Tuck Rule Abolished by NFL, Too Late For Raiders Fans

In fact, 12 years too late.

Late in a Divisional Round playoff game in 2002 between the Raiders and Patriots in snowy New England, Tom Brady appeared to have fumbled the ball after a hit by Charles Woodson, and was recovered by Oakland. However, after the officials reviewed the play, they ruled that Brady’s arm was going forward, therefore making it an incomplete pass. That gave the Patriots new life, as they tied the game late in regulation and won it in overtime on a field goal.

The tuck rule, established in 1999, reads:

 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. Also, if the player has tucked the ball into his body and then loses possession, it is a fumble.

Now, that rule has been abolished by the NFL, who “overwhelmingly” voted to strike it down, with the votes at 29-1. Fittingly enough, New England was one of the two teams that abstained from voting.

Unfortunately, this comes as little solace to Raiders fans. The following year after the “Tuck Rule Game,” Oakland lost in the Super Bowl to the Buccaneers, and have not made the playoffs since, suffering more than a decade of mediocrity.



Tags: New England Patriots Oakland Raiders

comments powered by Disqus