Randy Moss' debut for Tennessee wasn't exactly the spectacular splash he and the Titans had hoped for on Sunday.
For starters, it didn't equate to a victory, as the Miami Dolphins shredded the Titans, 29-17, at Sun Life Stadium, leaving the Titans at 5-4 in second place in the AFC South.
Productivity wise, it wasn't one of Moss' better days either. He had just one reception for 26 yards, with that coming on a desperation drive in the second half with the Titans already down by the final margin.
Moss did pick up a 33-yard pass interference penalty that helped the Titans on their first-half touchdown drive as well. Moss dropped one pass on a hit by safety Chris Clemons over the middle that was ruled incomplete, but could have been called a fumble.
In his four previous debuts for teams (Minnesota twice, Oakland and New England), Moss had averaged 122 yards receiving and scored five touchdowns.
Moss played most of the game, but was not targeted at all on that final touchdown drive. He was also curiously absent on the fourth-and-20 play late that ended with Vince Young being intercepted in the end zone by Reshad Jones.
Moss said he was OK being mostly a decoy on Sunday, and was disappointed that the Titans couldn't pull out the victory.
“I just want to fit within the offense and help this team win. If me being a decoy and moving the ball and helping us win, then that's what I need to do,” Moss said. “I don't think we were planning to lose this game. This loss hurts. I just think how much energy and effort we put in this week, including the coaches. This is something that we've got to look at film tomorrow, correct our mistakes and go back in again next week.”
To that end, Moss had one decent block that helped Chris Johnson finish off a 30-yard run in the second half, but also missed a block on Vontae Davis, who stopped Javon Ringer short on third down.
“It was actually a bad game for me. I think I just tried to do as much hustling as I could,” Moss said. “I just tried to stay within the offense. I felt comfortable out there, but I don't think I had a very good overall game. I think my blocking really wasn't that good, wasn't where I wanted it to be. I'll just go back to the drawing board and come back again next week.”
Moss was targeted just four times in the game by the Titans offense. It wasn't by design, though it appeared several times that Moss was open enough to be thrown to.
“He wasn't open,” Young said. “But that opened up the rest of the guys, and we had some good gains with the checkdowns.”
Added Kerry Collins, “They were playing off of him, especially when they were playing zone coverage. A lot of times, they'd have a guy on him and a guy over the top of him if they were playing two deep. It was frustrating, but we certainly had our plays in the game plan to try and get him the ball. It just didn't work out.”
Collins said he was impressed with how much of the offense Moss was able to absorb in a short amount of time, and that it is something to build upon.
"I give credit to the guy. The strides he made and picking up the offense and knowing what to do, he played a lot of plays today, and that's hard for a guy who just got here on Monday to know what to do," Collins said. "We've just got to keep trying to find ways to get him the ball. It becomes challenging because defenses know you're doing it."