The Tuck Rule
Late in the 2001 AFC Divisional Playoff Game between the New England Patriots and Oakland Raiders, quarterback Tom Brady began to attempt a pass, but returned the ball back to his body. At that moment, he was hit by Oakland cornerback Charles Woodson, who dislodged the ball from Brady’s hands, causing a fumble recovered by the Raiders.
But the referees ruled that since Brady performed the throwing motion but returned the ball back to his body while still in his hands, it actually counted as an incomplete pass. This little-known “Tuck Rule” was vehemently argued, despite the fact that it was 100% written as such in the NFL rule book. As we all know, the New England Patriots would advance to — and win — the Super Bowl that year, starting off perhaps the greatest dynasty in NFL history.