Tom Brady admits tuck rule “might have been a fumble”

Oakland Raiders Vs. New England Patriots
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Tom Brady has won 35 postseason games, by far the most in NFL history. He admits he got lucky in the first one.

Brady’s first postseason win, with the 2001 Patriots, featured the infamous “tuck rule” in which the officials on the field ruled that he fumbled, only to have replay overturn it to an incomplete pass. More than 20 years later, Brady posted a video on Twitter yesterday admitting it could have been a fumble.

“The Tuck Rule Game against the Raiders,” Brady said, pausing to look around before whispering, “it might have been a fumble.”

Brady followed that up with another post saying, “I said might. Such a tough call. No choice but to respect the officials probably correct decision.”

Brady also said this year that he thinks he would have been Drew Bledsoe’s backup in 2002 if not for the tuck rule propelling the Patriots to the Super Bowl. It was one of the great strokes of luck in NFL history that the officials overturned what even Brady admits might have been a fumble.

97 responses to “Tom Brady admits tuck rule “might have been a fumble”

  1. Rules are rules however bad they maybe. Which is why they got rid of the tuck rule.

  2. No matter what it was, it shouldnt have been overturned. But Brady didnt make that call, so I cant blame him for it.

  3. If Belichick had been a better defense coach, Brady would have more SB.

    Unfortunately, Belichick’s defense was a PAPER TIGER that routinely collapsed in big games.

  4. Oh please, a backup to Bledsoe? Drew came in after Brady suffered a slight injury against Pittsburgh and even threw a touchdown pass. Yet Belichick went right back to Brady afterwards.

  5. An example of the dichotomy between not trying to leave wiggle room within the rules and making them too specific.

    The tuck rule at that time said it’s an incomplete pass until his other hand touches the ball and the other hand didn’t.

    Football is a wild sport in that way. I’m not sure if it happens a lot but when it does it causes friction. The “What is a catch?” era was particularly bad.

  6. No laughing matter to uncle Al who was in attendance. Immaculate Reception, Tuck Rule – it seems as though whenever there is a review over 5 mins in length with mystery phone calls during review, the Raiders seem to get the short end of the stick. Forever blackballed IMO. Davis, Madden, and Gruden felt the same

  7. Thats because it was. But….that fumble has nothing to do with Brady’s ascent…Raiders fans love to zero-in on that play as if Everything Brady had done since would have been different. Just plain stupid. News-Flash, one has virtually nothing to do with the other, Let it go!!!!

  8. It was totally a fumble. But following the September 11th attacks that year, the NFL needed a pro-America team to win the Superbowl. And which team is more patriotic than the Patriots? There is too much money involved in the NFL to leave the games to chance.

  9. Aww Tommy boy. It’s hard not to like and respect you now that you’re out of the AFC East.

  10. That’s why it’s a controversy. It could have gone either way. Under todays rules, it probably is a fumble, in 2001 it probably wasn’t a fumble. The pass that Brady threw to Danny Amendola for 2 points that sent the 2016 Super Bowl into OT, would have only counted 1 point in 1985

  11. What is there to admit? It was clearly a fumble but the rule at the time said it was an incompletion. There was still time to win the game for the opposing team but they just could not move on. Life is unfair in moments like that. At least the league changed the stupid rule.

  12. He would have taken over for Bledsoe either way. Bledsoe had declined in prediction from his 4-5 year run in the 90s where he ascended every year.

    What a glorious win over the Raiders that was in the snow. Precipitated the most incredible 20 year NFL run of greatness.

  13. Brady didn’t admit anything. He used the word “might,” which establishes a conditional, an “If, then …” If the officials misinterpreted the rule, then it was a fumble. I think it’s fair to say, however, that the consequences of the Mo Lewis hit on Bledsoe and the “tuck rule” game were two of the most unlikely events ever to propel a legendary career. They both needed to happen for the GOAT to happen.

  14. Brady still trolling Raiders, Raiders fans, and all the haters. Tampa Brady uncensored.

  15. The injury history of Drew Bledsoe suggests that he could only delay the inevitable by a couple of weeks. Maybe he was the best quarterback on the team but his backups had the advantage of being available to play.

  16. Baby steps Tom, Pretty soon you’ll be shaking hands with Nick Foles!

  17. It doesn’t matter if he “thinks” it might have been a fumble.

    AS THE RULE WAS WRITTEN, the play clearly falls under the Tuck Rule.

  18. It was a bad call but the story is way overblown. There were worse blown call when the Steelers beat the Seahawks in the SB a few years later.

