NFL taking game-integrity issues very seriously

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The NFL has learned the hard way that improperly handling investigations regarding off-field issues can create major problems.  As a result, the NFL fully intends to properly handle investigations regarding on-field issues that impact the integrity of the game.

As to the question of whether balls were deflated by the Patriots before or during Sunday’s AFC title game against the Colts, the issue goes much deeper than the contents of the rulebook or the question of whether the Patriots would have won the game with over-inflated balls, under-inflated balls, completely deflated balls, or bowling balls.  The issue speaks to the question of whether the integrity of the game has been undermined.

Per a league source, the Patriots officially have been informed of the investigation, and the investigation will be thorough and transparent.  Consequences, if any, will come in the offseason, with a full explanation from the NFL as to what happened and why punishment was (or wasn’t) imposed.

In this specific case, the investigation will focus on whether the balls were properly weighed and measured by officials before the game started, whether anything happened while the balls were in the custody of the referee, and whether anything happened after the balls were given by the referee to the ball attendant.

The ball attendant becomes a key figure in any investigation regarding ball inflation because the ball attendant is an employee not of the league but of the team.

It’s not the only pending investigation that falls into the “integrity of the game” file.  The ongoing investigation regarding the reported use of cellphones on the sidelines by Browns coaches also has attracted special attention from the league office.

In addition to rectifying any potential impact on game integrity, the NFL also will hope to deter others from committing similar violations in the future.  Which means that the punishments, if any, will be aimed in part at sending a message to anyone else who would be inclined to do anything to get an unfair edge.

140 responses to “NFL taking game-integrity issues very seriously

  1. Witch Hunt by the HATERS!! The refs handle the balls all game. Ya think they’d know if there was anything wrong. I’m sure BB said our best strategy is to mess with the air in the balls!! REALLY!! Go Away HATERS!!!

  2. I honestly have a hard time believing there was some secret conspiracy to let air out of the balls after the ref checked them. I mean, if you were going to cheat (by making the balls slightly easier to catch), wouldn’t you do it last week against an opponent who A) was clearly going to be a bigger challenge, and B) against whom you actually planned to throw the football a bunch?

  3. “Which means that the punishments, if any, will be aimed in part at sending a message to anyone else who would be inclined to do anything to get an unfair edge.”
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Which means if the ball attendant even looked at the balls wrong, he’s fired, and the Pats are losing draft picks. Got it.

  4. I feek in the grand scheme of things all these integrity things are very miniscule. Leave it to Goodell to handle everything the wrong way.

  5. Didn’t both teams play with the same balls? I don’t see how this is only a Patriots issue.

  6. This story is so overblown. There was an article in the NY times back in 2013 that describes how it takes the Giants staff a month to doctor the football enough to please Eli Manning. They scrub it down and soak them in water and scrape everything off it. Dumbest football non-story of the decade. The league is ok with domestic abuse but don’t abuse the footballs.

  7. This is the only reason i believe the patriots will win the Superbowl, all their other 3 Superbowl wins have been tainted. By spygate, now this one with this.

  8. Correct. It doesn’t matter if the Pats won by one point or a hundred points. Trying to cheat only to later realize that you didn’t need to cheat does not make everything OK. The intent is what matters. I don’t know if the Pats did anything or not, but I know that the league has to hammer them if this is true.

  9. “Witch Hunt by the HATERS!! The refs handle the balls all game. Ya think they’d know if there was anything wrong.”

    ..and they DID notice. They swapped balls out several times. So what were you saying now?

  10. How hard would it be for the NFL to have their own “ball boys” who work for the league instead of the team? I don’t understand why it’s so difficult.

  11. Thus has Irsay’s stink all over it. He probably whispered in his buddy Kravitz’s ear. Laughable joke.

  12. Officials can blatantly determine the outcomes of playoff games with bad calls….Dez, Lions disappearing PI, but don’t even think about deflating our balls!

  13. Once again my Patriots stand to be made examples of. Sigh. This is the trouble with genius: it’s always misunderstood in its time. Also, it can be hard to tell from crazy.

