By Michael Hurley, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) -- It's been a rough week for Patriots fans. No, it has nothing to do with the current team. It has to do with some nasty memories being dredged up by ESPN.
As Patriots fans tuned in to watch the team beat the Bills on Monday Night Football, they were subjected to promos for the latest episode of Tom Brady's "Man In The Arena." It just so happened that this week's episode focused on the 2007 season, which of course ended in heartbreaking fashion with a loss to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.
That episode ... may not be a must-watch for many fans who are still in disbelief that the perfect season went poof that one night in Glendale.
To supplement that sweet Super Bowl XLII content, ESPN had Randy Moss break down the film from the game for an episode of "Detail." And the X's and O's approach to what went wrong and what went right during the game was, really, a fascinating look at one of the biggest games in NFL history.
At the end, though, Moss broke down one play from the Patriots' final drive.
"This is the play that haunts me to this day," Moss said.
You may know what he's talking about without needing to be told.
It came on a third-and-20, after Brady had been sacked by Jay Alford for a loss of 10 yards. The Patriots only trailed by a field goal, and they had all their timeouts, but they decided to go for home-run balls instead of trying to drive a little bit more meticulously into field-goal range to tie the game.
So on third-and-20, Moss lined up wide left, running a schoolyard type route that essentially translated to "go deep." He did, and the quarterback delivered what some might describe as the single best pass of Brady's entire career. The ball traveled about 80 yards in the air, and it was right on target.
Alas, it was not completed. Here's how Moss explained it:
The play was, Tom told me, 'Randy, I'm gonna roll out to the right. You run your route [a deep post]. When I look back at you, you take a high angle toward the pylon toward the end zone.'
And yes, the ball touched my hand. And I'm still sitting here wondering why I didn't catch the ball.
I was gassed, of course. But still, we have 19 seconds to go, we're still fighting for a world championship, and this was a chance for us to get into field-goal range and take this thing into overtime.
Here's how it looked:
While making that catch at full speed while covered by two defenders would have been some feat, Moss nevertheless regrets the fact that he let the ball come to him instead of stopping his momentum and going up to get the ball.
"I always talk about going up and catching the ball, but I don't know if, now that I sit back and reflect and think about this play, if I could've just stopped right there and just went up and tried to catch the ball with my body, or did I just try to catch it with my fingertips and just try to run it in right there," Moss lamented. "So, this was just a me or you play. It was a great play by [Corey] Webster on the play, for him to be able to get up there and make a play on that ball. It was just more of a play where I think I could have made a better play of getting up and maybe just putting my body on the ball and just making the defenders run through me and the ball. And I made plays like that throughout my life, so like I say, now that I look back and look on that play I'm just wondering, could I have gathered myself, got up and caught that ball?"
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