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The Riddler

He deserves his own thread: Sterling Moore

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This guy came from no where. A Raiders throw away from the practice squad. Someone find the Youtube video on was over!

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January 23, 2012

Sterling gold: Cut by two teams, Moore becomes the hero for Patriots


By David Willis


FOXBORO — A season ago, Sterling Moore was in Texas for the Super Bowl.


He was sitting in the nosebleed seats of Cowboy Stadium as a fan, wondering if he would have an NFL job in 2011.


Yesterday he earned a trip to Super Bowl XLVI, this time as the hero of the AFC championship game.


With the game on the line, the man who was released by the Patriots just one month ago knocked down two straight passes — one that looked to be a sure touchdown — setting up the missed field goal that earned the Patriots a spot in the Super Bowl.


New England won 23-20 over the Baltimore Ravens here at Gillette Stadium.


"They went at him twice on the last drive and he came through for us twice," said fellow defensive back Antwaun Molden. "He has worked so hard and every one of us has total faith in him. Today he showed why."


For a moment, it looked as if the Baltimore Ravens were Super Bowl bound, as Joe Flacco's perfect pass landed in the hands of Lee Evans in the end zone.


"I saw him catch it and for a second I thought, 'Oh no, we lost and it's on me,'" said Moore. "But it was all instincts. I saw the ball in his hands, put my hand in and just tried to knock it out. I didn't know I knocked the ball out until I saw it rolling on the ground."


A split second after Evans grabbed the ball, Moore's hand also found the ball, knocking it free for an incomplete pass.


"I saw him catch it and the back of Sterling's jersey and thought, 'Not good,'" said Molden. "Then I looked at the Jumbotron and saw the ref signal no catch and I just let out a sigh of relief and thought, 'Now we have a chance.'"


Was it a catch? Should it have been reviewed? In the end it was not, and one play later Moore knocked down another pass to set up Billy Cundiff's ill-fated field goal attempt.


"After the first play I didn't really realize it was going to be that big," Moore said. "I just knew we had to play another down. Then, after the second knockdown I knew it was a huge stop. After the field goal it was just mayhem."


As he left the field, Moore was congratulated as a hero by his teammates.


"Those were huge plays by Sterling," said Patriots receiver/sometimes defensive back Matt Slater. "HUGE play. But that's what Sterling does. He has great instincts and is in the right place at the right time. He has worked his tail off to get where he is."


Not bad for an undrafted rookie free agent who was cut twice this season, first by Oakland in September then by the Patriots on Dec. 23, and who was burnt for a touchdown pass earlier in the game yesterday.


"This has been a rollercoaster season," said Moore. "Going from practice squad to being cut. I wanted to prove to everyone I belonged out here. I wanted to make teams wish they signed me."


He may have been doubted by many, but the 21-year-old SMU product long ago earned the respect of his teammates during a season in which he played in seven games, making two interceptions.


"Sterling never gives up," said All-Pro linebacker Jerod Mayo. "He has shown toughness throughout his career. He never gives up on a play, and that one (in the end zone) was one great play."


Another Pro Bowler, Devin McCourty, was equally proud of his defensive backfield mate.


"You have to use your instincts in plays like that," said McCourty. "It's all about finishing the play, and he stopped a play that could have ended the game. It showed his confidence and his abilities. That would be a tough play for any defensive back, and he came through."


As for the Super Bowl, Moore is expecting a substantially better experience than a season ago.


"I don't think I'll have to watch (the Super Bowl) on the Jumbotron this year," Moore said with a laugh. "I think I'll have a better view."


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Mel Kiper (a big Ravens fan) was on Mike & Mike this AM whining about them not reviewing the play. He thinks it was still a catch.  cwm27.gif


Always thought he was a clueless tool. This confirms it.

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People were arguing catch or not, I wasn't sure, now think not. Bottom like, you gotta hold onto that ball like your playoff life depends on it. He didn't.

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