  14. Yet over the past several weeks, the officiating has been criminal, but they won’t even address that. But under inflate a ball by a pound or two, or even wear the wrong socks, and watch out, the NFL gestapo will come down hard on you. Or don’t talk to the media, ala Lynch, 100k from your game check.

  15. Don’t forget the egregious act of wearing of a certain color of shoes, which, if worn, would’ve kicked a player out of a NFC Championship game as quickly as if he would’ve walked up to a ref and punched him.

    Until there is consistency in reasonability of the NFL’s actions to certain serious, and not-even-close-to serious, events on and off the field, pardon fans from not buying into the “integrity” angle from them.

  16. Wait… Let me get this straight. The NFL goes through a CSI style chain of custody procedure to insure that the balls aren’t tampered with prior to the game and then, after all of that, hands them back to an employee of the team at game time?

  17. “…the NFL fully intends to properly handle investigations regarding on-field issues that impact the integrity of the game.”

    So that means they are going to do the badly-needed overhaul of their business model for the employment of game officials too, right?

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight………

    As it has been doing for years, the NFL will pick and choose what it investigates, depending on how much money a given team owner has funnelled into RG1’s pockets.

  18. tb4prez says: Jan 19, 2015 3:57 PM

    Witch Hunt by the HATERS!! The refs handle the balls all game. Ya think they’d know if there was anything wrong. I’m sure BB said our best strategy is to mess with the air in the balls!! REALLY!! Go Away HATERS!!!
    —————————
    I can understand that the pursuit of “integrity of the game” would be seen as a threat to the Patriots.

  19. Maybe there would be fewer “haters” if the Patriots would ever win without a cloud of conspiracy regarding the bending or breaking of the rules.

  20. And what happens when it’s determine that these allegations are without merit? Will they investigate that?

  21. I still don’t understand how anything improper could be done in this area. All the balls are checked before use and kept in possession of refs. Did the Pats provide under-inflated balls upfront? What would be the point? They’re going to be checked and made sure to be inflated to game weight, so there’s no possibility of getting one by the refs. And even if they did somehow get them into the game, it would affect both teams equally. In fact, having some but not all balls deflated would cause more problems due to unpredictability.

    This seems like a case where cheating isn’t really possible, and carries no benefit.

  22. Questions:

    Both teams are required to provide 12 balls each, the home team must provide 12 reserve balls, and the visitor may provide 12 reserve balls. Are the balls marked to indicate which team provided them? Do the offenses only use the balls provided by their team? An underinflated ball would be easier to grip in bad weather–but it would be easier for both Brady and Luck to grip. So it would benefit the Patriots only if the Patriots could be sure to get their underinflated balls when they were on offense and sure the Colts would not get those balls on offense. How could the Pats arrange that?

    Based on what I’ve read, it’s not unusual for refs to discover underinflated balls during a game and remove them from play. Why does it suddenly require an investigation now?

  23. Well it’s not like this incident involves a team and coach that were previously fined 6 figures for game-integrity issues that led to a decision to destroy all the evidence.

    I’m not a Belichick hater (I like resourceful and creative people, as long as it’s done within the rules) but for Pats fans to think that past misdeeds will ever be forgotten or don’t permanently stain what is otherwise a top-flight coaching career is beyond delusional.

  24. In this specific case, the investigation will focus on whether the balls were properly weighed and measured by officials before the game started, whether anything happened while the balls were in the custody of the referee, and whether anything happened after the balls were given by the referee to the ball attendant.
    ===

    Sounds like the officials allowed minimum pressure balls in a hot room and then the balls got cold and lost pressure. But yeah… let’s focus on the ball attendant. I’m sure he’s just sitting there with a ball needle letting the air out on the sideline.

  25. Then why haven’t they punished the Patriots for the fact that, since Belichick became coach, equipment on the visitor sideline at Gillette Stadium goes out in the middle of drives?

    That’s about as sleazy as sleazy gets, and very unethical too.

