Tom Brady and Charles Woodson will always be connected when discussing NFL history due to the infamous Tuck Rule game that happened in 2001. Late in the fourth quarterback of the playoff matchup between the Raiders and Patriots, Woodson sacked Brady and forced a fumble. The Raiders recovered the fumble, which would’ve ended the game. Instead, the referees invoked the tuck rule and ruled the play an incomplete pass. The Patriots went on to win the game and then the Super Bowl.
The game is one of the most controversial in NFL history and new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels, who was with the Patriots at the time, admitted that the play should’ve been ruled a fumble. What’s done is done and the Raiders can’t change the past but the team will never forget about the game. However, the last player who was on the field for that game is finally retiring. Brady announced his retirement on Monday after 22 seasons in the NFL.
Woodson, who sat down with the quarterback for an upcoming ESPN documentary about the Tuck Rule game and played with him at Michigan, sent a message to Brady after hearing the news.
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McDaniels Told Brady About Stance Change
Anybody who was part of the Patriots in 2001 or is a fan of the team won’t likely ever admit that Brady fumbled the ball. McDaniels knew how to butter up Raiders owner Mark Davis when the first thing he did was admit that Brady did indeed fumble the ball. The coach revealed that he had to speak with the quarterback about it ahead of time.
“That was my icebreaker,” McDaniels said Monday. “I figured, I was there, I lived through that experience, it was positive for me back then, and I think I did the right thing the other day. . . Tom and I are good friends and I told him I would have to say it.”
The Tuck Rule game happened during McDaniels’ first year with the Patriots when he was just a personnel assistant but he still has a ring from the eventual Super Bowl win. Even though he now admits it was a fumble, he likely wouldn’t go back and change the outcome in favor of the Raiders.
Is Brady Actually Done?
Brady didn’t win the Super Bowl this season but he’s retiring on top. He led the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns this season. He’s still one of the best quarterbacks in the league despite being 44-years-old. Based on this decision, it’s clear that he wanted to finish up his career while he was still playing at a high level.
For a while, it looked like Brady would play until he was 50. It’s a bit of a surprise that he’d call it a career right now. However, perhaps it’s not all over quite yet. It’s still possible that Brady just wants to take a year off before he makes a triumphant comeback in 2023. That still seems unlikely but it can’t be completely off the table.