Most Raiders Fans Are Still Angry About The Loss to the Patriots

Published on September 11th, 2021 11:14 am EST
Written By: Dave Manuel



The impact of one Patriots vs. Raiders game on the history of two franchises. For most football fans, the "Tuck Rule game" is just another game that they have likely mostly forgotten about.

For fans of the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders, the "Tuck Rule game" is likely still a source of annoyance/outrage, roughly 20 years later.

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Let's set the stage.

Earlier in the 2001 season, Tom Brady took over from Drew Bledsoe to become the new starting quarterback of the New England Patriots.

After a slow start, Brady found his bearings and led the Patriots to the playoffs, where they played against the Oakland Raiders in the AFC Divisional playoff game.

The game was played during a heavy snowfall, which made for some sloppy, mistake-filled action.

The Raiders were leading 13-3 heading into the 4th quarter, though Tom Brady led the Patriots back.

With the Patriots down 13-10 and just 1:50 left in the game, Charles Woodson hits Brady, causing a fumble that would be recovered by the Raiders. (Search "Tuck Rule Game" on Youtube to see what happened)

Game over, right?

Wrong.

After reviewing the play, the referee determined that the play was an incomplete pass and NOT a fumble.

The reason? The "tuck rule", which was used in the NFL from 1999 until 2013.

More specifically, the tuck rule was Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2, and it read:

"When [an offensive] player is holding the ball to pass it forward, any intentional forward movement of his arm starts a forward pass, even if the player loses possession of the ball as he is attempting to tuck it back toward his body. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble."

The Oakland Raiders protested the interpretation, saying that Brady had tucked the ball back into his body and then lost possession, though the referee for the game clearly disagreed.

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The "Tuck rule" was repealed in March of 2013, and the rule now reads:

"If the player loses possession of the ball during an attempt to bring it back toward his body, or if the player loses possession after he has tucked the ball into his body, it is a fumble."

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The impact of this game on the history of the NFL can't be underrated.

What happens to Tom Brady and the New England Patriots dynasty if the Raiders win this game? After all, the Patriots would go on to win the Super Bowl this year, and the legend of Tom Brady was born.

What would have been the impact on the Raiders franchise if they had gritted out this win in the snow at New England?

What changes would have been made in New England if they had lost this game? What would have been the "Butterfly effect" of these changes?

The mind boggles.

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