The 2021 NFL season began just like the 2020 campaign ended – with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrating a victory.

But it did not come without controversy.

And this controversial play is why everyone hates Tom Brady.

Tom Brady’s won seven Super Bowls.

But unless you are a fan of the team Brady plays for, his continued greatness can drive you up a wall.

Many opposing fans grumble that Brady wouldn’t be so great if he didn’t get a little help from the refs.

This narrative all started back in the 2001 playoffs when the refs bailed Brady and the Patriots out against the Oakland Raiders with the infamous “tuck rule” – a rule no one had ever heard of before the refs used it to reverse a fumble call that would have doomed New England.

New England won that game en route to Brady’s first Super Bowl.

On Thursday night, the Buccaneers topped the Dallas Cowboys 31 to 29 on Ryan Succop’s 36-yard field goal with seven seconds left.

But it was the play that set up the kick that drew all the controversy.

On second-and-ten from the Dallas 42-yard line with the Cowboys leading 29 to 28, Tom Brady hit Chris Godwin down the left sideline for 18 yards to put the Bucs in field goal range.

However, Godwin appeared to gain an unfair advantage for pushing off a Cowboys defensive back to create the separation necessary to make the catch.

When NBC showed a replay of the catch, rules analyst and former NFL referee Terry McAulay told viewers he believed it was offensive pass interference.

Had the refs thrown a flag it would have resulted in a 15-yard penalty on Tampa Bay and pushed them back to their own 43-yard line with just 24 seconds left.

But it was Tom Brady leading the defending Super Bowl champs and the refs on the field were not about to throw that penalty flag.

There is no doubt Tom Brady is the best quarterback that ever lived.

But there is also no doubt that the refs tend to bail him out in some key spots.

Sports with Balls will keep you up-to-date on the hard-hitting action this football season.