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Will the Real #81 Please Stand Up

by Craig Edwards

Posted on October 11, 2007 at 8:43 PM

Updated Wednesday, Nov 4 at 2:41 PM

By Craig Edwards

With the baseball playoffs on a break for most of the week, much of the national spotlight so far has shifted to the NFL, mainly Sunday's big game between New England and Dallas. Both teams are 5-0, but the focus of this matchup has already turned to the star Wide Receivers who both wear 81; Randy Moss and Terrell Owens.

In lieu of the usual trash talk: T.O. put the following letter in front of his locker:

Dear Reporters,

"Due to the magnitude of this week's game and high volume of questions for the Original 81 about the other 81. I will be taking all questions immediately following Sunday's game."


Terrell Owens 81
p.s. Getcha Popcorn Ready

Get our popcorn ready for what T.O.? To watch you to drop a whole lot of passes? That's pretty much you're main thing right now.

While everyone seems to want to compare Moss and Owens, I really don't see a lot of similarities.

Both have a reputation as bad boys, but Moss has really shed the moniker this season. After two years in the purgatory that is the Oakland Raiders franchise (apologies to Raiders' fan Adam Bjaranson), Moss seems to understand that he has landed in a good spot with a chance to win.

Many say Moss is only a good team guy because he's winning, and that if his team struggles, his old self will come back. I don't agree.

Say what you will about the Patriots, but whatever they put in the water seems to be working in this case. The guy who once admitted to taking plays off can now be seen leading the blocking charge on sweeps and runs to the outside. He also leads the league in receiving yards, often beating triple coverage and giving Tom Brady a great target. He's scored 7 touchdowns this year, compared to 11 over two seasons in Oakland.

Terrell Owens, on the other hand, has a well-earned reputation as a franchise killer. While he also seems happy and playful under a new coach now, but I doubt that will continue.

He's also becoming less and less reliable on the field. Owens continues to drop passes on a far too regular basis, and doesn't seem to be Tony Romo's main target anymore. That would be Jason Whitten. Look at last Monday's game in Buffalo, where Whitten gained more than 100 yards receiving as a Tight End, while T.O. dropped several passes, including two that could have cost his team the game if the Cowboys' kicker hadn't nailed a 52 yard field goal...twice. Wait until the Cowboys lose a game, and Romo doesn't look for T.O. in crunch time. Dallas will hear the same song they got in San Francisco and Philadelphia.

The REAL #81 is now Randy Moss, and his time in New England will be far better spent than the "other" #81's time in Dallas.