NFL Fans Slam Ref for ‘Embarrassing’ Roughing the Passer Penalty on Tom Brady

by Suzanne Halliburton
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

Oh my goodness. Tom Brady does get all the calls. How else do you explain a late flag thrown against Atlanta for a phantom roughing-the-passer penalty?

The play in question came late in the fourth quarter as the Falcons had closed the score to 21-15. All Atlanta needed to go was get the ball back. The Falcons started the fourth quarter down 21-0. So they were on a roll in the final few minutes.

But alas, the Falcons never got another chance. NFL officials twice flagged the Atlanta defense on third down to extend the Tampa Bay drive. But the most questionable call was when officials negated a 10-yard sack. Falcon defensive lineman Grady Jarrett grabbed Tom Brady by the waist and in one fluid motion, the two tumbled to the turf. Brady immediately asked for a flag. And he got it.

The Sporting News posted a video of the play. Judge for yourself.

Big Hint: No One Defended the Ref for Throwing the Flag

Radio host Andrew Perloff tweeted: “Such an embarrassing roughing call to help Tom Brady.”

Steve Samra, a reporter for On3Sports, tweeted: “With less than three minutes remaining in a one score game, Tom Brady took a sack on 3rd & 5. However, he’s bailed out by one of the most abhorrent roughing the passer calls I’ve ever seen. Absolute joke. Does any other QB in the league even get this call? Unreal screw job.”

A 247sports reporter posted: “This should be sent to the Library of Congress for a textbook QB sack. Instead, Grady Jarrett was penalized for not laying out an air mattress for Tom Brady.”

Another fan wrote: “Tom Brady has spent his entire professional career being protected by the refs. Grady took that sack fair and square. NFL owes him an apology at a minimum.”

The greats in every sport usually receive the benefit of the doubt from the officials. Michael Jordan never traveled. And don’t touch Tom Brady. But life currently is a bit rocky for the 45-year-old quarterback. There are all sorts of reports that Brady and wife, Gisele Bundchen, are divorcing. Plus, the Bucs have been losing.

Brady and the Bucs offense ran out the clock to clinch the 21-15 victory. It allowed Tampa to break a two-game losing streak. Brady had a nice game, statistically. He completed 35 of his 52 passes for 351 yards and a touchdown. But all anyone could talk about was the Brady sack that turned into a 10-yard penalty against the defense.

Grady Jarrett sacked Tom Brady, but officials called roughing the passer. (Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Reporters asked Brady about the penalty in the Bucs’ post-game press conference.

“I don’t throw flags,” Tom Brady said. Over in the visitor’s locker room, reporters asked Jarrett about the sack that wasn’t. “I’m not talking today,” Jarrett told them.

Those two players may not want to continue the conversation, but that doesn’t stop fans pondering if Brady always will get the calls until he finally retires.