Report: NFL looking into whether Patriots “deflated footballs” in AFC title game

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As the attention of the football world turns to Super Bowl XLIX, there is reportedly some question about the game balls used in the AFC Championship.

Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com and NBC’s WTHR-TV in Indianapolis reports the NFL is looking into whether the Patriots “deflated” game balls during their 45-7 victory over the Colts on Sunday night. Kravitz reports a ball was taken out of action to be weighed.

According to the NFL’s 2014 rule book, game balls are to be inflated with between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds of air. Per NFL rules, home and road teams must provide 12 game balls apiece to be tested and approved by the league 135 minutes before game time. The home team also has to have 12 reserve game balls on hand to be tested, with the road team also having that option in outdoor games.

Kravitz reports punishment for deflation could involve the NFL taking away draft selections. That prospect, however, would seemingly have to be tied to having proof of intent to deflate the ball with an eye on getting an edge, perhaps by making the ball easier to grip.

The Patriots lost their 2008 first-round pick as punishment for taping Jets signals. Head coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, and the Patriots were docked $250,000.

316 responses to “Report: NFL looking into whether Patriots “deflated footballs” in AFC title game

  1. Being a Patriots fan I’m obviously biased, but I for one am getting sick of the constant witch hunt against the Pats. I guess, success breeds contempt and jealousy.

  2. First and foremost, need to know what the weight of the balls were. They could have been 13.5 lbs, then deflated to 12.6 lbs. Would have been fine in my book. Facts first before everything else.

  3. There was a definite delay starting the 3rd quarter as they removed a ball, and then a ball boy went and got more from a bags on the Pats side. Obviously an easier football to hold/throw if under inflated.

  4. This is dumbest thing I have read in a long time. You lost, get over it! Trying to justify why you played like a junior high team is your problem. Harbaugh boo hoo 2.0. Pathetic

  5. Is there an asterisk next to the Patriots Super Bowl wins because of the cheating, like Barry bonds in baseball and all the others athletes in sports that probably won’t get into the hall of fame. Shouldn’t there be for the patriots? Why the bias, I’m not hating im asking a question?

  6. Bellichick is so sleazy. Everything he does is in the effort to gain an unfair edge, from taping opponent’s practices, fast-snapping the ball, playing a shell game with eligible receivers, deflating the ball, etc.

    None of that is trying to fairly outplay the competition.

    He has a lot of Super Bowl rings, but his legacy is that of a total cheater. We have all known people like him who are always trying to find an edge, instead of just playing fair.

    Yes, the apologists will decry that he is within the rules. I am sorry, but the intent matters. None of our Mother’s ever taught us to play like that.

  7. Seriously?

    Is there some sort of reason that the Pats can’t just seem to line up and play? There feels like there is always SOMETHING over on the edges that you just know ain’t quite right.

  8. Ahead of the curve, innovative. That’s all I hear about the patriots. Cheaters never prosper. And they haven’t won in 10 years. If this comes back true i say one year suspension for Bill

  9. They cheat- big surprise!! That’s the Patriot way! Maybe they should read the rule book when it comes to proper football inflation. I’m sure they’ve been doing this a long time. Be proud of your team New Englanders…..

  10. “Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com and NBC’s WTHR-TV in Indianapolis reports…”

    And there it is. An Indy writer trying to stir the pot.

    Hey Bob! Your team got beat like a red-headed stepchild. Deal with it!

  11. The nfl is a joke, taking away draft picks isn’t enough, superbowl trophies should have been taken away for spygate. Belichick should be suspended 4 games starting with the superbowl if the accusations are true.

  12. Yes, we’ll ignore the fact the balls are totally under the control of the nfl starting 2 hours before gametime and blame that thrashing on an underinflated ball that a patriots employed ninja deflated and managed to only get it pulled into the game when the patriots were on offence.. or something.. oh and spygate.

  13. who would really be shocked at this? the pat fans love to brush spygate under a rug like it never happened. this is really embarrassing not only to the patriots, but the nfl

  14. My first comment was a little naive. I was trying to say that if a ball is allowed to be within 12.5 to 13.5 lbs, then isn’t there leeway for a team to deflate the ball from say 13.5 to 12.6. If the Pats were under the 12.5 then no doubt that’s a problem but if they went from the highest limit to just above the lower, then what’s the harm there?

  15. You seriously can’t even make this up.

    Biggest cheaters in the league by far. From the lowlife offensive lineman going downfield to the illegal shifting and now this.

    I’m sure next game belicheat will grease up the legs and arms of all his running backs.

    Shake my head. No wonder this team is so hated.

  16. 45-7. Just like ‘Spygate’ helped the New England Patriots become the most winningest team, including playoffs, since 2007.
    Root your horn all you want PFT, Pats will score more than 8 points against Seattle after scoring more points than Denver could against new England in the playoffs.

