Sunday, January 1, 2012
Rookie Moore has career day in finale
By Mike Rodak
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Patriots defensive back Sterling Moore's regular-season journey may have begun on the Raiders' practice squad, but it ended on Sunday in New England with his first two career interceptions and first career touchdown.
The 21-year-old rookie has bounced between the Patriots' active roster and practice squad this season, starting three games in November while otherwise filling roles on special teams.
In Sunday's win against Buffalo, Moore began the game as the team's sixth defensive back, but replaced starting cornerback Kyle Arrington for the second half.
"It's all about preparation during the week. I have to study a couple different positions, not knowing where I'm going to play in the game," Moore said. "I think I did really well at that this week."
Moore first snared one of Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick's four interceptions of the game late in the third quarter, beating receiver Ruvell Martin to the spot on a well-thrown pass.
"[I] wanted to be physical at the line of scrimmage, and I knew the ball would have to come out quick," Moore explained. "After about five yards, [I] got my head back around and the ball was coming. [I] tried to dive in front [and] get my hands on it."
After the Patriots made it a 42-21 game late in the fourth quarter, Moore erased any hopes of a Bills comeback, undercutting receiver David Nelson's route and returning the interception 21 yards for a touchdown.
"I tried to disguise the coverage, walk down into something," Moore said. "Jumped the route and was praying that I didn't drop it because that one was definitely easier than the first one."
Given the unpredictability of this season, Moore's roster status for the team's first playoff game in two weeks is anything but certain. But on Sunday, Moore seized his opportunity as if were a Fitzpatrick pass.
"This is what I've been wanting to do all year. Just come in and contribute to a win," Moore said. "I kind of had a bigger role in that today, but it's all about having that first seed and having that bye, so that's what we're looking forward to right now."