The tuck rule is a rule that has haunted Las Vegas Raiders fans for over two decades. The story of the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff game between the Raiders and New England Patriots is an important part of NFL history. Had Charles Woodson’s strip-sack on Tom Brady been ruled a fumble, the Patriots dynasty may have never happened.
Whether or not Brady fumbled has been the subject of debate for a long time. The quarterback has talked about the debate ad nauseam but he’s been getting closer and closer to admitting that the play should’ve been ruled a fumble. In a recent video, Brady dropped a bombshell by admitting “the ‘Tuck Rule Game’ against the Raiders might have been a fumble.”
Of course, Brady’s comments aren’t a full admission as he made sure to include the word “might” in his statement. In a later tweet, the quarterback walked back his statement and said the officials made the “probably correct decision.”
Time will tell if Brady actually fully admits that it was a fumble but why end the debate when it continues to be a talking point that recently even warranted a documentary?
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Josh McDaniels Admitted It Was a Fumble
One of the people who would have one fewer Super Bowl ring if the officials ruled it a fumble is new Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels. He was on the Patriots staff for the infamous game. Now that he’s with the Raiders, he has to change his thought process. He even told owner Mark Davis that Brady fumbled the ball when they first met.
“When I met Josh on Saturday, we met in the hallway as we were passing, it was before the interview process was going to start, and I said, hey, I introduced myself and everything and he looked me in the eye and he said, ‘There’s one thing: It was a fumble,’” Davis said during McDaniels’ introductory press conference, referencing the Tuck Rule game. “So, Raider Nation, if you’re worried, he’s already come over to the dark side. True story.”
McDaniels had a chance to give more details later on.
“I thought the first thing I’m gonna say to [Davis] break the ice was that it was a fumble. … I’m part of the Raider Nation now so yeah, it was a fumble,” McDaniels on the Dan Patrick Show.
McDaniels Told Brady He Was Going to Say It Was a Fumble
Brady and McDaniels spent decades together winning Super Bowls in New England and there’s no way they would back and change the result of the “Tuck Rule Game.” When McDaniels was getting interviewed for the Raiders job, he had to personally reach out to Brady to let him know that he was going to change his tune.
“That was my icebreaker,” McDaniels said. “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.”
It seems like Brady is starting to warm up to the idea that it was a fumble. Regardless, it matters little in the grand scheme of things as the Patriots’ Super Bowl trophy isn’t going anywhere.