  17. So, basically, the Colts lost, there’s a lot of bitterness and sour grapes, and hey, it’s the Patriots! We can simply accuse them of cheating and the haters will lap it up like a saucer full of warm milk.

    And even after the NFL declares they could find no proof, the haters will loudly declare that “The fix is in!”

    Well, haters, in two weeks, it’s entirely possible that the “zero wins since spygate” excuse you all so dearly love is going away.

    Maybe you can complain about deflated balls for the next decade.

  18. That’s a lot more serious than the Pats’s “tampering” allegations against the Jets. The Pats got off with a creampuff slap on the wrist for Spygate by the NFL when they gave up their own late first-round 2008 draft pick but got to keep the early first-round 2008 draft pick that our old GM was snookered out of for Deion Branch.

    Here’s one chance for Goodell to prove he isn’t a puppet and an absolute joke of a “commissioner.”

  19. Yeah, that must be the reason the Colts were so terrible. Oh wait, Luck just sucked. Seriously?! This is a freaking story?! Blount just ran all over the pathetic Colts’ D. Check the Colts for being deflated after that pathetic showing.

  20. Pats fan here..that would not be cool if true, even if it would have helped BOTH teams. I believe (but am not 100% sure) that Luck has smaller hands than Brady. Made zero difference in the outcome, but still, not cool if true.

  21. Wait…. so you can actually weigh the air inside a football??! Are you kidding me?

    And that’s a mighty heavy ball to be throwing around…

  22. We should know by now taking draft picks won’t teach them a lesson. NFL needs to ban Belichick from the Super Bowl and/or 2015 season. They are ruining the game for everyone.

  23. PV=nRT

    If you inflated to the bare minimum pressure 12.5 PSI while indoors, then the ball is probably going to be below pressure after its temperature drops to match the temperature outdoors. Mass should stay the same, and the league probably has a minimum mass. That said, if the league’s officiating crew approved a bare-minimum pressure ball in a climate controlled environment on a cold day, it’s their own damn fault the ball dropped below minimum pressure by half time.

  24. You can’t make this crap up, what is goodell gonna do? A fine that’s it haha. Robert Kraft probably spent 250,000 on getting his oil changed last year. Colts fans should be salty.

  25. I AINT SURPRISE THEY HAVE TO CHEAT TO WIN #BELICHEAT # SPYGATE#ASTERIK SUPERBOWLS WINS…………………………………… ROGER GOODELL HANDLE THIS

  26. The Patriots fans will say it wouldn’t have changed the outcome, and that is probably true, but you don’t know how the game will turn out in advanced when the cheating took place.

    Cheating is cheating

  27. this super bowl will be the CHEATERS BOWL..east coast cheaters Bill Billecheat and the Pats verses the west coast CHEATS Pete-USC-Carroll Skybuzzards…who will OUT CHEAT WHO????

  28. One ball was deflated, so the NFL will follow standard procedure and conduct a brief investigation – talk to officials, etc. Very unlikely there was any intentional effort to deflate balls, so ultimately nothing will come of this.

  29. These accusations are starting to get extremely annoying. Anytime the Pats win, they are accused of cheating.

    Media and coaches need to stop reaching and learn the game of football.

  30. This is insane. The amount of cry-baby-ism from all the teams we beat is absolutely pathetic. If the NFL countenances this every-single-week conspiracy theory stuff from our opponents, New England as a whole will quit this league.

    We’re really getting tired of all our sore losers opponents complaining, and the NFL giving them a hearing as if they have a legitimate grievance. Baltimore, study the rule book. Indy, get in the weight room. Every one else, get to practice and stop crying to the league, its pathetic!

  31. Just an attempt to re-galvanize the Spygate Truthers hoping to derail the Pats in the Super Bowl by trying to impune their success. They manhandled the Colts, as Kravitz himself later said. A football that didn’t weigh out for some reason, if that even happened, means nothing. I highly doubt a single underweight football will cause anyone to think their was a conspiracy, except for the Truthers.

  32. The New England Spygatriots have now morphed into the New England Deflatriots.

    Pete Carroll is going to coach circles around Bill Belicheat once again just like in 2012 ^_^

  33. Oh man. There’s no denying the Patriots are a strong franchise, but there’s ALWAYS fishiness any time they’re having success. No, there’s no “haters” making things up and no, the NFL doesn’t have an agenda against the Patriots. This has happened far too often for there not to be something to it…

    As General Tomlin once said when randomly asked about Spygate, “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

  34. And how do you weigh air?

    This report is a result of a tweet from an Indianapolis reporter who stated that “officials took a ball out of play and weighed it.”

  35. And thanks for the Spyate ‘recap’ pft poet and ‘common sense’ weren’t quite sure the New England SPYGATE ‘lore’ and what the actuarrities were as far as a 2006 meme violation.

  36. So there is going to be at least 36 balls before each game. Right?
    Now are they all brand spanking new, never used and does the away team get their original 12 back or at least 12 footballs returned to them?

