Houshmandzadeh puts it on himself, Boldin not so much

It was far from the most important play in the Ravens' loss to the Steelers today.

It definitely didn't cost Baltimore the game.

But T.J. Houshmandzadeh's dropped pass on fourth down and 19 with just over a minute left in the fourth quarter was what sealed the defeat and sent the Ravens packing from the postseason.

And while it might not be the play that fans will remember from the heartbreaking loss, the veteran wide receiver will be thinking about it for quite some time.

"It's tough, because it ends because of me," an emotional Houshmandzadeh said after the game. "Just make a play. And the play that I should make, that I could make, that I've always made - I don't. It's almost unreal to me. I can't explain it.

"We blew it, or I blew it, really. I love football, and I can't [normally] wait to watch the games. I have like no enthusiasm to watch games now. It's like that disappointing to me. And it's hard to explain."

On the play, Houshmandzadeh ran about a 20-yard stop route on the right sideline, and gained a couple yards of separation from Steelers cornerback William Gay. Joe Flacco's pass hit Houshmandzadeh right between the 8 and the 4 on his jersey, and would have gone for a huge first down, keeping the drive, and the season, alive. Instead, it bounced to the turf.

Asked if Gay tipped the pass before it got to him or at all changed the path of the ball, Houshmandzadeh emphatically shook his head.

"Nope. He didn't do anything," Houshmandzadeh said. "That was 100 percent me. He didn't do anything. It's my fault."

Houshmandzadeh has been very vocal about his lack of involvement in the offense this year, saying almost weekly that he wished he was a bigger part of the gameplan.

In a tough moment after the game, Houshmandzadeh stood up and was just as vocal as he usually is. This time, he put the blame squarely on his own shoulders, which you have to respect.

"It's almost like I'm dreaming, because with me getting here late, it's fourth down, and he comes to me. You know?" Houshmandzadeh said. "I think he went to (Todd) Heap first down, (Derrick) Mason ... I don't know. But he came to me on fourth down. That's what I wanted. And for the life of me, it's almost like disbelief that that happened. And it did. And there's not too much I can do about it now."

Meanwhile, Anquan Boldin had a shot of his own to make a big play late in the game, but with four minutes left, Flacco's third-down pass for him at the goal line fell incomplete. The throw was a bit low, sending Boldin to the ground as he tried to bring it in, but it looked like a catchable ball.

If Boldin could have made the catch, it would have been the go-ahead touchdown, giving the Ravens a four-point edge with time winding down. Instead, they had to settle for a game-tying field goal.

Asked about the play after the game, Boldin didn't give quite the same reaction as Houshmandzadeh.

"I tried to come up with it," Boldin said. "It was low. It was a tough play. It was a low ball."

It was, indeed. But you have to wonder if, when Boldin watches the tape of the play, he'll be left feeling the same way Houshmandzadeh is right now.

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