by Joe Fortenbaugh
February 01, 02011
DALLAS—Charles Woodson still remembers.
It was cold, snowy night in Foxboro on January 19, 2002 when the then 25-year-old Woodson sacked Patriots quarterback Tom Brady from behind with less than two minutes to play, causing the ball to come loose. Oakland linebacker Greg Biekert recovered the fumble and it looked as if Woodson and the Raiders were headed to the AFC Championship game.
We all know what happened next.
NFL Rule 3, Section 22, Article 2, Note 2 was “properly interpreted” and the Raiders went on to lose in overtime, 16-13 in the classic 2002 AFC Divisional Round matchup that has come to be known as “The Tuck Rule Game.”
“I think we had that game stolen from us,” Woodson said Tuesday afternoon from Cowboys Stadium during Media Day. “There’s no guarantee that we’d have gone on to win that Super Bowl, but I think there was an opportunity that was stolen.”
Woodson faced a myriad of questions during the Packers’ one-hour media session on Tuesday, but it was interesting to see him think back and remember one of the most infamous plays in NFL history.
While the 2009 Defensive Player of the Year is thrilled to have another opportunity to play for the NFL’s ultimate prize, you can tell he’s still not happy with what went down on that snowy night back in 2002.
“It wasn’t the game that dictated it. It was somebody’s interpretation that determined that game, determined that outcome. That’s the part the hurts.”
There’s no doubt Woodson will look to replace those memories with something a bit fonder Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
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