Sanders: "I have to make that play"
Receiver Emmanuel Sanders shoulders the blame.
The look of dejection on Emmanuel Sanders’ face said it all as he walked off the field after not being able to hold on to what would have been a game-tying two-point conversion with just over a minute to play in the Steelers 22-20 Thanksgiving night loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
“Today is just a tough day for me overall,” said Sanders after the game. “At the end of the day, I didn’t make the play necessary for my team to win and I take complete fault for it. It’s my fault that we lost today. It’s something that I’ve got to deal with.
“But at the end of the day, I’m not going to let it hold me down. Redemption Sunday is coming up.”
The Steelers fought their way back from a 19-7 fourth quarter deficit to pull within a score at 22-14 with 5:31 to play in the game. Two apparent touchdowns were reversed on the final drive, one a long pass to Heath Miller, the other a one-yard run by Le’Veon Bell, before Jerricho Cotchery caught a one-yard touchdown pass to close the gap to 22-20.
Roethlisberger went to Sanders in the corner of the end zone on the two-point conversion, but he was shielded on the play by cornerback Chykie Brown.
“I didn’t see the ball until the very end,” said Sanders. “I tried to have late hands, but that’s no excuse. I consider myself a big-time player. I have to come up with those plays. And I didn’t come up with it. I have to deal with it. I take this loss. It’s my fault. We just have to bounce back.”
While Sanders was blaming himself, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger wasn’t blaming his receiver, acknowledging that it wasn’t an easy pass to catch.
“I’m frustrated with myself because I have to give him a better ball,” said Roethlisberger. “It wasn’t an easy catch, and I could have made it a lot easier on him. I take that on myself.”
After hearing what Roethlisberger said, Sanders still took the heat.
“Ben gave me a good ball,” said Sanders. “I have to make that play. It hit my hands. I have to make the play. It’s not on him, it’s on me.
“He put the ball out there for me to make a play. I don’t care where it was – I have to make that play. There are no excuses. I should have made it.”
I've been a Manny supporter since he got here, even through all the TC injuries. But the drops in big time situations are unacceptable. Hate to say it, but hello New England in the off season. Go join Edelman and crew and see where that puts you.
Sanders has the tools to be a very good receiver. He plays hard, run good routes and has pretty good speed. I think he is still growing as a player and needs to get a little stronger in the upper body before reaching his full potential. People want to criticize the drops in this game but forget he made a nice move in the endzone to free himself for the Steelers first touchdown. But in this situation, I wish Ben had not targeted Sanders. Brown, Cotchery and Miller are more sure-handed and I wish he would have tried one of them instead. But Ben made a quick decision, I think a little too quick. It was really a great throw. The great ones make the catch but it was not an easy catch. As for Wheaton, he looks like he could potentially be a good receiver. He does look fast. But as is often the case, fans exude much confidence in him now but when he plays and drops a few, they will turn on him also.
It's al about perception and right now until Sanders makes some tough catches or at least clutch catches the perception of him is as a WR that can get open, but isn't consistent enough making the plays a team needs to be successful.
The coaching staff doesn't make knee jerk reactions to a bad game the way we fans do, so I'm sure that Sanders will be a Steeler and get to continue to work on his game. The fans are frustrated with him right now (me included), we all would have loved to have had a chance to bury the Ravens for the season in OT.
Last edited by papillon; 11-30-2013 at 06:33 AM.
1.22) Alvin "Bud" Dupree, OLB/DE, Kentucky
2.56) Senquez Golson, CB/S, Ole Miss
3.87) Sammie Coates, WR, Auburn
4.121) Doran Grant, CB, OSU
5.160) Jesse James, TE, PSU
6.199) Letterius Walton, DT, Central Michigan
6.212) Anthony Chickillo, DE, Miami
7.239) Gerod Holliman, FS, Louisville
"Before you can win a game, you have to not lose it." -- Chuck Noll
Plain and simple - it was a catchable ball by an ordinary NFL wide receiver and he dropped it. Dropped it in a must win, game on the line situation.
Not to hijack the thread, but did anyone catch the Miami game today? Tannehill was attempting to pass and his arm was hit and the ball basically sky-ed for what seemed like 4 secs in Wallace's direction. Wallace stands there, not moving, waiting for it to come down into his hands and a DB streaks in, leaps up and grab the INT. Classic Wallace.