  37. Absolute HorseSh*t.

    ONE reporter from Indianapolis posted this story about hearing something about Pats’ ball tampering from an anonymous source, and now EVERY sports website is quoting this guy hoping to get hits.

    The idea that anybody in the Pats organization would so blatantly risk punishment by breaking the rules is laughable. They still haven’t lived down spygate, and that was when taping opponents play calls wasn’t even considered illegal yet.

  38. Also …

    I’m pretty sure I saw a guy at halftime, with a gigantic foam replica of the NE Patriots logo mounted on his head, altering the layout of the field by painting over the sidelines and the goal line. He moved the goal line three inches closer to the Patriots, and he made the sidelines wavy looking, hoping to make the Indianapolis players appear drunk as they ran down the sidelines.

    Cheaters!

  39. They need to more than take away draft picks, like forfeit victories, Belicheat has proven he will do anything to win, they will gladly risk losing a first round draft pick if it means going back to the SuperBowl, and what if this had happened in the Super Bowl, you let them be champs and just fine them and take away picks.

    DeflateGate

  40. A single football that was randomly drawn out of a bag of footballs, that was under pressured, is likely a football with a leaky valve. End of story.

  41. Here we go again!! The fact that they looking into it says enough. Has there ever been another organization in all of pro sports that has shown more narcissistic character traits than the Pats? I mean, at least I can say Woody is just a bumbling idiot when he is under fire!! Got to love the Patriot way.

  42. Goddamn! Enough is enough with the Pats already. I don’t think you needed deflated balls to beat the Colts after destroying them 45-7, but when will the NFL realize that this kind of stuff is going to perpetuate any perception of games and seasons being fixed. If it’s proven true, Belichick & McDaniels have to be banned from the league permanently in order to “Protect the Shield.” Other owners also need to hamstring Kraft’s position & influence within the league if his team is found guilty.

  43. hahaha you can’t make this stuff up. wow from the tuck rule to taping other teams now this. what’s next deflating the Seahawks tires on the team bus

  44. Come on guys..this has to be a joke..

    The real questipn here is…wheres the video of sergio brown dancing like ric flair after this game?!?

    Haters gonna hate,but the Pats are going to the 49!

    #redemptioninGlendale

  45. Yeah & the Patriots are also being looked into for seeing if they had a Native American do a rain dance before the game… lol

  46. UNBELIEVABLE they couldn’t just let this hard fought win speak for itself they have to tarnish it with rumors of the balls not having enough air guess it didn’t have enough air when luck threw those two picks … Didn’t se to bother anyone during the game and I’m sure someone would have noticed … Sounds like a sore loser from Indy trying to create a scandal out of nothing. last week it was the formations now the game balls?!! they hate us cuz they ain’t us!!!

  47. As if game balls can’t have a fault with the valve or bladder!

    If the officials removed only one ball from the game for inspection, then I’m more inclined to believe that the press are simply trying to make a story where one doesn’t exist.

    I’m a Vikings fan, so not overly bothered who won the AFC title game, but I’m guessing this wouldn’t have been mentioned had the Colts won.

  48. Seriously…. Next will be NFLlooks into why Colts Choked so bad after abusing the donkeys…OR NFL angry Patriots couldn’t make Peyton look as bad as Colts did!!

  49. My God, really, can’t Belichick win anything without resorting to flagrant cheating ? He is tainted

  50. NFL looking into Patriots tricking Steelers out of getting rid of Blount to gain unfair advantage

  51. NFL looking into Hans & Frans not allowing footballs to be “pumped you up ” to NFL standards…

  52. Oh for heaven’s sake. The referees had over two hours to check the balls, and they were in the control of the refs after they were turned over? And both teams used the same balls? Why would the refs not check them and fix any issues well before game time?

    It did look a little like Indy played with deflated balls last night…

  53. Hey, Luck threw with the same balls that Brady threw, and Blount ran the ball down the Colts’ defense like he saw the Steelers on the other side.

    Getting your @$$ handed to you like that stings, but it is what it is.

  54. Controversy always seems to follow the Pats. Still wouldn’t have changed the outcome, if found to be true, they should lose entire draft. Obviously a 500K fine and loss of first rd draft pick wasnt enough last time.

  55. I’m just trying to figure out the advantage it would have for the pats and not indi since deflating football supposedly helps with just passing

  56. Don’t the referees keep the game balls in a box that’s only opened in the officials locker room? Seems like a local Indy reporter just wanting attention. One would think with as many reporters that cover the league, someone besides Bob Kravitz would also hear about this from a source but he seems to be the only one.

    Either way, a slightly deflated football wasn’t the reason they Colts couldn’t tackle Blount all game long.

  57. People will make up anything to bring down the Pats. It’s disgusting. There are so many haters out there, so many people that are jealous of the Patriot’s dynasty and excellence. People always hate number 1 and try to bring them down. It was that way with the Cowboy dynasty, the 49er dynasty and now the Patriot’s dynasty.

