DENVER – It must have been a sick, sick feeling for Rahim Moore, drifting back further and further, realizing that somehow Joe Flacco had thrown a pass far enough to get over his head.
Moore was in deep zone coverage, and the worst thing the Broncos safety could do was let anyone behind him. Denver led 35-28 in the final minute of regulation. The Ravens started the play at their own 30. A field goal wouldn't beat Denver. Just a long-shot touchdown that came through when Jacoby Jones got behind Moore.
Flacco's great pass got over Moore's head as he fruitlessly backpedaled and tried swatting the ball out of the air.
In Denver, the name Michael Dean Perry still brings angst. In an AFC divisional playoff loss to Jacksonville at the end of the 1996 season, Perry didn't get off the field in time for a Jaguars punt, and the penalty for 12 men on the field was a critical mistake in a heartbreaking upset. People in Denver still remember that, and they'll remember Moore for a long time too.
"It was my fault," Moore said. "If they wouldn't have scored on us on the last play, we'd be in here rejoicing so if people don't like me after that, I'm sorry. That is my fault and I am going to take full responsibility for it."
Nobody ripped Moore in the Broncos locker room after the game. They talked about how no one player was responsible.
"We didn't play one snap tonight. We played about 70 tonight I'm sure," cornerback Champ Bailey said. "He can't take all the blame. We all made mistakes in that game and we all wish we could have some plays back."
Those words won't console Moore, who understandably took the loss hard.
"It went by me personally and I felt like I should have made that play for this team and I didn't do it today," Moore said. "It is my fault, plain and simple.
"I just misjudged it. I let it get over my head first of all and I didn't do what I do best which is watch the flight of the ball and I didn't do that right. I didn't capitalize and it hurt us. I'm speechless right now. I don't know even know what to say."
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