Tom Brady is awaiting the NFL owners’ approval to become the newest minority owner of the Las Vegas Raiders, but there is one unofficial box he must tick.
At least, that’s what Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels believes.
The “Tuck Rule” was inspired by a notorious incident in an AFC divisional-round game between Brady’s New England Patriots and the Oakland Raiders on Jan. 19, 2002.
McDaniels stated that before Brady can officially own a piece of the franchise, he must confess it was a fumble.
“Without a doubt. “Without a doubt,” McDaniels stated, according to Pro Football Talk.
With the Raiders leading the snowy game 13-10, it was all but certain that they would face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC championship game.
However, NFL Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2, dubbed the “Tuck Rule,” altered everything. According to the rule, any purposeful forward movement of the arm initiates a forward pass, even if the player loses control of the ball while trying to tuck it towards the body.
That is crucial in this case. Brady was trying to tuck the ball as his arm moved forward, anticipating a blow from Woodson. It would have been a fumble if he had tucked the ball to the body neatly and then Woodson knocked it out.
Instead, the Patriots kept possession and forced overtime with a field goal. In overtime, Brady led his team down the field, and Adam Vinatieri converted a game-winning field goal to advance the Patriots and destroy the Raiders’ Super Bowl chances.
The Patriots won the Super Bowl that year, launching the Brady-Bill Belichick dynasty, but Raiders fans will never forget what they thought was a fumble.
The “Tuck Rule” no longer exists in the NFL. In 2013, teams voted 29-1 to repeal it. The Steelers were the only club to vote against the rule’s repeal.
During his stint as the Patriots’ offensive coordinator, McDaniels benefited from Brady’s success. He’s thrilled that Brady has shown an interest in becoming a Raiders shareholder.
“I think everybody knows how I feel about Tom the person,” McDaniels said. “So, if that happens, obviously I’ll be incredibly excited just because he’s in Raider Nation and has a vested interest in us doing as well as we can in trying to bring a championship football team here to Vegas.”