  58. See what I mean? There nothing new about the Pats cheating ways… Point is, they need to clean the house and get rid of cheating tactical plans, then finally they can able to win game in honest way… not the tainted “Patriot Way”…

  59. When will any coach or GM from the Patriots be suspended for a year in addition to losing draft picks? The Saints got hosed for bounty gate which wasn’t proven. These clowns continue to skirt the rules ….pretty scummy organization.

  60. You know the old saying, “If the Patriots are playing a game, then they must be cheating!”
    Standby for NFL slap on the wrist, as they have their dream matchup.

  61. So they provide the balls, they’re weightened and given to the league people and then they still managed to deflate them? In between downs or something?

    This sounds pretty weird.

  62. Ok so 45-7 is due to deflated balls. The Pats blew the doors off the Colts and now we have bully on bully in SB49. Can’t get any better. Epic SB coming up.

  63. This does not explain the gigantic ass whooping the Colts received last night…. All this does is prove that BB is a cheat, who will break (not just bend) the rules to win. Great teams and great coaches don’t have to resort to crap like this. If he’s willing to break the rules to gain such a small advantage… what is he willing to do to gain a big advantage? The man is a disgrace and completely overrated because of crap like this.

  64. Too funny. Shula must be apoplectic,
    One question, does a deflated ball favour one team over another?

  65. If a ball was taken out of the game and tested, it must have been the proper weight. Otherwise, wouldn’t the officials stopped the game and tested more of them? Plus, they supposedly tested a ball while the Colts were on offense. And don’t both teams use a ball from their own side line when on offense? Figures it was a Indy writer who broke the story.

  66. amazing, Belicheat always looking for an edge, should have saved this one for a game where they might have actually needed it. Imagine what he has done prior to this, oh wait, we already know, #spygate..

  67. Bitter Kravitz. again, the officials are in charge of handling the balls. The Colts lost, that’s all.

  68. Dolphin fan here so my dislike of everything to do with the Patriots is pretty big but let’s get the point. If New England played with balloons and their oppostion played with official legal footballs they would have still won their division and conference. We all like to mock them for their past troubles but we all know how good they are. I just hope the Packers can beat them because anything less than the super bowl is a complete and utter failure for this team. As far as this article goes any hint of skulduggery concerning them makes news and they will have live with it but at the end of the day they produce, have done so for a long long time and they don’t care.

  69. The Patriots would never, ever do anything like that. Just like they wouldn’t ask a snowplow operator to clear the field allowing them to kick a game winning field goal. And just like they wouldn’t videotape opposing teams’ signals. And just like they wouldn’t fudge injury reports (according to Talib and Spikes).

    No. The Patriots would never, ever walk that fine line. That just wouldn’t be the Patriot Way. No the Patriot Way is to go way over that line and then rub your nose in it.

    Besides, would properly inflated footballs have helped the Colts yesterday? They looked pretty hapless regardless.

  70. Dear God, these teams NEVER get tired of throwing stones at this team?????? What’s next, they scientifically manufactured that rainstorm through secret government connections?

    First of all, the LEAGUE checks the balls before game-time. If there WAS something wrong with those balls last night, that’s on the LEAGUE, not the Patriots. Besides, any advantage that could possibly be gained by fooling with the balls would be negated because BOTH TEAMS PLAY WITH THE SAME BALLS!!!!!!

    It baffles me that every time the Patriots do well, people have to throw mud at them. Is it so hard to believe that this team is just plain GOOD, that they are talented athletes who execute well-thought out plays????

    The Colts played pathetically last night, and the Patriots were clicking, both on offense and defense …… accept it, this team is JUST THAT GOOD!!!!!

    I can’t wait to hear what people blame them for if they win another Super Bowl,

  71. Leave it up to local hack, Bob Kravitz, to raise the prospect of cheating to try to sooth his wounds after such a beatdown. No wonder he was run out of the Indy Star. Pathetic.

  72. Pats cheat, they wouldn’t do that. Oh wait, they did it before! Seems like always a cloud over them—–see how the pats flagship station- ESPN handles this, my bet is shhhhhhhhh, do not say anything.

  73. Yup. All of us intelligent fans know this is only but part of the Spygate operation. We all know the reason why they do great in Foxboro. All of us intelligent fans know the Patriots are the only team in the NFL that cheats.

    Great to know that we intelligent fans can keep talking smack now regardless of the outcome in 2 weeks. May Spygate live FOREVER!

  74. Same old patriots. Can’t win without cheating. They clearly outplayed the colts but makes you wonder what other rules they are breaking to get to the afc championship game. Patriots are cheaters and always will be with Bilicheat. Don Schula sounds like the genius right now huh patriot fans.