  26. I find it hypocritical that Robert Kraft is all upset about Putin stealing his Super Bowl ring. What goes around, comes around Robby!

  27. If it’s true they cheated, the nfl needs to vacate any post season wins from this season, much like college, including a world championship. Otherwise, every billionaire owner would gladly cheat to win a SB, and pay a fine afterwards. Although this story seems really far fetched.

  28. Are we talking seriously under inflated balls here?

    I hope the NFL doesn’t go and throw the ball boy under the bus here and claim it some lone wolf type stuff.

  29. What happens if this story is deemed to be false? Will the accusers be punished? I doubt it. Oh and if the NFL is all about integrity why did they handle the Rice, Peterson, Hardy, Lewis, Bountygate and Spygate problems the way that they did? Beating a woman that’s ok until there’s outrage but messing with a football take away draft picks! Huh? This league is backwards.

  30. if this really happened, this would be the second time the nfl has caught belichick cheating, and they should suspend him for a season. i know it isnt turning your players into hitmen like payton did, but he obviously didnt get the message when the nfl took half a mil from him over spygate. and this was certainly bigger than an early regular season game.

  31. First Ha Ha Clinton-Dix can’t defend a floaty hail mary ball from the other side of the field on the 2-pt conversion. Then Brandon Bostick can’t snatch out of the air on an onside kick a floaty ball that goes through his hands and hits him in the facemask. Hmm, very strange.
    Afterwards, professional actor Russell Wilson sheds tears of joy post-game.

    The NFL is WWE.

  32. It does make a difference especially in that wheather overinflated is harder to grip and throw when wet not to mention carry ,under inflated much easier to throw ,catch, and hold onto besides i bet that ball that hit cribbs in the face mask looked overinflated

  33. This deflated ball thing is all over the place – at least 7 articles on PFT alone in the last 24 hours.

    So what is up with the ‘oh, by the way’ comment about Browns coaches using cell phones on the sidelines?

    I don’t recall hearing about that one before. Just Johnny liking a tweet during a game. Where is all the PFT indignity about that?

  34. Why leave it to the teams to supply the balls? Everyone knows that coaches like Bill Belichick will push every possible boundary if they think of an opportunity that can be exploited.
    The balls should be supplied and tightly monitored by the NFL to avoid the possibility of tampering/doctoring.
    We haven’t heard the extent of under-inflation of the ball in question. Let’s get the facts. But never underestimate Bill Belichick’s skill in these matters.

  35. Hey, remember that time when Pete Carroll got his national championship stripped?

    I think it was because he used a legal formation and a ball got pulled from circulation for being a little light.

  36. themanfromtheblacklodge says:
    Jan 19, 2015 3:59 PM
    Didn’t both teams play with the same balls? I don’t see how this is only a Patriots issue.

    Allow me to explain since your feeble mind can’t think for itself. In the event that the Pats DID do this, it was probably planned. Therefore, it’s possible that they practiced all week with deflated balls, which would give them a competitive advantage.

    The only people who don’t see (choose not to see) the advantage are the biased fans in Boston. Times Yours….

  37. Both offenses play with their own supplied game balls. Kicking balls are separate from the game balls.

  38. Does anyone realize that the temperature may have something to do with this? Freezing temps would suggest the footballs possibly contracting, thus deflating in the process.

    Anyways all the Patriot hate out here is LAUGHABLE! Decade and a half of dominance, comes with the territory I guess.

  39. NE vs SEA features the two most scandalous/dishonest/cheating head coaches in the league.

    See kids, cheaters do win!

    #‎spygate‬ ‪#‎deflategate‬ ‪#‎uscgate‬ ‪#‎PEDgate‬

  40. If the resolution comes in the offseason, isn’t it too late to punish the offender? I mean, there’s no question the Pats deserve to be in the SB based on how badly they whooped the Colts, but if they cheated willfully in any way prior to the game, doesn’t that undermine the win?

