The term mossed in football refers to a receiver embarrassing a defender by using their superior athleticism and physicality to win a fight for the ball. This can also be referred to as mossing a defender.
Examples of some of the best you-got mossed moments can be seen in this video.
The term mossed in football comes from one of the greatest wide receivers of all time Randy Moss. Throughout the history of football, Moss may have been the most physically gifted wide receiver to play the game.
During his career, there were many occasions in which Randy Moss made defenders seem noticeably weaker and smaller than him.
Traditionally the term mossed is based on the action of embarrassing a defender at the catch point. When both players have a shot at the ball and the wide receiver wins convincingly the defender will have been “mossed”.
What does it look like to get mossed?
The term mossed in football is not about beating a defender through route running or via an acrobatic catch it has more to do with overpowering the defender.
When mossing a defender in football the receiver is physically beaten in order to win the ball.
Throughout Randy Moss’s career, he was incredibly proficient at catching deep passes. His stat line on his Thanksgiving day game in 1998 is a great example of what Moss could do to a defense.
For this reason, getting mossing is almost always going to occur on long pass attempts.
When the ball would be thrown deep towards Rany Moss he would seemingly be able to come down with the ball no matter the body position of the defenders around him.
The plays in which the defender was in a better position but was moved aside by Moss were the sorts of plays that made this term mainstream.
Another key to understanding what being mossed looks like in football is that these plays almost always occur on jump balls.
Jump balls in football refer to passes in which both the receiver and defender have a shot at getting to the ball.
The players will then jump to high point the ball in order to get it first. These are the exact plays in which Moss would excel.
When mossing a defender it will often include a jump ball that gives the receiver an opportunity to show off his vertical jump.
This can allow for the wide receiver to show how much more athletically gifted they are than the player they are being covered by.
On top of being more athletic receivers also tend to have a length and height advantage when compared to cornerbacks.
Jump ball receivers are almost always going to be tall and have great length as these are traits that are valued in the position.
The cornerback position values length as well but these players almost always are shorter and have a smaller wingspan than wide receivers.
This makes it incredibly difficult for these players to win jump balls against these taller receivers.
When a ball is thrown that offers both players a chance to get it and the wide receiver easily wins due to his height and size this is considered getting mossed.