It's not always true in football, with the ball often concentrated with the quarterback, center and a skill-position player, and the direction of the ball more focused. But it does happen.
When the football found
"I was kind of blocking my guy, hoping we were going to get a return, but we hadn't been getting returns all night, due to the wind," Carter said. "So, at the last second, I heard the getting-away-from-the-ball call, a 'Peter' call; that's what we call it, where guys get away from the ball.
"I was running to get away from the ball, but it took a bounce, and it bounced right to me."
It bounced off his leg, ultimately into the grasp of New England safety Nate Ebner, and with that, the Broncos' hopes of snapping a three-game losing streak at Gillette Stadium and a one-game AFC West lead over Kansas City were dashed simultaneously.
"It was a freak play," said safety
And what became a 34-31 overtime loss should never have come down to something as capricious as that.
"It’s one of those things where you’ve got to go out there and make some more plays before a situation like that happens," said defensive lineman
Carter said he took "full responsibility."
“I didn’t want to get into a situation where someone was running into me or something else, and I ended up with the situation I didn’t want to happen in the first place," said Welker. "I have to do a better job of getting up there and getting those guys out of the way and making sure it doesn’t hit them.”
But losing a 24-0 lead is a team effort. It wasn't about the wind, or a punt, or the referees.
"The second half, we had turnovers, and they were able to get the points on the board," said cornerback Chris Harris, Jr. "We gave up 31 straight points, and that's something that is unacceptable."
"They made the plays and we didn’t. That’s all it comes down to," added defensive tackle
"Us" means all, because without the largest lost lead in the last quarter-century of Broncos football, the Broncos are on the bus and headed for the airport by the time Ryan Allen's punt dropped from the sky.
After midnight on this frigid evening, the ball found Carter. But it found many other Broncos, too, which is why the regret over an opportunity lost is shared throughout the locker room, not merely at the feet of the man that the ball found last.