    I’m not suggesting you pull them from the SB (that’d be insane), but it almost sounds like a complacent acceptance that you’d let cheaters profit from their exploits if you wait until the off season to punish them. I don’t particular care what that punishment is since I’m not an irrational Patriot hater (I’ve got no love for them either), but if the league does nothing before the Super Bowl, it feels like passive approval of their wrong. It didn’t affect the outcome, this time. But was there a last time? And will there be another time?

    If you do nothing else, you should come out with your conclusions before the game is played but indicate that punishment is yet to be determined. It’d be better PR than failing to disclose anything until after the Super Bowl when it just looks like you’re negligent, and depending on the level of the punishment, tacitly showing approval that bending the rules is okay because the result of the game was overwhelmingly one-sided.

  41. Since when does an NFL football have a white stripe on it? Perhaps this site should be worried about its integrity as well.

  42. Why isn’t there a league employee who is in charge of the balls and required to be in possession of all balls at all times before, during, and after a game with security personnel and team ball observers? I hereby nominate myself for this newly created position. Call me Rog, I’ll answer.

  43. I don’t understand how any rational football fan can look at this and see “cheating”. If there were under inflated balls in use, does that automatically mean they’ve been doctored? And don’t both teams use the same balls? And didn’t we all know growing in to the game that the Colts would need to throw to win while the Patriots would most likely rely on their run game? Wouldn’t under inflated balls benefit the team used to playing in perfect whether (dome) rather than the running team that plays outside in the cold and elements all the time? And don’t the Colts provide balls too? Suspend your blind hatred of all things New England and you can clearly see that this makes no sense.

  44. If any of this is true, instead of fines and penalties it’s time for the NFL to start acting like the NCAA and issuing post season bans.

  45. What I can’t believe…is that everyone who believes this happened actually believes that the Patriots felt they needed to cheat against the Colts to win. LMAO It was the Colts…not like they are a team to be feared.

  46. Would an under inflated ball it give the Patriots an advantage? Would it have changed the outcome of a 45-7 game? Did Belichick spend hours of his game planning time strategizing about how he could secretly let the air out of the balls after the refs checked them? If you answer YES to any of these questions you’re Overly Paranoid Rob Lowe.

  47. There is some precedent. In the heated, hated Steelers-Raiders rivalry of he 70s, the former charged the latter with sending a deflated football in for a field goal. It also contained a written obscenity.

  48. Blount could have carried a bowling ball and it wouldn’t have mattered yesterday. But yeah please take away the Patriots first round pick. It might make it fair again.

  49. When the charges at hand are found to be without merit, it will not matter. The haters and the rest of those who base their opinion on emotion, not fact will always believe the Patriots are guilty. All you have to do is read any post on this type of subject, and you will see a myriad of false beliefs regarding what the Patriots have done. The only thing the Patriots have been found guilty of was violating a newly enforced rule of doing their taping from the sidelines instead of from the booth or stands. It came at the beginning of that season. There is nothing else they have done that has been deemed illegal, aside from where that cameraman stood for those couple of games. Where it becomes really sad is when many writers and talking heads are basing their opinions on the same false beliefs as the haters. In our world of today, the failures and jealousies of others will never allow the Patriots to get the credit they deserve for being one of the most successful organizations in the history of pro sports.

  50. Roger isn’t going to do anything. Everything to lose and nothing to gain. Kraft just went to bat for him on the Ray Rice scandal.

    The ONLY way something happens here is if the ball boy says he was directed to deflate the footballs by a higher up on the staff. Which sounds absolutely ridiculous.

  51. Hard to imagine a more miniscule or made up “controversy”.

    I think this has more to do with other teams getting tired of getting hammered by the Pats constantly so they’ve decided any time they lose they’ll just whine about cheating by the mean ol’ Pats and act outraged.

    Outside of the fact it was frigid out and the balls can lose pressure when it gets like that, I also can’t imagine Belichcik wants any more controversy from something that would give at best a tiny tiny advantage. The Pats play and practice in cold weather and rain all the time. They’re used to and know how to play in it.

