By Matt McCarthy, 985TheSportsHub.com
It will snow in New England tonight. Something just seems right about a January 19 snowstorm.
On this day 17 years ago, the Patriots played arguably the most important game in their history: the Snow Bowl against the Oakland Raiders.
Something mystical happened on that snowy night they closed Foxboro Stadium down. Something that can’t fully be explained.
It was the beginning of it all.
The Patriots offense was stagnant for three quarters, but Tom Brady and company gave the Foxboro faithful life in the fourth quarter. Brady capped off 7:52 drive with a 6-yard touchdown scamper that cut Oakland’s lead to 13-10.
But the Pats still needed to get the ball back, and the defense came through with the first great stop of the Brady-Belichick era.
On a 3rd and 1 from the Oakland 44, the Pats stuffed Zach Crockett on a plunge play, forcing a Raiders punt and giving the ball back to Brady for one final drive.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
“The Tuck Rule Game.”— NFL Throwback (@nflthrowback) January 9, 2019
The ruling: an incomplete pass.
The result: the start of a legendary run of postseason success. (2001 Divisional: Jan. 19, 2002) @Patriots pic.twitter.com/skVvwaLWTJ
Quote of the game:
“It’s a mob scene on the snowy field of Foxboro! Oh, baby!” -Gil Santos, calling Adam Vinatieri’s game-winning field goal on the WBCN Patriots Rock Radio Network.
Tom Brady: 32/52, 312 yards, 1 interception. 6-yard rushing touchdown.
Antowain Smith: 20 carries, 65 yards.
David Patten: 8 catches (16 targets), 107 yards.
Jermaine Wiggins: 10 catches (13 targets), 68 yards.
Troy Brown: 4 catches, 43 yards.
J.R. Redmond: 4 catches, 43 yards.
Rich Gannon: 17/31, 159 yards, 1 touchdown.
Jerry Rice: 4 catches, 48 yards
Tim Brown: 5 catches, 42 yards.
You can hear Matt McCarthy on various 98.5 The Sports Hub programs. Follow him on Twitter @MattMcCarthy985.