Randy Moss' epic 1998 Thanksgiving game remembered - stats, and more

Joshua Rogers November 23, 2022
Randy Moss' epic 1998 Thanksgiving game remembered - stats, and more
Photo credit should read PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images


We remember Randy Moss’ 1998 Thanksgiving game, including his stats, and rookie year as Thanksgiving Day 2022 arrives.

It’s Thanksgiving Day, which means there’s a feast of NFL games on throughout the day.

Thanksgiving and the NFL have been connected since the 1920s, with the Detroit Lions being the first team in the league to make it a tradition.

The Dallas Cowboys followed suit in 1966, and since then, only two Thanksgivings have failed to feature both franchises.

This year, the Lions take on the Bills, followed by the Cowboys vs the Giants, and the Vikings vs the Patriots

Before that feast of footballing activity, though, let’s remember one of the most impressive performances ever on this holiday: Randy Moss’ 1998 Thanksgiving game.

Photo by CRAIG LASSIG/AFP via Getty Images

Randy Moss’ 1998 Thanksgiving Day game remembered

Heading into the game on Thanksgiving (26 November, 1998), the Vikings were 10-1 and on a three-game winning streak.

In their ranks was a certain rookie Randy Moss, who absolutely lit up Texas Stadium that day. The future Hall of Famer showed the Cowboys what they were missing and then some, and was clearly still annoyed they’d pass on him in that year’s draft.

The Vikings won the game 46-36 but it was Randy Moss’ stat line which etched himself into the history books.

Randy Moss’ Thanksgiving 1998 stats explored

Randy Moss’s Thanksgiving stats in 1998 were about as efficient as it comes: three catches, 163 yards, three touchdowns.

That’s right, he caught just three passes that afternoon, but were good for 51, 56, and 56 yards, and all touchdowns.

Moss opened the game with a 51-yard touchdown bomb from Randall Cunningham, and that set the tone for the rest of the game.

It was the first 3-TD game of his NFL career, although he would go on to catch three touchdowns the very next week against the Bears.

Randy Moss’ rookie year visited

Moss was selected by the Minnesota Vikings with the 21st overall pick in the 1998 NFL Draft.

The Minnesota Vikings finished the 1998 season with a 15-1 record, scoring 556 points that season. At the time that was an NFL record, and Moss had a sensational rookie year.

He set an NFL rookie record with 17 receiving touchdowns, and racked up 69 catches. Moss was also named NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year, and earned first-team All-Pro honours.

Moss also set the record for receiving yards by a rookie with 1,313. The Vikings made it to the NFC Championship Game but were stunned by the Atlanta Falcons who beat them 30–27 in overtime.

Nevertheless, Randy Moss’ Thanksgiving Day game that year will live long in the memory of NFL fans.

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Joshua is a senior sports writer with over four years' experience in online writing. He graduated with a BA in Ancient History from The University of Manchester before receiving an MA in Sports Journalism from The University of Central Lancashire. He became a trending writer for a leading social publisher and later spent time covering the 2018 World Cup for The Mirror Online. He then moved to a social marketing agency where he acted as website editor. His specialties on The Focus include F1, tennis, NBA, NFL and combat sports.