early, he's gonna shut it down."
Moss has six catches in his last three games, a month after being shut down almost completely by the Jets' amazing Darrelle Revis(notes). With all due respect to Revis, one player is even better at keeping Randy Moss from helping his team -- and that player is Randy Moss. Not exactly what the Pats need at this time. Moss revived his career in New England after quitting on the Raiders because New England was a great team full of great players who were also leaders. Now that the team is in transition, it seems that Moss won't step up. He'll simply shut down.
- Randy Moss