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Why Randy Moss became a first-ballot Hall of Famer

He’s one of the most exciting players to ever take the field, for starters.

NFL: Washington Redskins at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Randy Moss accomplished something just six wide receivers have managed in NFL history. Moss is a first-ballot Hall of Famer, the Hall announced Saturday.

The voters don’t often elect wide receivers in their first year of eligibility. Moss joins Raymond Berry, Lance Alworth, Paul Warfield, Steve Largent, and Jerry Rice as the only wide receivers who have made it in on the first try.

Moss is ranked second all-time in receiving touchdowns with 156, behind only Rice. He’s fourth, behind Rice, Terrell Owens, and Larry Fitzgerald, in career yards receiving with 15,292. He’s a six-time Pro Bowler and was named a first-team All-Pro four times. Now he can add the Hall of Fame to his long list of accomplishments.

There is one primary reason Moss is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Defenses were terrified of Randy Moss

Moss is 6’4 and ran a 4.25 40. That size and explosive speed made him nearly impossible to cover.

Former Giants running back Tiki Barber told Fox Sports’ Peter Schrager back in 2013 that there was only one player his brother, cornerback Ronde Barber, ever lost sleep over.

“That man was Randy Moss,” Barber said. “When he wanted to be his best, he was a nearly impossible matchup. When he felt like it, he couldn’t be guarded.”

Retired Broncos defensive end Trevor Pryce said Denver’s defense was worried about facing Moss and the Vikings in the Super Bowl before the Broncos even beat the Jets in the AFC Championship.

“We were horrified of that dude. Horrified,” Pryce told Schrager. “We had Ray Crockett and Darrien Gordon as our cornerbacks. Randy was 6’4. They were 5’7. And he was a hell of a lot faster than both of them. We all knew we had no chance at stopping him if we’d played him in the Super Bowl that year. None.

“We had the late game on that Championship Game weekend. Once they lost — somehow — to the Falcons, we knew we were winning the Super Bowl that year. We didn’t have to face Randy Moss.“

The NFL put together a compilation of every single 40-plus-yard touchdown of Moss’ career in honor of his 40th birthday. It’s over nine minutes long. Nine. Minutes.

Moss had a contentious relationship with the media during his playing days. He also had a reputation for quitting on plays when he wasn’t the target. For those reasons, coupled with the voters’ hesitance to induct first-ballot wide receivers, many thought Moss — like his contemporary, Terrell Owens — might have to wait a while for his bust in Canton. But the voters have spoken, and Moss is in the Hall of Fame.