Earlier this year, when the Ravens were headed to London for their International Series game, there was a locker room debate over who is the team’s biggest soccer fan.
Left tackle Ronnie Stanley was adamant that it’s him. Guard Jermaine Eluemunor, a London native, was indignant. Then wide receiver Chris Moore tossed his hat into the ring.
“I’m the best at FIFA,” Moore said at the time.
Moore proved his love Sunday night in Pittsburgh. After his dazzling over-the-shoulder 30-yard touchdown catch, Moore broke out the “dead fish” celebration from the popular soccer video game.
Those who don’t play FIFA were confused. When Moore came to the sideline, Team Chaplain Johnny Shelton told Moore, “That celebration, man, it scared everybody.”
The gamers out there, however, loved it. It even caught the attention of former Bengals wide receiver Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson – a man known for his touchdown celebrations.
Moore said his dream is to travel to Europe and go to all the major soccer stadiums to watch his favorite team play. His favorite team is Juventus F.C., an Italian club.
“They’re fast,” Moore said. “Real speed.”
Moore likes speed because he’s a speedster himself. The second-year Cincinnati product has been emerging in the Ravens offense the past three weeks, stepping in as the team’s third wide receiver with Breshad Perriman deactivated.
Over the past three games, Moore has nine catches for 117 yards and the one touchdown. That’s better production than fellow wideout Jeremy Maclin, who has been dealing with shoulder and back injuries.
Moore had seven catches for 46 yards and no touchdowns last year as a fourth-round rookie. He’s now up to 15 receptions for 213 yards and two scores this season.
Head Coach John Harbaugh has been impressed by Moore’s play as he has graduated from being just a special teams player, where he also played well, into an offensive weapon/special teamer.
“He really made some plays,” Harbaugh said. “I thought Chris came up, obviously, with a touchdown pass, which was big. The sideline catch, the diving catch, was big. He’s coming on, so that’s exciting for us, and hopefully he’s out there next Sunday.”
The bad news is Moore suffered a hip injury during Sunday’s game, which sidelined him down the stretch. The injury did not seemingly come from his touchdown celebration, as he returned three kickoffs after scoring his touchdown.
“He had an issue,” Harbaugh said. “[I’m] not really going to get into diagnosing it, but we’ll see as the week goes on how serious it is. He’s pretty optimistic today, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed.”