Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Moats Catches on to New Role Steelers' Top Backup at Olb Was Bills Ilb When He Basically Ended Favre's Career

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Moats Catches on to New Role Steelers' Top Backup at Olb Was Bills Ilb When He Basically Ended Favre's Career

Article excerpt

Steelers linebacker Arthur Moats did not know he would go down in Brett Favre infamy that December day of his rookie season four years ago.

"I was just excited to be playing in an NFL game," Moats said Wednesday in a light summer rain at Saint Vincent College in Latrobe. "I wasn't even aware of the record."

The record stood as one of the more incredible feats of longevity, productivity and good health in sports history -- Favre's 297 consecutive starts at quarterback over 19 seasons in a brutal sport that often ends careers before they begin.

Moats not only squashed that streak, he helped hasten the end of Favre's brilliant career. It happened Dec. 5, 2010 in Minnesota with Favre playing in what would be his second-to-last NFL game with the Vikings and Moats a rookie linebacker for the Buffalo Bills.

"It was a sprint-action away," Moats recalled the play that started with Favre moving to his right. "I was on the backside. He was going to his right. I was chasing him.

"I remember the coaches the whole week talking about just keep pursuing on the backside and seal it because he likes to prolong plays, that's his M.O. Sure enough, that's what he started doing, he started drifting back to the inside, and I just closed on him and made the hit."

Moats caught Favre with a clean hit in the back as he was trying to pass.

"There was definitely a grunt," said Moats, recalling Favre's reaction.

The ball fluttered into the hands of a Buffalo teammate for an interception. Favre, 41, was done for the day with a bum right shoulder. He missed the following game against the New York Giants, the first time he did not play since his first season in Green Bay in 1992.

Favre would go on to play the next week, but, after throwing seven passes against the Chicago Bears, he was done. He never played another game and went on with his life's work selling Wrangler jeans.

"With Brett Favre, no one expected him not to play," Moats said, "because even though he was always banged up or something was wrong with him he always shows up and plays. …

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