Rams want a ‘Tom Brady Rule’ after being burned on one play

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Let’s call it “The Tom Brady Rule.”

Among the many possible NFL rules changes submitted by teams this offseason, ranging from the absurd to the minutia-focused, is an example from the Rams that reveals just how difficult it is to defend Brady, according to CBS Sports. 

Brady completed two forward passes on the same play in a Buccaneers-Rams regular season game. After his first attempt was batted backwards into his own hands, Brady then re-threw the ball and completed an eight-yard completion to Mike Evans.

Throwing two forward passes on the same play already is illegal and penalized by a five-yard penalty. But the Rams, who won that Week 11 game 27-24, found this to be a conundrum with no good options when asked to accept or decline.

Because Brady completed the second pass attempt, the Rams were left to choose between declining the penalty (giving the Buccaneers a manageable fourth-and-2 instead of fourth-and-10) or accepting the penalty (giving the Buccaneers another opportunity at third-and-15 instead of third-and-10).

In other words, their good defense on the play wasn’t fully rewarded.

So, the Rams’ rule change suggests that in this instance the penalty be five yards AND a loss of down, so the Buccaneers would’ve faced fourth-and-15. It’s a very logical rule change that should not find too much resistance.

It’s a rare instance when two forward passes are attempted on the same play. It usually means one was batted back to the quarterback.

But then-Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota actually threw a touchdown pass to himself in a playoff game against the Chiefs in January 2018. He caught his own first pass and then ran for the end zone, rather than trying to throw the ball a second time. 

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