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Tomfoolery: Brady admits he ‘might have’ fumbled in famous Tuck Rule game

Some fun with a TIkTok prompt on the rule that sparked the legacy of the seven-time Super Bowl winner and the Patriots dynasty.
Then-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) loses the ball after being brought down by the Raiders' Charles Woodson, right, while Greg Biekert (54) moves to recover the ball in the fourth quarter of their AFC division playoff game. The play was appealed, and the Patriots retained possession. And the Tuck Rule was born.
Then-Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) loses the ball after being brought down by the Raiders' Charles Woodson, right, while Greg Biekert (54) moves to recover the ball in the fourth quarter of their AFC division playoff game. The play was appealed, and the Patriots retained possession. And the Tuck Rule was born. [ ELISE AMENDOLA | Associated Press (2002) ]
Published May 6|Updated May 6

TAMPA — It took more than 20 years, but Tom Brady has made a shocking revelation. Or he was just using his social media platform to rile up Raiders fans all over again.

“The Tuck Rule game against the Raiders ... it might have been a fumble,” Brady said on social media Thursday following a TikTok prompt by Justin Bieber “to tell me something honest.”

The “Tuck Rule” was used to reverse what appeared to be a fumble by Brady during the 2001 AFC division playoff game between the Patriots and Raiders.

It reversed the fortunes of both franchises.

In that game, the Patriots trailed the Raiders 13-10 with 1:50 remaining in the fourth quarter at a snowy Foxoboro Stadium.

Brady dropped back to pass and was hit by former Michigan teammate Charles Woodson. Brady lost possession of the football and it was recovered by the Raiders’ Greg Biekert.

The ruling on the field was a fumble, but the change of possession inside of two minutes allowed it to be reviewed by instant replay.

This is the Tuck Rule: “When a player is holding onto 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 attempting to tuck it back toward his body. Also, if a player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble.”

Officials reversed the call on the field and ruled it was an incomplete pass. Brady drove the Patriots into field-goal range for Adam Vinatieri, who sent the game into overtime with a 45-yard field goal.

Then in the extra period, Vinatieri connected on a 23-yard field goal to win the game for the Patriots over Jon Gruden’s Raiders.

New England went on to win Super Bowl 36, beginning a run of six NFL titles for Brady and Bill Belichick.

The ruling may have changed the direction of three franchises.

Gruden went to the Bucs, where he won Super Bowl 37 the next season.

Brady attempted to make a clarification later on Twitter.

“I said might. Such a tough call,” Brady said. “No choice but to accept the officials’ probably correct decision.”

Too soon, Raiders fans?

• • •

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