Commentary

Moss comes up with big touchdown

Updated: October 5, 2009, 9:01 AM ET
By Chris Forsberg | ESPNBoston.com

FOXBOROUGH -- Having hauled in 26 passes over the first three games of the season, Randy Moss' production Sunday against the Ravens could have been classified as "quiet."

After all, Moss hauled in just three passes for 50 yards, good for a spot in the middle of the stat sheet after Tom Brady spread the ball around to nine different receivers.

But Moss caught maybe the most important pass of the game: a 14-yard touchdown toss from Brady with 2:27 remaining in the third quarter, which helped the Patriots emerge with a 27-21 triumph at Gillette Stadium.

[+] EnlargeRandy Moss
Stew Milne/US PresswireRandy Moss wore pink gloves during the game on Sunday.
For an offense that has struggled mightily to reach the end zone, particularly in the red zone, Moss' third-down grab put crucial points on the scoreboard and the Patriots hung on from there.

For Moss, it was the 137th touchdown of his career, pushing him past Marshall Faulk and into sole possession of sixth place all-time in NFL history. But Moss didn't care to talk about himself or the bad back that plagued him in a gutsy effort last week against the Falcons.

"I think this, overall, was about getting the victory," Moss said. "It was a hard-fought game. We heard all week about Baltimore's offense because, historically, we know about their defense, so we knew it was going to be a hard game and we're just glad we pulled it out.

"The defense made some key stops. We pulled it out. It was just a good job all the way around."

Moss heaped praise on Brady for setting the tone early with his touchdown run on a quarterback sneak. But after fielding just two questions, Moss had larger topics on his mind and showed a sensitive side with comments on two moments that tugged at the heartstrings Sunday.

"I hope [Gaither's] all right," Moss said of Baltimore left tackle Jared Gaither, who was taken to Mass General Hospital for tests on his head and neck after a scary collision with Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco forced Gaither to be taken from the field on a backboard and stretcher.

"Any time you see a guy get carried off the field, the stadium's quiet, guys weren't really into the game, so I hope he's all right." Then Moss, who donned pink cleats and pink gloves for today's game, spoke about breast cancer awareness.

"Most importantly … we had a lot of heavy hearts out there. What I mean by that, I mean, we had breast cancer awareness. A lot of guys had on pink, I'd really like to thank Reebok, for giving guys what they needed.

"On another note, I'm speaking from what I saw, the guys want to wear pink. All week, [we heard] 'macho guys don't wear pink,' this or that, but everybody wanted to wear pink. … I had a question earlier from one of my friends about why I am wearing [pink], and I think that, when something occurs in your family, it doesn't really hit home until it happens to your family. I think that with breast cancer awareness, that it really hit home because at any given moment it could hit anybody's house.

"I don't have any women in my family that ever went through that before. A lot of people jump on board after the fact, but I think that guys were really feeling what today was about: Playing with a heavy heart, we pulled it through and I think we can hang our hats on that. Keep rocking that pink."

Patriots players signed their game-used pink apparel and tossed it in a bin in the locker room for auction to raise even more money for the cause.

Chris Forsberg

Celtics reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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