Defensive Back Champ Bailey’s interception of Tom Brady late in the third quarter of the Denver Broncos’ 27-13 win over the New England Patriots was a key turning point in the teams’ 2005 divisional-round matchup. But questions about that controversial pick still linger today.
There’s no doubt Bailey cleanly intercepted Brady, and it looked like he was destined to return it for a touchdown with nothing but green grass in front of him. However, Patriots tight end Benjamin Watson tackled Bailey short of the goal line, and the ball went out of bounds.
The ball was ruled out at the 1-yard line, which was held up on replay. However, there were no definitive camera angles showing whether the ball went across the pylon, which would have given the Patriots the ball at the 20-yard line.
Ever since, New England coach Bill Belichick has been lobbying for cameras along the goal line, and Bailey says he understands why in Mike Klis’ new book “Mile High Magic: The 25 Greatest Moments in Denver Broncos History.”
“Because I thought it was a touchback,” Bailey told Klis. “When I was on the sideline, I was saying, ‘Did the ball cross? Did I get in? Did I get in?’ Everybody on our bench of course was optimistic: ‘Yeah, you got in.’ I was like, ‘I don’t think I got in.’ And then when they put it at the 1, I thought, ‘Wow, that’s great.'”
Ten years later, Belichick’s quest for cameras along the goal lines still is ongoing.
In case you need a refresher in what happened, you can relive it all in the video below.
Thumbnail photo via Ron Chenoy/USA TODAY Sports Images
Thumbnail photo via Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey