On Jan. 19, 2002, during a game between the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders in the AFC Divisional Playoffs at Foxboro Stadium, a little-known rule was applied that may have altered the course of the NFL for the next decade. With the Patriots trailing the Raiders 13-10 with less than two minutes to play, Raiders cornerback Charles Woodson forced a fumble by sacking Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Oakland recovered the ball on the snow-covered field and thought it had the game won. However, the play was reviewed by referee Walt Coleman, and the fumble was overturned by what has become known as “The Tuck Rule.” The Patriots kept the ball, and then tied and later won the game on two dramatic field goals by Adam Vinatieri, with the game winner coming in overtime. New England would go on to win Super Bowl XXXVI.
This Saturday at 10am ET, on ESPN’s NFL Countdown, a segment will take a look back at that game (known as the “Snow Bowl” to Pats fans, and the “Snow Job” to Raiders fans), with several key members from both teams reflecting on it.