  19. Was it a fumble based on the common sense “eye test”? Yes
    Was it a fumble based on the NFL rules at the time? No

    It was ruled correctly (after replay). It was just a bad rule (which had bitten the Patriots previously against the Jets, but they were extremely fortunate that it was on the books for this much more important game).

  20. Just stop already. TB’s need for attention lately is becoming Rodgers-esque.

  21. It’s so easy for Brady to drive views. It’s a crazy thing when a person can make a light-hearted tweet about a play 21 years ago and get 6.3 million views. on top of that, media outlets write articles about the tweet. Brady is also generating views for all the Raiders and Patriots players, fans and media who will tweet about this.

    It took him about 30 seconds.

  22. The problem was never the tuck rule itself.

    It’s the fact the tuck rule should have never been applied.

    Call on the field was fumble. For that to be reversed there had to be clear evidence that the tuck rule should have been applied meaning the QB had not completed a tuck. That part was NOT clear. He appeared on replay to have 2 hands on the ball when he brought it down. That is not conclusive evidence to overturn a call. If the call was incomplete pass then the line about right call bad rule would make sense. It was fumble and should have stayed that way.

    As much as I don’t like Tommy anymore – he knows. Bad call. Raiders were robbed and as an objective Patriots fan I can admit that. Just like the Patriots were robbed on roughing the passer 25 years earlier. Debt paid in full.

  23. That play has always been a fumble. For anyone to say otherwise is just ignorant or dishonest. The nfl has always had a fixed element to it and that is a prime example.

  24. Ahhhh once again Tommy Brady puts himself in the media spotlight…surprised this story didn’t surface 2 days before the draft.

  25. It doesn’t matter. Finally almost being honest once in his life doesn’t negate for a second all the cheating he did the rest of his career.

  26. bcraze, by your logic, the Pats should have won in 1976 as well- bicentennial/patriots, oerfect, right? Guess what, they were really good that year, but a phantome roughing the passer call against sugar bear hamilton gave, guess who, the Raiders the victory

  27. The Tuck rule call was a long overdue makeup call for the phantom rushing the passer penalty on the Patriots Sugar Bear Hamilton versus the raiders in the 1976 playoffs.

  28. We’ve been over this before. “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”. That’s as clear as it gets, and the no-fumble call on the play was clearly what the rules at the time called for. Doesn’t matter what common sense figures, and doesn’t matter what Brady says. The Patriots had even been on the opposite end of the exact same call earlier that same season, so it isn’t as if this was unprecedented. Most everyone agrees that the rule was flawed and it’s good that the NFL finally got around to changing it, but the rule was the rule.

  29. What happened that day was a fumble, however, by rule i.e. “The Tuck Rule” it was an incomplete pass. The refs ruled correctly based on the NFL rules in force on that day. Good for Tom to have so well taken advantage of opportunities and luck that has come his way.

  30. Drew came in after Brady suffered … and threw a TD pass

    +++++

    From Pittsburgh’ 40;yards like, when Pittsburgh’s defense was completely unprepared. He wasn’t able to do anything in 2nd half.

    BTW, Tebow won a playoff game against Pittsburgh.

  31. I didn’t think the call fit the rule as it reads and what a dumb rule to begin with. It’s just to hard to discern given the speed of the game and the complexity of the rule itself. Why have such a rule in the first place and subject the refs to having make such a difficult call?

  32. It was one of the worst calls in NFL history and changed the direction of two franchises.

  33. Big deal, Tom. It would made more of an impact if you acknowledged this 20 years ago. No one cares now.

  34. William Lee says:
    May 6, 2022 at 10:32 am
    Drew came in after Brady suffered … and threw a TD pass

    +++++

    From Pittsburgh’ 40;yards like, when Pittsburgh’s defense was completely unprepared. He wasn’t able to do anything in 2nd half.

    BTW, Tebow won a playoff game against Pittsburgh.
    —–
    The very same Tebow that has a higher career passer rating against Belichick than Tommy does? You mean him? That Tebow? That guy?

  35. May 6, 2022 at 10:27 am
    What happened that day was a fumble, however, by rule i.e. “The Tuck Rule” it was an incomplete pass. The refs ruled correctly based on the NFL rules in force on that day. Good for Tom to have so well taken advantage of opportunities and luck that has come his way.
    —-
    Bad call and bad rule.

  36. The rulebook at the time says “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”. So it was an incomplete pass.

    TB12 is incorrect. Right call was made.

  37. If not for that play we may never have known really who Tom was. I don’t think Bill just gives him the starting position next year against Bledsoe if they lost that game.

