Editor’s note: Each day during the week of Dec. 31, NESN.com will feature content based on key events from Robert Kraft’s tenure as owner of the Patriots. “Krafting a Legacy” will examine how the Patriots got to where they are today following Kraft’s purchase of the team.
Cold. Wet. Snowy. The night just screamed, “football.”
The evening in question is Jan. 19, 2002. Location: Foxboro Stadium.
The Patriots, led by a young whippersnapper by the name of Tom Brady, hosted Pro Bowl quarterback Rich Gannon and the Oakland Raiders in an AFC divisional round showdown. The Pats entered the contest on the heels of a six-game winning streak to close out the regular season, but there was still a great deal of curiosity about how Brady would fare in his first postseason as a starting quarterback.
The one thing that appeared to be working in New England’s favor was the weather, although Oakland’s experience had the potential to outweigh the unsavory conditions. In fact, it looked like the Raiders’ veteran poise would ultimately reign supreme, until one call helped change everything.
NESN.com caught up with some of those who closely followed the famous “Tuck Rule Game.” Check out the slideshow above to hear all about how one game changed the course of NFL history.