In a span of about five minutes, Chris Moore’s emotions went from low to high to low again.
For much of the first two quarters of the Ravens’ regular-season finale against the Cincinnati Bengals, the wide receiver was a non-factor. That all changed in the final 23 seconds before halftime.
After Randy Bullock’s 32-yard field goal gave Cincinnati a 17-3 advantage with 23 seconds left, Moore returned the ensuing kickoff 87 yards – a career high – to the Bengals’ 6-yard line. Then quarterback Joe Flacco buzzed a pass to Moore just across the goal line for his third touchdown of the season, which helped trim the score to 17-10 with four seconds before halftime.
“When I caught [the kickoff] and saw the hole, I just tried to hit it and go as fast as I can through there,” the 2016 fourth-round pick said Monday. “… I was tired. I know that. And then the next play, I had to go in for the touchdown. So I was just tired.”
But those good vibes were muted on one play in the third quarter. While trying to catch a pass from Flacco that was thrown behind him, Moore bobbled the ball, which was snatched out of the air by Darqueze Dennard. The Cincinnati cornerback returned the interception 89 yards to help his team regain a 14-point advantage en route to an eventual 31-27 win that kept the Ravens out of the AFC playoffs.
“I watched it a few times,” Moore said of that interception return for a score. “I’m not going to lie. It’s just one of those wild plays. I did all I could.”
On that play, Moore suffered a concussion and did not return to the contest. On Monday, he acknowledged the emotional swings he experienced over a brief stretch of time.
“It was brutal,” he said. “I was just trying to fight through it and do what I can. I wish I could’ve played the whole game.”