Morning sports update: Tom Brady and Robert Kraft thanked the ‘Tuck Rule’ referee after his last regular season game

Also: LeBron thinks LeBron is the greatest of all-time, and the future of outdoor hockey.

Tom Brady Walt Coleman Tuck Rule
Tom Brady and Walt Coleman after the Patriots game on Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018. –Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

The Patriots crushed the Jets on Sunday, 38-3. As a result, the Patriots finished the regular season 11-5, and clinched a first-round playoff bye as the AFC’s second seed.

New England will host either the Texans, Ravens or Chargers at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, January 13 at 1:05 p.m.

Elsewhere, the Celtics host the Timberwolves tonight (7 p.m.), while the Bruins prepare to play in the NHL’s “Winter Classic” on New Year’s Day against the Blackhawks (1 p.m.)

Tom Brady and Robert Kraft thanked Walt Coleman after his final regular season game on Sunday: Walt Coleman is currently the NFL’s longest tenured referee. And after  30 years officiating at football’s highest level, Coleman is calling it quits.

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His final regular season game was in Foxborough on Sunday for Jets-Patriots. Many saw it as a fitting setting, considering Coleman’s most notable moment as an NFL referee occurred there in January, 2002.

In the final NFL game ever played at the old Foxboro Stadium, Coleman made the famous “Tuck Rule” call during a Raiders-Patriots playoff game. Initially ruled a Tom Brady fumble, Coleman determined that since Brady’s arm was coming forward, the play was an incomplete pass. Handing the ball back to the Patriots, Coleman’s call helped New England tie the game in memorable circumstances. The Patriots won in overtime, and the team’s dynasty launched in Super Bowl XXXVI.

After the game on Sunday, Brady ran over to shake hands with Coleman.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft also thanked Coleman.

After the “Tuck Rule” game, Coleman never officiated another Raiders game in his career.

More from Boston.com:

Outdoor hockey is under threat, though the Winter Classic is not: The Bruins are set to take part in the New Year’s Day “Winter Classic” at Notre Dame Stadium against the Blackhawks. Unfortunately, the future of outdoor hockey is tied to climate change. As the Globe’s Matt Porter wrote, “outdoor hockey enthusiasts in Boston find themselves on thin ice.” [The Boston Globe]

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Vintage Brady reappears ahead of the playoffs: Questioned for his inconsistent play over the last several weeks, Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes against the Jets in a convincing win in the regular season finale. It’s a reassuring sign with the playoffs set to begin. [The Boston Globe]

LeBron already thinks LeBron is the greatest of all-time:

Daily highlight: Tom Brady’s well placed throw found Rex Burkhead for an 18-yard touchdown.

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