  38. “Stroke of luck,” huh? Very interesting how the narrative around this has gone from undeniable screw job to adorable in some circles over the past few years…

  39. GoodellMustGo says:
    May 6, 2022 at 11:35 am
    May 6, 2022 at 10:27 am
    What happened that day was a fumble, however, by rule i.e. “The Tuck Rule” it was an incomplete pass. The refs ruled correctly based on the NFL rules in force on that day. Good for Tom to have so well taken advantage of opportunities and luck that has come his way.
    —-
    Bad call and bad rule.

    ==============

    Rule disagrees

  40. razzlejag says:
    May 6, 2022 at 10:19 am
    The Tuck rule call was a long overdue makeup call for the phantom rushing the passer penalty on the Patriots Sugar Bear Hamilton versus the raiders in the 1976 playoffs.
    —–
    Yep. Snake Stabler said he wasn’t touched.

  41. Who cares? This was a loooong time ago. Yes it was a stroke of luck…and VERY bad refs.

  42. The act of “Tucking” was already complete, the tuck didn’t cause the fumble, Charles Woodson caused the fumble. Not enough evidence to overturn the call on the field, much less invoke a unknown and unused rule is a spirit that was not the intention of the rule.

    Crap call but Raiders lost the game because Gruden called too conservative of a game (which he always would do with a lead) and kept the Raiders D on the field for too long.

  43. Let’s go get a gawd dammed Mac! says:
    May 6, 2022 at 8:58 am
    An example of the dichotomy between not trying to leave wiggle room within the rules and making them too specific.

    The tuck rule at that time said it’s an incomplete pass until his other hand touches the ball and the other hand didn’t.

    Football is a wild sport in that way. I’m not sure if it happens a lot but when it does it causes friction. The “What is a catch?” era was particularly bad.
    ##########
    There is photographic evidence of Brady having both hands on the ball just before it was swatted out by Woodson. But it is not Bradys or the Patriots fault. Walt Coleman did this on on his own.

  44. It was one of the worst calls in NFL history and changed the direction of two franchises.
    ——————
    Only 1 franchise.
    Raiders have been bad for the last 30+ years.

  45. The worst blunder by the ref’s in NFL history was the non-call on pass interference during the Rams/Saints game in 2019. Infinitely a worse blunder by the NFL ref’s than the tuck rule call.

  46. GoodellMustGo says:
    May 6, 2022 at 11:18 am
    William Lee says:
    May 6, 2022 at 10:32 am
    Drew came in after Brady suffered … and threw a TD pass

    +++++

    From Pittsburgh’ 40;yards like, when Pittsburgh’s defense was completely unprepared. He wasn’t able to do anything in 2nd half.

    BTW, Tebow won a playoff game against Pittsburgh.
    —–
    The very same Tebow that has a higher career passer rating against Belichick than Tommy does? You mean him? That Tebow? That guy

    ———

    I guess that tells you all you need to know about the value of passer rating or QBR. Why do you never cite the one stat that matters: winning percentage?

  47. GoodellMustGo says:
    May 6, 2022 at 11:52 am
    razzlejag says:
    May 6, 2022 at 10:19 am
    The Tuck rule call was a long overdue makeup call for the phantom rushing the passer penalty on the Patriots Sugar Bear Hamilton versus the raiders in the 1976 playoffs.
    —–
    Yep. Snake Stabler said he wasn’t touched.

    Apples and bowling balls, my friends. If the roughing against Sugar Bear isn’t called, the Raiders still had fourth down to get the first down, as the play happened on third down. If the tuck rule isn’t invoked, the Raiders recover, run out the clock (two minutes were left, if memory serves) and the game is over

  48. This is not even news. I know of no one that does not think in reality it was a fumble all day and the Patriots got a gift on a bad rule that needed to be corrected. That includes all of Patriot nation that thinks that. The only difference of opinion is whether or not to be happy that happened that day.

  49. bawlzich says:
    May 6, 2022 at 11:52 am
    Might have been? That was the worst call in NFL history.

    —————————
    It was a spot on correct call.

    As far as ‘worst in history’ there are some Saints fans here to talk to you.

  50. I am a Patriots fan and I admit that championship came with an asterisk because of Tuck rule.

  51. No matter, it’s what you do with opportunity. Good breaks bad breaks, the goat always made opponents pay like no one ever did.

  52. There is photographic evidence of Brady having both hands on the ball just before it was swatted out by Woodson.

    Yeah that’s wrong!

