Tom Brady got blown up by Nate Clements in 2001

New England Patriots Vs. Buffalo Bills
Getty Images

Early in the 2001 season, Patriots quarterback Drew Bledsoe took a huge hit that nearly dislodged his lung. Later that season, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady took a huge hit that nearly dislodged his head.

Jimmy Traina of SI.com posted the video earlier today from the December 16, 2001 game between the Patriots and the Bills.

With New England leading 6-3 in the third quarterback facing third and 17, Brady drops back. He moves to his right and then decides to run. Which for him has always been, basically, race-walking.

Just before he reaches the line of scrimmage, Bills defensive back Nate Clements lights Brady up. The hit was clean, shoulder first and possibly no helmet contact. But the collision caused Brady’s helmet to go flying backward.

Brady gets up and acts like he’s fine, the standard approach for players who took mind-numbing hits in the years before the league made brain-rattling hits instant penalties. And even though a frame-by-frame review of the collision possibly leads to a conclusion that Clements never actually contacted the head or neck area of Brady, a hit like that in today’s NFL would result in a penalty and an ejection.

Earlier this year, Brady said it was the hardest hit he ever took. It’s amazing he remembers it.

By the way, the Patriots still won the game. They capped that season by winning their first of six Super Bowls.

23 responses to “Tom Brady got blown up by Nate Clements in 2001

  1. Back when defense was allowed to play defense.

    Now Tommy just looks at the refs like zoolander and the flag comes out. 🙂

  2. “It was probably a clean hit, no, it was a clean hit. He’s going to be flagged and ejected.” Brady was running on that play. Nate turned his shoulder into him and didn’t make any head contact. What is this?!

  3. Brady doesn’t typically get credit for toughness, but it was pretty amazing how quickly he popped up.

  4. GoodellMustGo says:
    July 22, 2022 at 8:49 pm
    Back when defense was allowed to play defense.

    Now Tommy just looks at the refs like zoolander and the flag comes out. 🙂

    ___________________________________________________

    Yes, professional athletes should have shorter life spans and brain damage in order for you to be entertained. And, those weak willed construction workers should just deal with asbestos and man up. Darn pansy farmers ought to suck it up and spray DDT so I can eat more vegetables.

    Here’s a secret: The “Good old days,” really weren’t.

  5. “By the way, the Patriots still won the game. They capped that season by winning their first of six Super Bowls.”

    Of course they won… it was the bills… in the early 2000s…

  6. Still don’t get how Brady got back up after that hit yet Roethlisberger takes a normal hit from Bart Scott and he’s knocked out for nearly a minute.

  7. Probably the toughest guy to ever play the position. Knows he’s going to get hammered and still puts it on the money. A lot of great defensive linemen comment that they couldn’t believe he kept getting up after the way they were hitting him and that he refused to give them the satisfaction of showing the pain.

  8. patsfan1818 says:
    July 23, 2022 at 8:34 am
    Still don’t get how Brady got back up after that hit yet Roethlisberger takes a normal hit from Bart Scott and he’s knocked out for nearly a minute.

    The AFC North was always a tough division. Those teams legit hate each other.

    Compare that to Brady who benefited from being in the worst division in football over the last 2 decades and maybe in all pro sports over that time.

  9. Dan Patrick asked Justin Tuck who was the toughest QB he ever faced. Tuck answered: That’s easy. Brady. We kept hitting him harder and harder and couldn’t believe he kept getting back up.

    Before he joined the Patriots, Michael Bennett said: No matter how hard you hit him Brady will get back up and tell you good job good hit. He takes his hits like a real man.

    On a sports podcast, former D-lineman Chris Canty talked about a 2007 game when he was with the Cowboys and they played the Patriots: I came free on a zero blitz. I hit Tom Brady harder than I’ve ever hit any human being on or off the field. And I was like, Guys, I got him. There’s no way he’s getting up from that one. But Brady got up, shook his head and called up the huddle. From that moment on, Tom Brady had my utmost respect.

    Except for his 2008 ACL season, Brady has never missed a single game because of injury over his 22 seasons, which
    most years included playoff games as well. He’s well conditioned and he’s tough.

  10. Also, in that game…David Patten (RIP) was knocked out with the ball dislodged…he was out of bounds and touched a live ball with his leg before the Bills recovered.

    Crazy game…

  11. Worst division of last 2 decade

    ++++++++++++++

    Thanks for pointing out that Belichick’s defense was a PAPER TIGER.

    BTW, Brady forced them to invest a lot on defense.

  12. William Lee says:
    July 23, 2022 at 5:25 pm
    Worst division of last 2 decade

    ++++++++++++++

    Thanks for pointing out that Belichick’s defense was a PAPER TIGER.

    BTW, Brady forced them to invest a lot on defense.

    —-
    The AFC Least was a complete joke. That’s not an opinion that’s fact. Belichick benefited from it and Tommy did even more. Not hard to make Super Bowls when you’re almost guaranteed a home playoff game and high seed every year. Worst division in football by a mile over the last two decades. Fact.

    Until the rise of the Bills all 3 teams were scared of the Patriots and it showed. There was no hate like in the AFC North only fear. Tommy wouldn’t have a chance in the North. Now that’s a real division with real rivals. The AFC Least from 2001-2019 had nothing like that.

  13. Lol, not hard to make to SB when Brady had to score 24 points with the squad given by beliCHEAP, sometimes even back to back?

  14. “Until the rise of the Bills all 3 teams were scared of the Patriots and it showed. There was no hate like in the AFC North only fear. Tommy wouldn’t have a chance in the North. Now that’s a real division with real rivals. The AFC Least from 2001-2019 had nothing like that.”
    ______________________

    That 20 years was awful. Just embarrassing. All of the other teams were run SO poorly.

    Still, the Pats deserve some credit for that. Teams kept trying to figure out ways to beat them, and just couldn’t. They wasted drafts, coaches, good players.

    Now that the Bills are solid, it kind of bums me out that the division looks like it will be good again, top to bottom (even the Jets). But at the same time, that makes it more fun. Rivalry games are fun when they matter.

  15. Ravens and the Steelers may hate each other but the hit Big Ben took against the Ravens in 2006 was light compared to the Clements hit Goodell. Brady is and always has been tougher than Ben also Brady’s record against the AFC North is almost as good as it is against the East.

  16. Tommy wouldn’t have a chance in the north

    ++++++++++

    Lol, you should check how Pats were playoff contender in 2002 and 2005 seasons with the garbage team given by Belichick the garbage.

    With the squad Steelers had, Brady would dominate AFCN too.

  17. patsfan1818 says:
    July 23, 2022 at 8:28 pm
    Ravens and the Steelers may hate each other but the hit Big Ben took against the Ravens in 2006 was light compared to the Clements hit Goodell. Brady is and always has been tougher than Ben also Brady’s record against the AFC North is almost as good as it is against the East.
    —-
    Look at what Burfict did to Antonio Brown. Dude was never the same. That’s what the North is about. Toughest division. It’s a war there.

  18. Yeah when even Tommy’s former teammate is mocking him for crying to the refs after a hit then it’s very difficult to put him in the “tough” category.

    Never saw Ben do that.

  19. Can’t remember he ever complained before his 40 year old birthday.

    His haters are so pathetic.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.