NEW ORLEANS, La. — New Orleans Saints tight end Foster Moreau struggled to keep the emotion out of his voice less than an hour after failing to secure a potential game-tying pass in a 31-24 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Moreau, a New Orleans native, was open in the corner of the end zone but could not come up with a pass from Derek Carr on third-and-6 with 30 seconds left.
“Yeah, you know, it’s tough,” Moreau said. “In front of every man, woman and child I’ve ever known. It’s a dark place to be. It’s the National Football League. It doesn’t come down to one play, but it comes down to one play. The team fought. The team fought as hard as we did, and it’s just unacceptable. It’s just pathetic.”
The Saints failed to convert on fourth down on the next play, and the Jaguars were able to seal the win. Moreau sat down on the bench after the game was over with his head in his hands as teammates tried to console him.
Moreau said that he cut his route too short but that the throw and read were correct.
“Short week, that’s a lack of focus, lack of concentration. It’s unacceptable,” he said.
Running back Alvin Kamara came over to give Moreau a hug and walked off to the locker room with him.
Moreau, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma in the offseason, is a spokesperson for the NFL’s “Crucial Catch” campaign, which urges early screening for cancer. The Saints painted the end zone with the campaign’s slogan on Thursday night.
Kamara said he reminded Moreau after the loss that it pales in comparison to what he went through in the offseason.
“There’s going to be bigger plays,” Kamara said. “There’s going to be more plays out there. I just told him, man, he’s blessed for what he’s been through. That ain’t nothing. … I ain’t worried about Fos not making that play. Honestly, I don’t think we should be in that position right there where we’re looking at that like, ‘Oh man, he should’ve caught it.’ Of course he should’ve caught it. He knows he should’ve caught it. Anybody in that position right there should’ve caught it. We’re pros.
“But Fos, man, if there’s anybody out there that cares, that’s uplifting his teammates, that’s doing everything he can to try to get a win and uplift everybody else and get them in the right mind frame to win, it’s him. Man, I’m not worried about that. It is what it is.”
Carr said that while fans’ anger might be directed at Moreau, the game didn’t come down to one play.
“Our job as brothers and as family, as teammates, is to go really around him,” Carr said. “I’ve been in that moment where you miss a throw and you throw a bad pick and something like that and you feel like everybody hates you. Our job as teammates … is to put your arm around them and keep them pushing. To see our teammates react that way shows we have a good group. Because I’ve seen in moments like that where everybody just starts pointing fingers. … I’ve never been a believer, just because it happens in that moment. There’s so many things we could’ve done that wouldn’t even put him in that situation.”