On This Day In 2002: Patriots, Raiders Play Infamous ‘Tuck Rule Game’

On this day 18 years ago, Tom Brady and the New England Patriots took part in one of the most memorable moments in NFL history.

The Pats welcomed the Raiders to a snowy Gillette Stadium on Jan. 19, 2002 for the AFC Divisional Game, and Oakland found an early edge. New England trailed by three late in the fourth quarter, but one call would change everything.

Brady and Co. had one last shot at completing the comeback when the then-24-year-old quarterback dropped back for a crucial pass. But Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson knocked the ball out of Brady’s hands, and linebacker Greg Biekert pounced on the ball almost instantly.

The play initially was called a fumble, though it wouldn’t last long. Referee Walt Coleman ultimately reversed the call after determining the ball was moving forward in a passing motion before touching the ground. Thus, the “tuck rule” applied.

And the rest, they say, is history.

The rule since has been overturned, but this game still remains one of the biggest moments in Patriots history and of Brady’s career.

Thumbnail photo via Youtube.com