The landscape of the NFL changed on one snowy night in late-January 2002. In the waning moments of the fourth quarter of the AFC Divisional Playoffs, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady fumbled after a pump fake and the loose ball was recovered by Oakland Raiders linebacker Greg Biekert. The fumble recovery all but sealed a victory for the Silver and Black. However, after further review the call was reversed and Brady’s fumble, thanks to the tuck rule, was deemed an incomplete pass. The ruling allowed the Pats to continue their drive and kick a game-tying field goal.
The Pats eventually won the game in overtime and the momentum carried them all the way to a victory in Super Bowl XXXVI. The Tuck Rule started the Patriots on a decade-long dominance of the National Football League. They also won Super Bowl XXXVIII (2003) and Super Bowl XXXIX (2004), posted a perfect regular season in 2007, and won AFC Championships in 2007 and 2011.
The Patriots were an original member of the American Football League and joined the NFL via the 1970 merger. They play in the AFC East with rivals the Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, and New York Jets. The team calls Gillette Stadium home. The venue is located in Foxborough, Massachusetts which is about 22 miles southwest of Boston. Some of the all-time great Patriots include quarterback Tom Brady, receivers Wes Welker and Stanley Morgan, guard John Hannah, and tight end Ben Coates. The team has been coached by both Bill Parcells and Bill Belichick.