After the New England Patriots’ 24-17 victory against the Buffalo Bills — one that clinched the AFC East for them for the 11th straight year — linebacker/fullback Elandon Roberts addressed the team’s physicality during his postgame media availability. The quick interview session basically came down to the team captain telling reporters that he personally likes to set an example by “running through your motherf---ing face.”
One day later, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady picked up that quote and turned it into the caption of an Instagram post of his:
Brady, of course, saw some action in an unusual role against the Bills when he served as one of the blockers on an 18-yard run by rookie wide receiver N’Keal Harry. The Patriots’ first-round draft choice was handed the football on a reverse, with Brady and others getting in front of him to clear a path. Along the way, the 42-year-old passer was even able to get a successful block against Buffalo’s Pro Bowl cornerback Tre’Davious White.
White, however, apparently took exception to Brady’s caption about “running through a motherf---ing face” by commenting the following on the post:
Chill Tom, we all know if I hit you I get fined and suspended not vice versa
Of course, there is a chance that White was simply joking about Brady certainly getting the call in case he or other defenders hit the future Hall of Famer. However, jokes tend to have some true element to it and this one appears to be a reflection of what the perception about Brady is around the league: the Patriots’ quarterback is getting calls other players would not get due to his status as one of the game’s biggest starts.
However, this is not the truth as Tucker Boynton pointed out on Twitter: there have been 140 unnecessary roughness and 127 roughing the passer penalties called during the first 16 weeks of the 2019 regular season. Not a single one of those combined 267 flags was thrown in Brady’s favor. For comparison, Brady himself has been flagged four times this season albeit not for unnecessary roughness but intentional grounding.
Needless to say that White is wrong about Brady: it is more probable than not that hitting Brady does not result in a penalty. The numbers don’t lie.