By a vote of 29-1, the NFL owners eliminated The Tuck Rule on March 20, 2013 at Phoeniz, Ariz. There were two absentations — by Washington and New England.
Starting in the 2013 season, if a quarterback loses control of the ball before he has fully protected it after choosing not to throw, it is a fumble.
For the Raiders, the rule change comes 11 seasons too late.
The Raiders suffered a controversial 16-13 overtime loss to the host New England Patriots in an American Conference divisional round playoff game at Foxboro Stadium on Jan. 19, 2002. With New England trailing 13-10, Oakland's Charles Woodson forces what appears to be a game-clinching turnover. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady fumbles when he's sacked by Woodson on a corner blitz with 1:47 remaining. Linebacker Greg Biekert recovers the fumble at the Oakland 48, and the Raiders begin to celebrate.
Not so fast.
After watching a video replay of the play, referee Walt Coleman overturns his call of the fumble — he rules that Brady's arm was going forward and therefore the play was an incomplete pass, according to The Tuck Rule.
Five plays later, Adam Vinatieri kicks a 45-yard field goal with 27 seconds left in regulation. After winning the coin toss, the Patriots drive 61 yards to the Raiders' 5 on the only possession of overtime before Vinatieri kicks his third field goal of the game, from 23 yards, with 6:31 left in the extra period to lift New England to victory and hand Oakland a stunning defeat in what would be Jon Gruden's final game as Raiders coach.
Fast foward to over a decade later. After The Tuck Rule was abolished, Woodson tells the NFL Network on March 20, 2013:
"It's been 11 years I guess now. It's about time that they turned it over. Hallelujah. It shouldn't have taken this long. It was really just a badly explained rule from the jump, and it didn't make a whole lot of sense the way the rule was interpreted.
"So I think the best thing was for them to just throw it out."
Woodson, who bolted the Raiders after the 2005 season and won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers, admits he was surprised the controversial rule was eliminated.
"You think about the times you've had the opportunity to be in the playoffs and have a chance to advance," he told NFL Networrk. "You think about it. You think about lost opportunities. And you think about it.
"But I haven't thought about it for some time now, and all of a sudden, (The Tuck Rule) was up for repeal. I was just hoping that it got passed, or that it got thrown out. So that's good — good for the NFL."