If there’s one thing that NFL fans love to complain about, it’s when their favorite team gets flagged for a roughing the passer while trying to tackle Tom Brady

During Tampa Bay’s 31-15 playoff win over the Eagles on Sunday, the Buccaneers quarterback drew a roughing the passer penalty on the second play of the game. 

As you can imagine, Eagles fans weren’t thrilled with the call. 

Although Brady got the call in that case, he noted during his “Let’s Go!” podcast this week that when it comes to roughing the passer, he usually DOESN’T get the call. Say what now. According to Brady, there’s a misconception out there about how often defenders get flagged for roughing him. 

The running joke is that if you even breath on Brady, you’ll probably get flagged, but the Buccaneers QB doesn’t agree with that assessment. 

“I always hear that to different degrees about getting penalties and so forth and roughing the passers,” Brady said on his podcast. “They say that, and I’m always in my mind going, ‘I don’t remember the last time I got a roughing the passer.’ I think we should look that up over the last 10 years, who’s got the most roughing the passer penalties. I hope it’s not me, because then I just put my foot in my mouth, but I don’t feel like I get them as much as people may think that I get them.”

As it turns out, Brady is actually correct. The 44-year-old QB asked Pro Football Focus to figure out who gets the most roughing calls and as it turns out, the answer definitely isn’t not Brady. According to PFF, Matt Ryan has gotten the most roughing the passer calls since 2010 with Brady ranking 10th overall. PFF also noted that Brady has gotten the fourth-lowest roughing the passer calls per drop back since 2015 among quarterbacks with at least at least 1,250 drop backs

In 2021, Brady only drew one roughing the passer flag, which was well behind Ryan, who led the NFL by drawing 10 flags. As recently as 2019, Brady drew zero roughing the passer flags, so he might actually have a point about the fact that he’s not getting as many flags as everyone seems to think he’s getting. 

Although Brady isn’t drawing very many roughing the passer flags, he does seem to think he should be penalized more often for unsportsmanlike conduct, and he actually admitted that during his podcast. 

“I do know that [the officials] probably let me get away with a lot of unsportsmanlike conducts, talking smack to the other team and talking smack to the refs when I don’t think I get the right call,” Brady said. “I’m kind of a pain in their ass if you don’t already know that.”

If I was getting away with something like that every week, I probably wouldn’t draw attention to it, but that’s exactly what Brady just did. If he chews out an official or an opposing player this week, it will be interesting to see if he gets flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct.

The Buccaneers will be back on the field Sunday when they host the Rams in a divisional round playoff game where the winner will punch their ticket to the NFC Championship Game.

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By MD Abdullah

Abdullah is a former educator, lifelong money nerd, and a Plutus Award-winning freelance writer who specializes in the scientific research behind irrational money behaviors. Her background in education allows her to make complex financial topics relatable and easily understood by the layperson. She is the author of four books, including End Financial Stress Now and The Five Years Before You Retire.

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