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Sanders: "I have to make that play"

Posted Nov 29, 2013

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.”

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