    The video clearly shows as his right arm is coming down with the ball in his right hand Woodson hits his right arm and the ball hits his left hand as the ball come out but he did not have both hands securing the ball.

    And once again based on the rule it was called correctly

    “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”

  53. His admission while cute doesn’t make him any more likable or trustworthy. He is just admitting what most people outside of NE have always felt. Yawn, what’s next bit of trivia?

  54. Somewhere Ben Dreith is looking down and figuring this is a make-up call for the Patriots and he’s finally off the hook…

  55. lukedogg087 says:
    May 6, 2022 at 12:07 pm
    The act of “Tucking” was already complete, the tuck didn’t cause the fumble, Charles Woodson caused the fumble. Not enough evidence to overturn the call on the field, much less invoke a unknown and unused rule is a spirit that was not the intention of the rule.

    Crap call but Raiders lost the game because Gruden called too conservative of a game (which he always would do with a lead) and kept the Raiders D on the field for too long.

    ============

    Completely inaccurate. Tucking involves contact with the torso. 100% correct call. Facts march on

  56. @phinatic29:

    That would be Dan Marino! How many SB’s did he win?

  57. Call was complete correct per the rule. “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”.

    Irrefutable.

  58. It was a dumb rule, but called correctly and wisely removed as a rule. The Pats had it work against them in Week 2 of 2001 vs the Jetsies.

    Brady just loves the attention at this point. He has to have it daily.

  59. itsabobbiedazzler says:
    May 6, 2022 at 5:30 pm
    @phinatic29:

    That would be Dan Marino! How many SB’s did he win?

    —————————————————————————————–

    in the same situation as Brady was in, Marino would have won 10 – 12 Sb’s not a paltry 7. New England would have been the second undefeated team of all time. No chance Marino would blown winning that game with Randy Moss out there.

    Put Brady on the same teams that Marino was on … Brady would have won 2 maybe 3 playoff games total.

  60. A couple months ago Tom Brady told us he sometimes says things that he doesn’t actually believe to be true. So, anytime he makes a comment like this, he’s already warned us that he might be just saying something that might not be a fact. It’s harmless, but at least it’s entertaining. Just don’t read too much into anything he says, and don’t call him a liar because he warned us that he’s often just saying whatever comes to his head without really giving it any thought. I think Tom has a busy and interesting life. He puts his energy into what’s important to him and his family and his team.

  61. Completely inaccurate. Tucking involves contact with the torso. 100% correct call. Facts march on
    ——-
    Article 4
    Item 2. Passer Tucks Ball. 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.
    ——
    That says absolutely zilch about contacting the torso. An arm is part of a passer’s body. Brady had the ball meeting his left hand. At best it is not clear if the ball was out already. “Not clear” means call on the field (fumble) should stand.

    Bad call bad rule. That’s fact not opinion. Enough already with the excuses for Tom.

  62. No chance Marino would blown winning that game with Randy Moss out there.
    ——
    Neither would a lot of QBs.

    The fact is Tommy was absolutely terrible and that was a big reason why he lost the biggest game in the history of professional sports in America.

    And we are supposed to accept flaming trash pile takes like this guy is GOAT. Yeah ok. 😂

  63. And we are supposed to accept flaming trash pile takes like this guy is GOAT. Yeah ok. 😂

    Well that’s to bad for you because that’s pretty much the consensus..
    GOAT no matter how much you cry about it on the internet….

  64. This is one of the rare instance where I don’t see the Patriots cheating. The refs cheated but the Pats didn’t really get caught cheating multiple times until after the Brady fumble that the Raiders forced. So for those of you that like to think that the fix is in because of legalized gambling. You’re completely wrong. It was going on long before. i.e. Rams/Saints game where no obvious pass interference call cost the point spread and the Saints a trip to the Superbowl.

  65. GOAT no matter how much you cry

    +++++++++

    Flash1224,

    He has gone crazy.

  66. GoodellMustGo says:
    May 6, 2022 at 7:08 pm
    No chance Marino would blown winning that game with Randy Moss out there.
    ——
    Neither would a lot of QBs.

    The fact is Tommy was absolutely terrible and that was a big reason why he lost the biggest game in the history of professional sports in America.

    And we are supposed to accept flaming trash pile takes like this guy is GOAT. Yeah ok. 😂

    ************************************************

    Marino had a great arm. Was not super smart. Brady had a great brain and an accurate arm. That’s why he won. However, put Joe Montana on those Patriots teams and Joe wins 12 super bowls. That’s not a knock on Brady. Seven super bowls is beyond awesome. It’s like comparing Jim Brown and Walter Payton. Maybe Jim Brown was the greatest, but Payton wasn’t bad either. But Joe was the best QB, and it’s not even close.

