When the Minnesota Vikings used their first round pick, the 21st overall selection, in the 1998 NFL Draft on wide receiver Randy Moss out of Marshall, there were a lot of questions surrounding him. Most of these questions weren’t regarding his abilities though as he would go on to prove to be one of the best wide receivers the NFL had ever seen.
Randy Moss would lead the entire NFL in receiving touchdowns five times in his first 12 seasons in the league. He would do this in his rookie year with 17, 2000 with 15, 2003 with 17, 2007 with 23, and 2009 with 13. Often though, it is fun to look back and see how it all started. With that in mind, here is a look at Randy Moss’s first game ever in the National Football League.
It was the first game of the season in 1998 and the Minnesota Vikings welcomed in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to the Humbert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Minnesota would strike first with a one yard touchdown pass from Brad Johnson to Cris Carter to start the game. The Vikings would add to that quickly with Johnson connecting with Moss on a 48 yard touchdown pass. The first quarter ended just like that with the Vikings up 14-0. The second quarter would see more of the same as Moss caught another touchdown pass from Johnson, this one from 31 yards out. At halftime it didn’t look good for the Bucs as the Vikings went into the locker room with a 21-0 lead.
The second half would start out from a scoring standpoint with Trent Dilfer hitting fullback Lorenzo Neal on a three yard touchdown pass. Pulling to within two touchdowns at the half with the score at 21-7, the Buccaneers needed everything to go right to pull of the come from behind win. Minnesota kicker Gary Anderson would kick a 43 yard field goal in the fourth quarter and then Brad Johnson would connect on his fourth touchdown pass of the day on an 18 yarder to Cris Carter. The scoring stopped there with the Vikings besting the Buccaneers by the score of 31-7.
Randy Moss’s final stat line in his first NFL game ever would go down as four catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. That would be the start to one of the best wide receiver careers ever.