INDIANAPOLIS – Up until that point, Kenny Moore had probably played his worst stretch of the season.
But life, especially that as an NFL cornerback, is all about how you respond.
And, boy, did Kenny Moore respond.
Let’s start with the bad, which was so rare to see from Moore.
“I was frustrated, to be honest,” Moore said of his poor start in Sunday’s monumental 44-27 victory over the Raiders. “Early in the game I gave up a touchdown. Then on the long drive that the interception happened on, I got a horse collar (penalty) that cannot happen. That’s my second one of the season. I was pretty frustrated that drive.
“But just being in this defense and being coachable, we are coached to stay poised throughout the down and each play. You just have to stay on the cycle of the snap. Each play is going to be a new play. Just have to keep playing.”
I guess you could say Moore kept on doing that.
It started with the end of that drive, which Moore’s penalty helped aid the Raiders march into the red zone.
Facing a 3rd-and-8 from the Colts’ 13-yard line, the Raiders targeted their best player—tight end Darren Waller.
Moore figured that would be the case, and he thought Derek Carr would be greedy, wanting a touchdown there, and not settling for a field goal in a game that looked like a budding shootout.
Waller got behind the Colts secondary and Carr lofted a pass towards his favorite target. A back-pedaling Moore though read the ball in the entire time, jumping into the air and grabbing the ball with his right hand, while maintaining control (without the support of a second hand) all the way to the ground.
As Moore fell to the ground with the ball secure, we had just witnessed one of the best interceptions you’ll ever come see.
Listen to some of the parties involved in the play:
Derek Carr: “One of the best defensive plays I’ve ever seen in my life in person.”
Frank Reich: “I didn’t know if Odell Beckham Jr. was playing defense for us. It was unbelievable. I had to stop for a second there, ‘Did he really catch that ball?’ It was one of those once in a lifetime plays.”
T.Y. Hilton: “That had me going crazy. I almost missed the next play because I was too busy celebrating with him.”
In true Moore fashion, one turnover wasn’t enough though.
The should be Pro Bowl corner added a textbook forced fumble strip in the fourth quarter to seal the victory.
“It’s a long game, it’s up and down,” the ever coachable Moore said afterwards. “And we are coached to be like that, we are trained to be like that.
“It’s pretty much like life. You can’t just sit down whenever something bad happens or something doesn’t go your way. You just have to keep striving, believe in yourself, fix your mistakes, and keep going. Something great is going to come from that if you stay positive.”
No matter how you slice elite level cornerback play in the NFL, Moore belongs in the ‘great’ category.