  75. Let me get this right. The NFL tests balls from both teams every game. Therefore, you could say there is some question about the game balls in every game. But because Indy got blown out, NFL procedure gets turned into an accusation. That’s right folks, when you lose, don’t take responsibility, point fingers.
    .

  76. Why does every team that loses to the Pats whine so much about it” Is it the Ratbirds connection? I mean, those teams would never lose a game if someone doesn’t do something to cheat us. You lost 45-7. The Pats could of been playing with wiffle balls and you still would of been crushed!

  77. The NFL will also look into whether or not the Pats made it rain harder when Indy had the ball, whether or not they had industrial fans placed in the endzone to turn on/off during FGs and whether or not they unfairly played better by puttinG better players on the firled than Indy.

    Also being reported that Blounts cleats will be inspected as well as his uniform due to being more elusive than normal.

    This is getting pathetic whenever the Pats win

  78. If those balls were properly inflated the colts would have won for sure….that was the ticket for NE right there, low air pressure….haha

  79. Rut row…here we go again…first Spy-gate, now Ball-gate…contrary to reports, there are no confirmations to the rumors that Belichek had Vince Wolfork sitting on the footballs at halftime…LMAO…

  80. Until the league takes cheating seriously teams like the Patriots will continue to break rules.

    Let’s see; take a draft pick for an appearance in the Super Bowl. Well worth it for Belicheat and the Patriots.

    Teams that follow the rules can’t and wont be able to compete against teams that constantly bend and break rules.

    The first time the NFL steps in and vacates a win then this crap will stop. There are not serious consequences for their actions now.

  81. Here we go. The Patriots win by 38 and and it’s because balls were deflated according to anyone and everyone who can’t stand to see the Patriots win. I have never seen a witch hunt against a franchise as often as there is one against the Pats. In case anyone noticed, Brady threw more underthrown wobbly balls than Luck so what advantage was there? Next the league will investigate the Patriots for scoring too many touchdowns.

  82. I find it hard to believe they need to do things like this to win. New England was clearly the superior team. If New England is found guilty for this the punishment must be much greater than when they stole signals from other teams.

    This is a travesty if true and could not only discredit the Patriots win but discredit the NFL. Who knows? Maybe it was done to ensure they won by a certain point spread. This should be investigated by outside authorities not the NFL.

    Too much money is on the line especially in a Championship game.

    This is very serious if true.

  83. Gotta’ love a Patriots story being pushed by an Indianapolis news guy and a Newsday reporter.

  84. Oh good grief. Every time New England wins a playoff game they feel the need to come up with some excuse why, other than the fact that they’re just that darn good. And no I’m not a Patriots fan.

  85. Not buying it.. The NFL keeps those balls under lock and key. And no one from the Colts nor any of the refs noticed balls felt deflated during the game? This smells funny. And no.. I’m not a pats fan.

  86. seriously? the league is becoming a laughingstock with the refs and systems that can allow these things to happen. it’s no longer just a who’s the better team situation. too many outside factors. If this is true and they can prove it how many draft picks can you take before you can truly stop the patriots from intentionally breaking the rules.

  87. I just don’t see any reason that the Patriots would do this on purpose. The colts stink. Don’t forget with spygate, Belichick thought he was following the rules and had found a loophole. It was in plain site. This isn’t their MO as messing with the ball is clearly against the rules. I think it’s BS. Just a claim by the colts to try and cause crap. If they go by weight, how could they even verify with the crazy rain. I’m gussing they are found innocent and everyone will just think they did something wrong forever. We’ll played by the colts. Weigh the ball already.

  88. Why doesn’t the league itself just provide the balls? Then again, it can’t even decide what a catch is or isn’t.

  89. As Taylor Swift might sing: cheaters gonna cheat cheat cheat cheat cheat.

    Sure, it may not have ultimately determined the game, but that doesn’t change the fact it was still cheating. The Patriots can’t escape the asterisk yet again this year.

  90. ah yes, the standard pre superbowl distraction for the pats, just like the bogus rams walkthrough story… who does this? vegas? SMH

  91. just face it the colts blew it and the pansies are just whatever if they cheated they should lose there coach for a year or 2 more like 2 years and be striped of a sb if found they did as stated not a fan of either team tho

  92. Seriously? This is complete bs posted by another “writer” who hates the pats dominating so much they have to try to create a little controversy to bring up the cheat talk. Great game, a little surprised that the colts could not put up a better fight than that though.

  93. Here we go again…

    While at it I suggest looking into all that “stickum” on their receivers hands.

    Like Clifford Franklin, it appeared Edeleman had just jacked … ah nevermind.

  94. All I’m saying is that “source” is a local reporter from Indianapolis, and I can’t find mention of this story on any other sports or nfl related news sites.

  95. 45-7 is not the result of deflated balls. If Luck would have complained early there might be a scandal but I don’t think he did. The K-ball thing is stupid. Use one kind of ball. If the league fears teams might doctor the balls then have the league (officials) provide all the balls for play with no team access.