    Ridiculous jealousy from Irsay, the Ravens and many others is what’s going on.

  52. The use of “integrity” and “NFL” in the same sentence
    might be the oxymoron of the year!

  53. “How hard would it be for the NFL to have their own “ball boys” who work for the league instead of the team? I don’t understand why it’s so difficult.”

    ————————-

    I’d do it for free just to get on the field.

  54. I have worked in corporate America for 30+ years. Every corporate investigation I have ever been around was bs and show trial to make the company look good. As for the NFL, it wants the appearance of integrity, but we all now that: players are literally destroying their mental faculties to play this game; owners are tampering with coaches and players on other teams; owners are milking communities of tax dollars when they have franchises that make windfall profits with virtually no risk of financial loss for even the most poorly run franchises; and that alcohol is the most misused drug in the U.S. and the NFL makes billions from its marketing. Despite all of that being true, you guys want to tell us that the inflation of a football (whose use is approved by the ref on every play) is where integrity really lies. Your accusations detract from the guys that do battle on the field of play. Shame on you, sir.

  55. As a Patriots fan this crap really ticks me off. If it’s true, all they have accomplished is giving the haters more fuel to constantly throw in the face of the fans. If Brady needs that small difference in the ball to succeed, it’s time to move on. We are going to have to listen to this BS for the next two weeks. The commissioner failed miserably in his first suspension of Ray Rice, and now he’s going to go overboard with punishment to make up for his previous failure. I find it hard to believe that (if true) the benefit was worth the risk and there wasn’t a need to go there. Unbelievable that this could cost us a draft picks.

  56. I’m not saying BB deserves the benefit of the doubt…but he hasn’t even been accused of anything by anyone. There’s an investigation because some of the balls were found to be slightly deflated during a game in horrible weather. Much like Spygate, all you brainless sheep immediately jump to conclusions (you still puke out things that were found to be absolutely false in the Spygate investigation because you heard it on TV from some hot-aired talking head on ESPN). This will conveniently cloud the Pats attempt for another Super Bowl, which I’m guessing is what you are really more interested in vs. the truth.

  57. From what I’ve read it was one game ball taken out of play. Given the frequency of how often balls get switched out between plays wouldn’t you think they’d have had more than one ball underinflated and consequently taken out of play if this was a planned action?

    If anything I’d think any QB would value the ball being inflated at a consistent psi instead of randomly getting one that is underinflated, especially when you can’t know for sure when and how long that ball will be in play.

  58. I just can’t understand how the NFL can go after the Pats. The refs are the ones who prep and supervise the balls. The players have no idea. The coaches have no idea. They just take the balls and go. The ball attendant who hands off the balls is a key suspect here. What I don’t know is if the ball attendant works for the NFL or a team. But this WAY different than the filming practices thing.

  59. So what is it gonna be now haters, inflate gate? Yeah, I’m sure that the ONE THING Brady was hoping for in that game was a football that felt different, gripped different, and left his hand different than EVERY other football he’s ever thrown in his career. No, I’m sure that wouldn’t mess with his game at all. Unreal. And to top it off, I’m sure that he thought it would be a great idea to try these new, totally different feeling, supposedly under inflated balls not in a preseason game or even a regular season game, but in the AFCCG. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And D’quell Jackson intercepted one of Bradys passes, but he didn’t seem to think that there was something amiss. So bring on your same old tired comments you jealous, envious, paranoid trolls, and when you craft your cone shaped hats, make sure you use heavy duty aluminum foil.

  60. Hello Idiots….think about hand size and grip size of both quarterbacks…..Thank you and have a nice evening

  61. The balls should have been weighed and checked for pressure before game time.

    It’s a fact that under-inflated balls made it to the field. The refs swapped them out when they were detected.

    The question is when were the balls deflated? The ball boy is one possibility, and he is a Pats employee. It should be noted that he also provides the balls to the officials. On a wet day (when balls are switched in and out often) he could easily make sure one team had under-inflated balls and one team did not. I’m not saying he did, but it is a possibility.

