In one of the most defining moments in NFL history, the Patriots were the controversial beneficiary of a rare call on their way to a signature victory that would kickstart their dynasty.
Down 13-10 to the defending champion Raiders on their snowy home turf, the Patriots' season seemed over when Oakland defensive back Charles Woodson forced a fumble on New England quarterback Tom Brady. But the call was reversed to an incomplete pass, as the referees cited a rule that stated that a lost football by a passer attempting to tuck the ball into his body was not a fumble.
The Patriots retained possession, and moments later kicker Adam Vinatieri nailed an improbable 45-yard field goal through the wind and snow to force overtime. In overtime, Vinatieri connected on another, shorter field goal to give New England the victory.
The game would come to be known as the "Tuck Rule Game," and one integral to New England's sustained success over the years. More than a decade later, the rule would be abolished by the NFL.