By Jason La Canfora
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, October 15, 2007
GREEN BAY, Wis., Oct. 14 -- Santana Moss came close to choking up as he flashed back on his seven-year career after his horrible afternoon Sunday at Lambeau Field, and came to the conclusion that this was in fact his worst outing in the NFL. Moss, a Pro Bowl wide receiver who set Washington's single-season receiving mark in 2005 and is revered for his highlight-reel catches, had played far too big a role in the Redskins' 17-14 loss to the Packers, and he readily admitted it.
Moss's fumble on a reverse in the third quarter was returned 57 yards for the game-winning touchdown. He has had uncharacteristic drops this season, including a botched 30-yard reception one drive after fumbling Sunday. Moss did not play again, with Coach Joe Gibbs attributing this absence to varying factors including health, and Moss saying he pulled himself from the game because of the recurrence of a hamstring problem. He did not make a catch -- Green Bay cornerback Al Harris shadowed him closely -- and his second-half demise mirrored that of the entire offense as the Redskins blew a 14-7 halftime lead.
"I can blame the rain, I can blame it on whatever, but what it comes down to is, point blank, I've just got to make those plays regardless of the situation," Moss said. "I've been that player before. I can say that I've had one of those games that I never seen myself having, but if I want to blame anybody I'll blame myself."
Moss missed last week's game against Detroit with a groin injury, and he also missed much of the offseason with groin and abdominal problems. He practiced all week and started the game, playing regularly until the second half. Gibbs said that Moss chatted with the trainers after falling on his backside during the game, but said after the game he would have to consult the trainers about any possible concerns with Moss. Moss said that after his hamstring cramped up on him he felt it was in the team's best interest for healthier teammates to take his spot.
"It just had me so upset," Moss said of his hamstring, "that I just couldn't afford to let the team down any more than I already did."
Gibbs said: "We were trying to get guys in there to make plays and things. I'll have to check with the trainer as far as health-wise."
Moss was angry with himself for his fumble perhaps more than anything else. The Redskins led 14-10 at the time and had been moving the ball well. ("You've got to secure the ball," he said.) Moss has just 12 catches for 199 yards and no touchdowns this season, and hopes his season will take a turn for the better.
"You can either do two things," Moss said. "Run away from it, or you can take it head on and go at it next time and try to be better."