    Another possibility is that the balls were never checked and were under-inflated but not intentionally so.

    Personally I tire of the “what difference did it make” defense. It’s a rule central to the game. If the Patriots did do this knowingly I want them hammered. And if Belichick was behind it, he needs to be sat out for a period of time.

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  62. The integrity of the playoffs has been seriously undermined by the refs. Usually multiple screw-ups at key points in games.

    I would say bring in new FULLTIME refs but that ship sailed when the media championed the part timers as irreplacable parts and the gullible people believed them. That is how we got here folks.

  63. Both offenses use there own balls that are allowed to be seasoned by the training staff, but still have to pass psi standards. There are also new balls used in the kicking game. After the 2nd half kickoff, when trying to switch between a kicking ball and a scrimmage ball, the refs had trouble trying to connect with the ballboy. Much ado about nothing.

  64. lowercasejay says:
    Jan 19, 2015 4:33 PM

    “How hard would it be for the NFL to have their own “ball boys” who work for the league instead of the team? I don’t understand why it’s so difficult.”

    ————————-

    It’s not difficult. But this is such a non-issue it isn’t funny. Footballs get taken out of games, it happens. They all get sent to the league office for review. The only reason this is such an issue is Kravitz tweeted out that the league is “investigating”, which they do with every non-conforming ball. But that story doesn’t get Kravitz more twitter followers or national coverage.

  65. Ha ha ha ……the fans KNOW the new NFL has NO intregrity. That went out the window when the last of the original NFL owners died off. What we have now is a bunch of spoiled grown up benificaries owning the teams. We the fans all know they have NO intregrity FOR THE GAME. The NFL needs competition from another start up league.

  66. Someone posted the rules in one of the 10 other “stories” on this PFT has already posted, but the refs inspect the balls and then are handling them constantly during the game.

    At what point is this the referee crew’s problem to sniff out? Why wouldn’t it be “investigated” as soon as the refs notice a bunch of “bad” balls?

    Why doesn’t the NFL just control the balls? They bring them to the game. They have NFL staff handing them out during the game. Problem solved.

  67. If game integrity is so important, how about a little more transparency on officiating? Like why certain calls are or aren’t made, whether officials are reprimanded for bad/missed calls, and why not stick with entire crews that are used to working together for the playoffs?

  68. calibear831 says:
    Jan 19, 2015 4:00 PM
    all their other 3 Superbowl wins have been tainted.
    —-
    How does a 2006 rule change taint 2001, 2003, 2004 superbowls?

  69. It just happened once.

    Rob Ryan was on the sideline and he thought someone had handed him a Gillette Gastro Sub….and he took a bite out of it before throwing into play.

  70. This will get drowned out by all of the annoying people that just hate everything Patriots, but I can’t see what advantage this would be, and I can’t see how the Patriots could make sure they got one ball while the Colts got another.

  71. Let’s say this happened. Why in the hell wouldn’t the Colts be raising holy hell DURING THE GAME? Professional football players know how these balls feel properly inflated.

  72. vicvinegar00 says: Jan 19, 2015 4:46 PM

    …Why doesn’t the NFL just control the balls? They bring them to the game. They have NFL staff handing them out during the game. Problem solved.
    ======================================

    100% agree, the NFL has the money and capability to do this, and if they think its necessary, they should. Good point vicvinegar00.

  73. sdchicken says:
    Jan 19, 2015 4:02 PM
    Officials can blatantly determine the outcomes of playoff games with bad calls….Dez, Lions disappearing PI, but don’t even think about deflating our balls
    _______________________

    Bryant did not make a catch, a rule was applied properly. WRs need to maintain possession to the ground. The DB made enough contact with him that it came lose when going to the ground. No different than a safety lighting a guy up over the middle that jars the ball when he hits the ground. That is not bad officiating you can call it a bad rule. The Refs called it right.

  74. daysend564 says:

    NE vs SEA features the two most scandalous/dishonest/cheating head coaches in the league.

    See kids, cheaters do win!