  96. We can expect Bob Kraft to be named to the “impartial” oversight committee for this investigation in the coming days.

  97. Do you actually think the NFL would take picks from their darling Patriots? (Thumbs up for yes, down for no.)

  98. Ridiculous! The pats are an excellent team. There was no cheating involved they won on skill and talent alone. This was made up just to talk about something else instead of our gear accomplishments. Colts got spanked take it like a man!!!

  99. “The Patriots lost their 2008 first-round pick as punishment for taping Jets signals. Head coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000, and the Patriots were docked $250,000.”

    Ah, yes. So why do fans, as well as football people such as Don Shula, get called out for labeling Belichick a cheater? Facts aren’t facts anymore, history quietly fades away?

  100. Cold weather causes air pressure to drop. This happens in car tires as well. Not saying that they didn’t do this for an edge but if you weigh the ball inside, then weigh it again outside, there will be a difference.

  101. In a related story, the NFL is reported to be investigating whether the Patriots have illegally been substituting players with alien clones. It is reported that they are so bad that they have to resort to this in order to gain an unfair advantage. They, reportedly, have cornered the market on alien clones.

  102. I suppose this is what happens EVERY time now after Spygate right? The Pats will always be accused of cheating, just like after the Ravens game. Because this sounds like real sour grapes by an Indy reporter/fan boy.

  103. From the greatest football book ever written:
    All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.

  104. As a single game infraction this probably isn’t a huge deal- although it being the single most important home game of the season does add gravity to the offence.

    The greater problem here is that Belichick and the Patriots have been caught repeatedly playing fast and loose with the rules, and have also faced numerous allegations that could not be proven and so did not bring punishment. As an isolated incident the deflated balls doesn’t amount to much; as part of a pattern over many years and incidents, I think it is time for the NFL to finally come down hard on this repeat offender.

    Belichick is a cheater who does not stop even when he has been caught and disciplined. Suspend him for the first 8 games of next season.

  105. So now are the colts fans whiners too? Or was that just reserved for the Ravens fans?

    Hey remember when the colts last traveled to new england for an AFC title game, and the pats forgot to turn on the heat on the field, freezing it?

    Or when they kept giving new (and therefore slick) balls against the Chargers in an AFC championship while they were using the broken in version on thier drives?

    Or how on the road they’ve been terrible and haven’t won a playoff game since 2006?

    Or how on neutral fields they are 3-2 in super bowls with three of those wins coming after being caught stealing defensive and offensive signal, and all of them being by less than 3 points?

    Face it. New England cheats.

    Especially at home.

    And in two weeks Seattle is going to destroy you when you can’t.

  106. Pats lost a draft pick and had fines given to them because they video taped from an unauthorized area in the stadium. Get your facts right……do some research! Its not illegal to tape signals nor has it ever been. Seriously the media these days are absolute morons

  107. As a Rams fan I’m really tired of the Patriots with this kind of stuff happening and for any Patriots fan to get on this forum and say that this is a coincidence or everyone does it is just fooling themselves! How hard is it to inflate the ball to proper specifications? These guys should be facing a lifetime ban instead of talk of All-time greats. If Goodell hear about this I’m sure he will burn the ball like he did the tapes in Spygate, talk about integrity of the game…Goodell is a joke!

  108. Would anyone really be shocked if these rats cheated again? They have not won the superbowl since the last time they cheated so whatever it takes to bring home another title, right?

  109. So they are given to the NFL 135 minutes before the game for testing. Why didn’t the NFL test the balls? Sounds like it’s their fault. Unless your trying to tell me the center had an air nozzle and was letting the air out of the ball before snaping it, wich is just ridiculous.

  110. Not a Patriots fan, but have to say whenever a team exhibits this much dominance in the playoffs over the past decade, they are bound to get ten times more scrutiny over any and all issues whether its warranted or not. There are a lot things other teams and coaches have probably done, that most people don’t know about, or even care to know.

  111. What an incompetent headline. The NFL is responsible for checking the balls to make sure they’re correct, not the Patriots. But I’ll play devil’s advocate and say that if they did do it, then the end score would have been 45-10.

    Better?

  112. Considering the history of them doing things like this , I wasn’t surprised . Considering the talent that they have , if this turns out to be true , why do it? Only brings up more questions about the organization and who is making the decision to do things like this. On a lighter note , somebody should also teach the Colts about the basics of tackling

  113. The Patriots can’t breath without be accused of sending secret messages in their breathe. The Colts did not come to play, they left their game in Indy. Get over it! Sore Losers.

  114. If this did happen the way patriots haters have indicated, wouldn’t the advantage be in place for both teams? Seems to me that a deflated ball would be less likely to bounce off your facemask. Also, whereas the league has control and responsibility over the testing of the balls, why would the Patriots be blamed?

