Thirteen years ago today, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady—in the first postseason game of his career—was involved in one of the most controversial plays in NFL history.
In the divisional round of the 2001-02 playoffs, the Patriots hosted the Oakland Raiders on a snowy day at Foxboro Stadium.
New England trailed 13-10 with one minute, 50 seconds left in the fourth quarter when the infamous "Tuck Rule" came into play. Raiders defensive back Charles Woodson hit Brady, who coughed up the football. It was initially ruled a fumble on the field, with Oakland recovering.
However, a review changed everything. Forever.
After reviewing the play, the referees ruled that Brady's arm was coming forward when he was hit. That made the play an incomplete pass, not a fumble.
The Patriots kept possession and went on to kick a game-tying field goal on the drive to force overtime. In the extra period, New England kicker Adam Vinatieri won the game, 16-13, with a 23-yard field goal.
New England went on to upset the St. Louis Rams in Super Bowl XXXVI that year, which was the first of three Super Bowls the team won during a four-season stretch.
This season, New England will be playing in its sixth Super Bowl since the infamous "Tuck Rule" game. The organization had appeared in just two Super Bowls before that game.
The NFL finally eliminated the "Tuck Rule" in 2013.