Nobody felt worse than Rahim Moore Saturday night.
“It was my fault. 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,” Moore said Saturday with tears building up in his eyes.
Inside of a minute to play, the Broncos were mere seconds away from the AFC Championship Game when Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco heaved a pass down the field. A series of cataclysmic events; Moore misjudging the distance of the pass, thus taking the wrong angle and thus letting it drop over his outstretched hand and into Jacoby Jones’ who sauntered into the end zone to tie the game; will be all that is remembered.
An epoch of a game, one of the longest in NFL history, and his singular irrevocable act will likely take the blunt of the blame.
His anguish quickly became a burden. “That is my fault and I am going to take full responsibility for it,” Moore continued.
In that moment he became synonymous with Steve Bartman or Bill Buckner in Denver.
But quickly to his rescue were his teammates, gallant and galled by even the inkling of his culpability. Moore mishap was an episode, magnified to astronomical proportions and estranged from any and all of the plays during the game.
“I think you can go down the line and ask all the guys in this locker room and there is something that each guy could have done better to help us win today,” responded linebacker Von Miller. “It is not just on one guy, not just one two guys, not on the defense or offense.”
The lack of pressure on Flacco all afternoon, a series of uncharacteristic mistakes by the quarterback forged the game winning field goal and a lack of aggression in coaching was depressed. The perception of fault was muted and isolated.
The second year safety’s grief found company. Amongst his fellow teammates, liability of the outcome came readily but that ownership of events didn’t help understand what had just occurred.
“We rack our brains out, trust me. We’re more critical of us than anybody. There [are] a few things we could have done better,” John Fox said Monday. “We didn’t execute it very well. It’s on us as well to work that situation more.”
Animadversion was spread, more heavily on Moore than others, and yet it still cannot be fully contained.