It’s one of many first guidelines you be taught once you get taken into the yard and taught the way to play soccer:
You possibly can solely throw one ahead cross every play.
On Monday evening, Tom Brady tried to get away with breaking that rule. And in a manner, it labored.
Early within the fourth quarter of Tampa Bay’s recreation in opposition to the Los Angeles Rams, Brady’s Buccaneers had a third-and-10 at their 34-yard line. Brady threw over the center, however the ball was blocked on the line of scrimmage by linebacker Terrell Lewis.
A number of good issues have occurred to Tom Brady in his life, and right here got here one other. The deflected ball, which may have gone in nearly any path, caromed instantly again to him. Brady reacted with lightning velocity, snatched the carom out of the air and … handed the ball once more?
Sure, maybe due to a mind freeze, or possibly as a result of he thought nobody would discover, Brady tried his second cross of the play. That’s a violation of the foundations of the N.F.L., the Canadian Soccer League and nearly each sort of organized soccer all the way down to your cousin’s youth league.
Brady’s second cross was accomplished to Mike Evans, however the officers had been lower than impressed. Flags flew, and Brady was known as for a penalty.
However wait. Evans was introduced down 2 yards wanting a primary down. So with the Buccaneers now dealing with fourth-and-2, the Rams declined the penalty. The play, and the double accomplished cross, stood.
N.F.L. drive charts not often make for fascinating studying, however this one will perpetually. Tucked close to the beginning of the fourth quarter, it dryly notes precisely what occurred:
“T.Brady cross brief center to T.Brady to TB 25 for -9 yards. T.Brady cross brief center to M.Evans to TB 42 for eight yards.”
It goes on to notice that “statistically, no completion for first cross on account of the declined penalty.” So Brady, not less than, shall be spared the adverse yards on the catch, which might have solely diminished his personal passing complete.
It was not the primary time since becoming a member of Tampa Bay this 12 months that Brady, 43, appeared to battle with a bedrock soccer rule. In October, he appeared to lose observe of the one about being allowed 4 downs every sequence. After failing to transform a fourth down in opposition to the Bears, he remained on the sector and held up four fingers as if he thought he had one other play.
The Buccaneers misplaced that recreation, and so they misplaced Monday evening as nicely, 27-24. However at 7-4, they’re nonetheless within the driver’s seat for a playoff berth.
If Tampa Bay makes the postseason, Brady might want to keep in mind that the foundations of soccer apply there, too.