Pats’ Sterling Moore: ‘I definitely thought … this loss is on me’
|01.22.12 at 10:03 pm ET|
FOXBORO — From goat to hero in the swipe of a hand.
So sums up the NFL life of Sterling Moore on Sunday in the AFC championship.
A lot went through Moore’s head in the split-second that he saw Lee Evans receive the pass from Joe Flacco in the end zone before he got his right hand in to knock the ball loose and to the ground in just the nick of time on second-and-1 from the Patriots’ 14.
“I definitely thought it,” Moore said of being a possible goat, “especially, when he caught the ball, I thought it’s over. This game’s on me, this loss is on me. But I just kept fighting and get it out any way I could. If a ball is close, I’m fighting to get it out, scratching at the ball until the whistle blows. I’m just glad it turned out the way it did.
“It’s an instinct. You don’t have time to think at that moment with good receivers like that. I honestly didn’t know the ball was coming. He didn’t tip it away with his eyes or hands. I just saw him catch it and tried to get it out.”
Moore was also the player that Torrey Smith easily shoved aside on his way to a 29-yard touchdown in the third quarter as the Ravens took their first lead of the game. Moore and Devin McCourty missed tackles on the play.
But it was McCourty and other teammates who kept telling Moore to keep his head up and don’t get down.
“Everyone was telling me to put it behind me,” Moore said. “Quick turnaround.”
It’s advice Moore took to heart.
“Huge, huge, especially when you give up a touchdown earlier in the game, they’re there to tell you to forget about it, it’s happened to everybody, put it behind you and help you make a play and help the team later,” Moore said.
Moore would provide perspective hours later on his Twitter page: Please everyone save the thanks and what not. I didn’t do anything but my job and we have another game to play. #SeeYouInIndy
‘He stepped up and made two big plays,” McCourty added. “That play to Lee; at first he caught the ball, so just to swing his hand and get the ball out was a huge play for us, and it kept them out of the end zone and gave our defense a chance.’