AccuScore: The Impact of Adding Randy Moss to Minnesota

The Prodigal Homey has returned. How does AccuScore think it will impact the Vikings' playoff chances? (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

So Randy Moss is a Viking again. Incredible news to be sure, but how will affect the Vikings' postseason chances?

Our friends Zach Rosenfield and Stephen Oh over at AccuScore sent the following information over to me and I thought it was pretty interesting. If you’re unfamiliar with AccuScore’s work, they forecast sporting events of all kinds by running thousands of simulations and plugging in all sorts of numbers. Frankly I was a little surprised that Moss’ projected impact wasn’t a bit more, but hey–they’re the numerical experts here. Rather than get bogged down with the details of all the hard work they put in, just enjoy the nerdy numbers and analysis!

IMPACT OF RANDY MOSS TO MINNESOTA

A few weeks ago AccuScore thought Minnesota should have acquired Vincent Jackson because he improved the Vikings playoff chances by nearly 10 percentage points.  The Vikings ultimately could not come up with enough for San Diego to execute trade, but now Minnesota has come up with another way to boost their sagging passing game.

Without Sidney Rice, Brett Favre and the Vikings passing game has struggled mightily and they are now down to being forecasted for a 3rd place finish in the NFC North with a 37.7% chance of making the playoffs but with Moss they improve to second with a 49.5 percent chance of making the playoffs.

Moss should not only help Brett Favre complete more big plays downfield, but all of a sudden a player like Percy Harvin who may not be up to the task of being a #1 WR, can go back to being a slot receiver making big plays against defenses that can’t match-up with a ‘#3 WR’ this dynamic (#2 WR would be Sidney Rice when healthy, or Moss would be #2 and Rice #1).  There is also the domino effect on the running game where a stretched out field will open up even betting opportunities for Adrian Peterson.

NFC NORTH (No Trade)

WIN

LOSS

%

DIV%

PLAYOFF%

Green Bay Packers

10.5

5.5

65.6%

68.2%

85.2%

Chicago Bears

8.6

7.4

53.8%

16.0%

41.4%

Minnesota Vikings

8.2

7.8

51.3%

15.8%

37.7%

Detroit Lions

3.7

12.3

23.1%

0.1%

0.2%

 

 

 

 

 

 

NFC NORTH (Moss Traded to MIN)

WIN

LOSS

%

DIV%

PLAYOFF%

Green Bay Packers

10.4

5.6

65.0%

62.1%

83.3%

Minnesota Vikings

8.8

7.2

55.0%

25.6%

49.5%

Chicago Bears

8.6

7.4

53.8%

12.2%

33.7%

Detroit Lions

3.7

12.3

23.1%

0.1%

0.2%

 

 

 

 

 

 

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

WIN

LOSS

%

DIV%

PLAYOFF%

w/o Randy Moss

8.2

7.8

51.3%

15.8%

37.7%

w/ Randy Moss

8.8

7.2

55.0%

25.6%

49.5%

Difference

0.6

-0.6

3.8%

9.8%

11.8%

 

The Patriots hold on without Moss

Based on recent developments you could understand why New England would be willing to part
ways with Moss, and perhaps the move is better in the long run, but for this season, AccuScore
sees this move hurting the Patriots. The Patriots’ win over Miami is very misleading. If not for 3
horrifically bad Henne interceptions and 3 gigantic special teams plays the Dolphins sure looked
like the better team offensively and defensively.

The Patriots have young, dynamic play-makers in WR Brandon Tate and TE Aaron Hernandez
who appear capable of handling more looks with Moss gone. However, while Brandon Tate
has 2 return TDs and some great physical skills he has zero career receiving TDs. Randy Moss
is a proven touchdown machine when thrown to, and even when he has no catches he always
is going to draw plenty of attention from the defense which helps the rest of the receivers, like
Welker, Hernandez, and Tate get open.

The Patriots were projected for 2nd in the AFC East with a 40.4% chance of winning the division,
a close second to the Jets. Without Moss this percentage has dropped to 33.2%.

AFC EAST (No Trade)

WIN

LOSS

%

DIV%

PLAYOFF%

New York Jets

10.4

5.6

65.0%

49.6%

69.0%

New England Patriots

10.1

5.9

63.1%

40.4%

63.4%

Miami Dolphins

8.8

7.2

55.0%

10.0%

24.1%

Buffalo Bills

3.5

12.5

21.9%

0.0%

0.0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFC EAST (Moss Traded to MIN)

WIN

LOSS

%

DIV%

PLAYOFF%

New York Jets

10.5

5.5

65.6%

55.9%

71.2%

New England Patriots

9.8

6.2

61.3%

33.2%

52.9%

Miami Dolphins

8.7

7.3

54.4%

10.9%

24.2%

Buffalo Bills

3.5

12.5

21.9%

0.0%

0.0%

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

WIN

LOSS

%

DIV%

PLAYOFF%

w/ Randy Moss

10.1

5.9

63.1%

40.4%

63.4%

w/o Randy Moss

9.8

6.2

61.3%

33.2%

52.9%

Difference

-0.3

0.3

-1.9%

-7.2%

-10.5%

 

Thanks again to the guys at AccuScore for the in-depth numbers and analysis! So what do you think? Does Moss give us an 11.8% better chance to make the playoffs? More? Less? Let us know in the comments below.

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