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September 23, 2012
Smith laments two passes to Moss that got away

Randy Moss was targeted six times Sunday in his return to Minnesota, one more than he had seen the previous two games combined. Still, Moss showed no interest in talking about his playing time, which again lagged behind fellow receivers Michael Crabtree and Mario Manningham.

Five of the balls thrown in his direction came in the first half. As the 49ers tried to come from behind in the second half, Moss mostly entered the game as the single receiver in the 49ers' run package.

"Next question," Moss said when asked about his playing time. Moss also was loathe to talk about his relatively low number of snaps after practice last week.

The former Vikings receiver finished with three catches for 27 yards. But two misses were more notable. One pass from Alex Smith in the first quarter glanced off Moss's hands, drawing a large reaction from the Metrodome crowd.

Smith later had Moss open in the near corner of the end zone. But the pass went over Moss's head as the receiver turned around for the ball. "We left too much out there - those two plays early to Randy," Smith said. "He and I have to connect. I have to (throw) better balls there on both those occasions, because those were both key plays."

Said Smith: "When I let both of them go, I felt good. A lot of times you can let a ball go and know if it was good or bad." Smith said he and Moss discussed the pass in the end zone and that Moss "stayed positive the whole game. We didn't have the ball that much in the first half," Smith said. "We've got to hit those. You never know how many times you will have the ball."

Moss was more expansive on the topic of returning to Minneapolis, thanking the fans for "the love that they give." He also said he wasn't surprised the Vikings, who went 3-13 last year, were such a tough opponent.

"Especially when they are the underdog," Moss said. That is one thing that is Minnesota football. We (can't) just keep looking back at it. We have practice this week and the Jets coming up. We're going to go ahead and watch the film and correct our mistakes and go from there."

-- Matt Barrows



MATTHEW BARROWS

Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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