The New England Patriots have a few reputations. The good reputation is that they are competitive and contending for the Super Bowl year in and year out. The bad reputation is that they seem to be involved in way more cheating and/or shady allegations than your average NFL franchise.
So when the Patriots took on the Buffalo Bills on Saturday afternoon, the game obviously had playoff implications, but there was also a little bit of controversy courtesy of a potentially shady move by Tom Brady himself.
First, the good play. During the second quarter, New England ran a reverse which saw receiver N’Keal Harry end up with the ball. Brady led the way and ended up putting a pretty strong block on Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White that helped Harry pick up 18 yards.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 21, 2019
🚨 TOM BRADY LEAD BLOCK 🚨
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) December 21, 2019
That block below the waist was pretty above board, nothing to complain about there. However, there was a different moment between Brady and a defender that didn’t feel quite so clean.
At one point, Bills rookie defensive lineman Ed Oliver hit Tom Brady and took him to the ground. As Oliver got up to stand, Brady then put his hand on the defender’s leg, potentially as if he’s trying to trip him.
Brady tries to trip Ed Oliver. pic.twitter.com/f53VvcQsK4
— Cork Gaines (@CorkGaines) December 21, 2019
It could very well be that Brady was just reaching up at that moment and it was inadvertent. But the problem is that Brady and Patriots don’t get the benefit of the doubt anymore when it comes to potential shady behavior. When there’s smoke, there’s fire, so if it kinda looks like Brady is trying to trip a guy, plenty of people will be happy to believe it.
The Bills and Patriots are tied 10-10 at the half in this battle to win the AFC East. Expect things to get heated in the second half, and who knows what emotions may or may not come out then.