  115. For the record, the concern is that the footballs may have been altered AFTER they were checked by the league.

  116. Would there be ANY question if Indy won? Or any team for that matter. Absolutely NOT. A never ending witch hunt. Good thing the Pats thrive on it. For some of you, it must be hard to like a winner. You take it very personally. You can’t ALL be Hawks fans…

  117. Hilarious.

    Actually, they are being investigated for deflating the Colts’ balls, and I don’t mean footballs.

    See what I did there? lol

    As previously reported in many outlets, Gronk-spiking the balls releases a few PSI from them. If they become deflated, then pull them from the game, that’s why you pack spares. Good thing they have a lot of spare because the Pats are scoring a lot of touchdowns.

  118. While deflated footballs aren’t the reason the Patriots won or Indy lost, this incident, and others past, feed the narrative that the Patriots coaching staff, beginning with Belichick, are shady; hence the cloud of suspicion that hangs over the Patriots accomplishments.

  119. I’m sure this had no affect on the outcome of the game but 2 questions:

    1. Why are the Pats always suspected of something?

    2. Why would they feel they’d need to do anything out of the ordinary to beat a team they’ve pasted 3 times in a row? The Colts had never shown a single sign they could even give NE a competitive game. Why resort to anything?

    That was a sure fire blowout, everyone should have seen that coming.

  120. “Cold weather causes air pressure to drop. This happens in car tires as well. Not saying that they didn’t do this for an edge but if you weigh the ball inside, then weigh it again outside, there will be a difference.”

    It wasn’t that cold!

  121. The colts would have won if the balls weren’t tampered. Patriots cheat the colts out of a superbowl trip and a chance to destroy seatle.

    This post is totally false

  122. Seems elevating the passing game would play to the only advantage the Colts might have had in this game. That would be stupid for the Patriots to do so this sounds pretty dubious to me unless some wayward deviant bellboy has a Brady crush.

  123. Okay Okay. So a lot of you are posting some dumb “facts,” poorly informed thoughts, and ridiculous opinions. So I’m going to clear things up a little bit.

    Both teams supply 12 balls each to the refs before the game, with the home team also having 12 backup balls. These balls are checked for everything, approved, then given to the teams ball managers.

    *Each team uses their own set of balls*

    The thought is that NE deflated their balls since reports are in that the refs had to remove *multiple* balls from the game.

    These balls could have been deflated by temperature. If you’ve ever handled a football, there is definitely a noticeable drop in pressure when you bring it from a 70 degree indoor temperature to a 40 degree outdoor temperature. Use the PV=nRT equation and do the math, you’ll find that it is entirely possible for the balls to become deflated naturally.

    The ball boys could have also deflated the balls. There is no reason for them to do that unless they were ordered to do so.

    In the countless times NE has played in rain and snow, there have been absolutely no reports of deflated balls. This isn’t the first time NE has played in this weather, and in bad weather games NE tends to run a train on the opposition. Look at history.

    Now look at the past 3 victories against the colts. Tom Brady wasn’t nearly as instrumental in throwing the ball as Blount or Gray was running it. Blount with 4TDs, then Gray again with 4. Neither of those times were balls deflated, and if you say balls were deflated in this championship game, Blount ran for less yards and TDs than he did last time (although that isn’t saying much). Brady was effective with the football, but is QB rating was 100, while his QBR was 70. Good performance, but not as stellar as we’ve seen. The long ball was still relatively absent, with most completions being on short passes. That’s typical.

    Many of you aren’t sure of the benefits of a deflated ball. In wet weather, balls with less air in them are easier to grip. You can squeeze them harder before they slip.

    If this is the case, then would Brady have had so many interesting incomplete passes in the first half? Would he have thrown that pick on Gronk in the end zone?

    It is reasonable to believe that Blount would have dominated no matter what ball he was holding.

    Also, yes you can weigh air within a ball. Air has weight, we just can’t tell unless it’s pressurized. If you don’t believe me, buy a can of compressed air, use all of it, then notice how you can feel how much lighter it is.

    The allegations are probably legitimate. There probably was an issue with the balls. However, I do not believe that it was an attempt by the Patriots to get an upper hand, and if you look at the logic behind these arguments, it only makes sense to believe that these allegations will not crystallize into anything.

    Bring up spygate all you want. Even though since that story broke and the fines were slapped on in those first few weeks of 2007, New England has been better in literally *every statistical category,* especially the ones that matter (win pct, qb rating, ypg, etc.).

    You can say “LOL NO WINS SINCE SPYGATE,” but if you’re not an idiot, let me remind you that the first three super bowls were not at all convincing wins (less than 5 point victory margins) and the same can be said about the two super bowl losses. Every one of those 5 super bowls was a play away from going the other way.

    To say that wins should be taken away, people should be suspended and all that is ridiculous. Football fans that take the radical views are the football fans that no one wants to watch the game with. So please, stay informed, and don’t jump to drastic conclusions until the results of the NFL investigation are released.

