Good thing the Ravens won Sunday, because safety Eric Weddle would have been even harder on himself for dropping an easy interception.
Weddle had a gift-wrapped pick bounce out of his hands in the first quarter when a deep pass by quarterback Andy Dalton sailed high of its intended target. With new life, the Bengals ended up getting a field goal on the drive.
"I tell guys every day, 'Don't catch with your chest!' That's what happens," Weddle said. "And what do you do? Freakin' loser is what I am."
Weddle brought up the dropped interception before reporters even asked about it.
"Take away the quarterback runs getting out of the pocket and we shut the run down. Nothing over the top, we made plays, dropped a pick, of course …
"My whole career. That's the way it is – I drop the easy ones. It's been the story of my life since I got in the league. But, just getting humbled. It's a good thing we won and it didn't come back to bite us. I still owe the team three points for it."
Weddle has been fantastic for the Ravens since joining the team this offseason. Not only has he solidified the defense around him with strong communication and leadership, but he's played at a very high level himself.
He's had the best season of* *all NFL safeties, according to Pro Football Focus (PFF), with a plus-20.9 grade. That's the best mark by a large margin over the second-highest graded safety in New York Giants' Landon Collins (plus-16.5).
Weddle has 58 tackles, eight passes defensed, one forced fumbled and two interceptions. He could have four interceptions if he held onto the ball Sunday and another easy pick in the Ravens' 21-14 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 9.
"You're always thinking you're going to score. Stupid," Weddle said. "It's alright; just got to get humbled a little bit. It'll make you work harder."
Weddle's career-high in single-season interceptions is seven (2011). The three-time Pro Bowler hasn't had more than three picks in any other season during his 10-year career, but he's shown his ball-hawking nature with the Ravens.
A reporter saw a football in Weddle's postgame locker and asked if he got a game ball from Head Coach John Harbaugh. Weddle chuckled.
"No," he said. "I'm going to go and play catch with my son after this since I need to work on my hands."