The Atlanta Falcons weren’t expected to have a chance against a motivated Tampa Bay Bucs team that had lost two straight games. Tom Brady was 10-0 against Atlanta and was expected to be able to pick apart Atlanta’s secondary and allow Tampa to cruise with a comfortable win.
Three quarters in and everything seemed to be going to script with Tampa up 21-0 and Marcus Mariota again struggling leaving the offense without any clear answers. If there is one thing we know about this team five weeks into the season, however, it is they will never let go of the rope no matter the score or who the opposing quarterback is on the other side of the field.
Mariota heated up and made plays with Tyler Allgeier, Avery Williams, and Caleb Huntley all contributing to the running game. Atlanta charged back and scored fifteen straight making it 21-15 giving the ball back to Brady needing a stop to beat the GOAT quarterback.
On third down, it appeared Atlanta had the stop they so badly needed with still plenty of time on the clock. Brady rolled back and didn’t see a relentless Grady Jarrett who caught Brady from behind around the waist pulling him to the ground Brady landed on top of Jarrett and both rolled onto their sides at the end of the play. By NFL standards it was a gentle sack with Jarrett wrapping Brady around the waist and taking Brady’s weight himself as they fell to the ground.
Brady responded by attempting to kick Jarrett as Grady got up to celebrate what was his third straight game-changing sack in as many weeks. However, there was a flag on the play and after Brady confirmed with the official it was announced that it was a roughing the passer call on Jarrett. For those that have missed it see for yourself and find a way to explain this penalty away…
It wasn’t simply Atlanta Falcons fans noting this horrendously bad call that would give Tampa the first down and the lead.
Brady is the GOAT, however, there is no excusing his actions or demeanor on this play or the call itself. It is THE deciding play in a game Atlanta fought hard in and deserved a chance to win. A chance the officials stole from a scrappy Falcons team that just might have pulled off the improbable, they earned and deserved that chance. One that was unfairly taken for a player who has gotten far too many questionable calls in his career.