  67. patsfan4lifedynasty says:
    May 6, 2022 at 2:10 pm
    I am a Patriots fan and I admit that championship came with an asterisk because of Tuck rule.

    Thanks I needed a good laugh! You know your Jets had a very good draft. You might want to start showing them some love.

  68. Put joe montana on those Patriots team and Joe’s wins 12 super bowl.

    +++++++++

    Stop the nonsense.

    Since 1985, Joe never won a playoff game when his defense allowed more than 10 points. ( Vikings scored a TD in garbage time, and Bengals ST scored a TD in SB)

  69. But Joe was the best QB, and it’s not even close.
    ——
    Joe overall. Peyton in this era.

    Imo

  70. flash1224 says:
    May 6, 2022 at 7:34 pm
    And we are supposed to accept flaming trash pile takes like this guy is GOAT. Yeah ok. 😂

    Well that’s to bad for you because that’s pretty much the consensus..
    GOAT no matter how much you cry about it on the internet….
    ——
    GOATs don’t go 1-5 against the Manning brothers in Super Bowls and AFC Championship games.

    And for sure they are not suspended for cheating.

  71. Anyplace other than an NFL playoff game at that particular time and it’s an obvious fumble. Sandlot, Pop Warner, flag, high school, college, Mars, NFL a few years prior, NFL since. He’ll probably the NFL that same season but in any non-description regular season game. Anyplace else. Any other moment. No doubt. Fumble.

    As a huge Patriots fan boy since 1973 I saw it clearly. And when the NFL overturned it I understood the official reasoning. It made total sense. And then I laughed my ass off. Because Raiders.

  72. Next he needs to start talking about the Patriots staff filming the Rams walk through prior to the Super Bowl in 2002, giving them a clear advantage. Strange how the NFL destroyed those tapes and did not allow full disclosure.

  73. 1-5 against Manning brothers.

    +++++++++

    What is funny is that in 3 of them, the so called GOAT coach allowed Manning brothers scored winning TD. LOL, THREE of six times.

    In one of them, the so called GOAT coach allowed
    completely crippled Manning threw two TD.

    BTW, the other one, I remember Pats lost both Gronk and Hernandez.

  74. William Lee says:
    May 7, 2022 at 6:38 pm
    1-5 against Manning brothers.

    +++++++++

    What is funny is that in 3 of them, the so called GOAT coach allowed Manning brothers scored winning TD. LOL, THREE of six times.

    In one of them, the so called GOAT coach allowed
    completely crippled Manning threw two TD.

    BTW, the other one, I remember Pats lost both Gronk and Hernandez.
    ——
    The Mannings totally own Tommy I guess. Eli is getting in the HoF only because he beat Tommy twice in Super Bowls, no other reason. I hope Eli thanks Tommy in his speech 😀

    Some GOAT. Totally owned by his daddies Peyton and Eli. Ouch.

  75. wearitclara says:
    May 7, 2022 at 12:03 am
    Next he needs to start talking about the Patriots staff filming the Rams walk through prior to the Super Bowl in 2002, giving them a clear advantage. Strange how the NFL destroyed those tapes and did not allow full disclosure
    —-
    That didn’t happen but Brady did have a scheme to deflate footballs. Indisputable.

    The text messages especially the one talking about deflation can’t be explained away or justified by anyone. It’s right there in black and white and it happened. Too bad the cheater isn’t man enough to own up to it.

  76. Nah, the defense collapsed THREE out of six times, that Manning’s a utterly pathetic. Manning brothers totally owned Belichick. You see, Peyton was able to throw two TD against Belichick’s defense even when he was in his worst form.

    The so called GOAT coach had no answer to Eli, even in regular seasons, had no answer to Peyton since Peyton started throwing to receivers other than his #1 WR.(since 2nd half of 2007 AFCCG)

  77. The defense of the so called GOAT coach in Giants with everything a DC could ask for:

    In 1986, Parcel gave him top offense with a running back of 1500+ yards; 1989, the defense allowed a TD in OT that cost Giants the playoff game; 1991, Giants offense played 39 minutes in NFCCG and 40+ minutes in SB, and the so called GOAT coach’s defense still gave Bills a chance to win SB.

    Between 1986 and 1990, only one time Giants offense was ranked in 20s. Now you know how pathetic Belichick has been as a coach.

  78. Regardless of what Brady thinks or doesn’t think, it was the officials who made the call.

  79. Would have been Raider’s 4th SB win before the Pats had their first.

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