  124. The balls are inflated to 12.5lbs at 77 degrees F in the locker room 135 min before game time.

    The field on game day was 52 degrees F.

    For every 10 degrees change in temperature, you lose 0.5 to 1.0 lbs of pressure, that’s just science. pV=nRT

    How many psi are we talking about to make it easier to grip without making the ball being too soft?

    How many dropped passes did the Colts have?

    Does anyone in the league check and inflate balls on the field? And is it common practice for all teams to not do so on bad weather days?

  125. I heard that Andrew Luck was actually using a Nerf football unbeknown to him, and that’s why the Colts lost.

  126. Wouldn’t the Colts have the same advantage as the Patriots with an underinflated ball? Or did they give the Colts regularly inflated balls and keep the underinlated ones for themselves?

  127. A really good team can overcome “cheating” by the Pats: NY Giants did it twice. Seahawks can also overcome the Pats devious ways.

  128. PFT already reported that it’s not unusual for refs to discover underinflated balls during a game and remove them from play. What factor led to this incident sparking a formal investigation?

    An underinflated ball would be easier to grip in bad weather–but it would be easier for both Brady and Luck to grip. So how does underinflating the balls benefit the Pats?

  129. So weird… I don’t get why the pats would do anything like this with their history? The Pats would of beat the Colts if they were playing with a basketball, but it just adds to critics conspiracy theories.. As much as I hated to watch the Pats beat the Eagles in the superbowl, they were the better team… None of this stuff matters much when the team is playing(in my opinion), but it just gives them more reasons to be hated…

  130. To all the Belichick, Brady and Patriot haters:

    H.G. Wells once said, “Righteous indignation can be traced to envy.”

  131. From everything known about Spygate…Belichek cheated for years and years, Brady was knowledgeable of it, and the NFL perpetuated a cover up by destroying the tapes both from the NE organization and later from Matt Walsh who did the filming. No one else had the opportunity to view the tapes and see what was really on them. So anytime this stuff comes up, folks are rightfully gonna be suspicious. I mean, even the NFL is suspicious…they confirmed they were doing an investigation for gosh sakes!! No matter what, no matter how much they win, Belicheck, Brady and the Pats organization will never ever shake these cheating allegations…its a pall that hangs over them into their deaths…

  132. To all who believe everything they read including this nonsense about the patriots deflating balls to consistently win titles: YOU ARE A MORON. There’s something you read that you CAN believe. I’ve seen second graders that weren’t such sore losers! Wouldn’t BOTH teams be using these “magic balls”? Hopefully you are done stomping your feet and holding your breath by the time the Super Bowl starts…hate to see you miss the game.

  133. In wet conditions, it IS easier to catch a football that’s less-inflated (to a point). But every team knows this, so, it only seems reasonable to think that, in wet conditions, teams are going to shoot for an inflation pressure that’s as close as possible to the lower end of the legal range. HOW close – and whether or not they might slip slightly under the legal minimum on a few footballs, is then a matter of the accuracy of their inflation equipment/procedure.

    HOWEVER, the “easier to throw” part is very debatable. The situation is somewhat analogous to the grips on golf clubs.

    For QBs with very large hands like Brady, Rodgers and Luck, a “harder” football – one that’s inflated to the higher end of the legal range – makes it easier to produce the high-rpm, tight spiral that cuts through the wind/rain better for more accurate throws in poor conditions. Earlier this season, Rodgers stated that he prefers a “harder”, more inflated ball. OTOH, QBs with smaller hands – like Brees – MAY benefit (somewhat) from a football that’s inflated to the lower end of the legal range.

    IOW, there would be no net advantage to Brady (or Luck or Rodgers) to deliberately deflate/under-inflate footballs below the legal minimum pressure. it would probably even be counter-productive.

    Every football is handled by at least two officials between plays. If any one of them doesn’t like the condition of that football – like the plate umpire in baseball – they can reject it. This happens all the time in NFL games without anyone noticing because swapping out the football rarely causes a delay.

    If the refs reject a football because they think it’s under-inflated, I’d have to guess that a post-game “investigation” (checking the pressure on all the footballs provided for that game) is – or should be – standard operating procedure for the league. Detecting “deliberate under-inflation” would be only one reason, though.

    Another would be looking for defective footballs. The Wilson Company, like any other service/equipment provider, almost certainly has a maximum defect rate written into their multi-million-dollar contract with the NFL. If the percentage of defective footballs rises above that rate, the NFL could be due a substantial rebate.

  134. Of course the whole story came from an Indianapolis reporter. He couldn’t be disgruntled right? Yeah ok. And I love listening to the haters. I wonder if you read your own comments it would dawn on you how stupid you sound. The balls probably were deflated to the lowest LEGAL pressure allowed because of the cold. But I don’t know any more than you clowns do. The haters hear a rumor and run with it because they want something to whine about. Wait for the official ruling people.

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