    #‎spygate‬ ‪#‎deflategate‬ ‪#‎uscgate‬ ‪#‎PEDgate‬
    ______________________________

    “If you are not cheating, you are not trying.” Al Davis

  75. Do “in-game integrity issues” cover things like spotting the ball so far in front of its correct spot that even Pats-loving Jim Nance says it was unconscionable?

  76. The investigation into the improper use of electronics by the Browns just disappeared…poof…nothing.

    The NFL won’t do anything about these issues because that might mean punishing the very people who OK who determine how much Roger Goodell gets paid…

    Roger Goodell will not bite the hand that feeds him…THE OWNERS !

  77. What about all the trouble makers in the NFL ,they should go. That includes ROGER GOODELL.

  78. Belicheat is at it again. He knows this is his last chance to win a championship before Brady’s skills start to sharply decline. This man can’t help himself. And if it is proven that he has anything to do with this, he MUST be suspended for at least 1 year. If Sean Peyton can be suspended on what was a first offense, shouldn’t Belicheat at least get the same?

  79. Why is it when MNF does a segment on Aaron Rodgers over inflating the ball, they laugh and call it “gamesmanship” but is Brady likes it a bit deflated, its “cheating?”

  80. If the Patriots are found to be cheating again, this is a second offense and needs to be dealt with very, very harshly. 1st and 2nd round draft pick in 2015 and a multi million dollar fine.

  81. I’m a Colts fan and in no way would a under or over inflated ball make any difference in who won that game, with that said I was curious why the game was held up a few times and balls were switched and refs looking toward the Pats sideline.

  82. Did the league confiscate all 12-20 footballs provided by the Pats? I’ve heard that only ONE ball was removed from the game. If it was only one ball, then stop saying the Pats deflated the footballs (plural). And if the refs noticed the one football and removed it, then what exactly is the issue?

  83. Roger goodell is ran by all 32 coaches they are the only ones that can oust him out of the NFL,but they won’t because they have him in there billion dollar pockets that why he makes 44 million a year just in endorsements alone.Goodell is a crook and he knows it.

  84. So did the NFL think integrity issue started and ended with players and their peccadilloes. Integrity should envelope all about the NFL including stadium building and safety, to the grass on the field, to referees performance, to e-mail language use between workers, to coaches. Everything including senior executives and the janitors who say they truly cleaned the toilets. That this is even a topic is ludicrous and it shows these guys still don’t get it. Does anybody ever get fired or lifetime bans.

  85. Whoever is taking the air pressure of the football “very seriously” is the problem with the NFL and should be fired. It is probably the same guy who takes the color of Marshawn Lynch’s cleats “very seriously,” but if it is a different guy then that guy should be fired, too. These are not “very serious” issues. These are absurd storylines that seem to exist solely to generate page views for the outlets that cover the league.

    Also, is there a pattern developing in these playoffs? The Lions get beat and blame the refs. The Ravens get beat in part because their defensive players did not know or understand basic rules of the game and accuse the team that did know the rules of wrongdoing. The Cowboys get beat and we need to change the rules. Can anyone just take a loss like grown up? Now the Colts get cornholed by 38 points and we are going to blame the amount of air in the football? Really? Football players, coaches, owners, writers and fans need a reality check. Sometimes you just get beat.

  86. Hahaha… you nailed it bradwins! Its so much easier in todays society to accept no wrong doing and punish those that out work and out perform you when you lose.

  87. We can only hope it’s as thorough and transparent as what we saw with the Spygate, Bountygate and Ray Rice investigations. Because if it’s one thing Goodell knows about it’s handling top-notch investigations.

  88. Shaggytoodle you are wrong and so were the refs. Dez caught that ball. Once he takes two steps, (he took 3) and makes a football move, extending the ball toward the goal line, he is no longer a receiver, he is a runner, and thus is considered down when his knee and elbow hit the ground. The play was called correct on the field, but overturned because the nfl wanted rodgers vs Brady in the super bowl. Well, Too bad. The nfl Is dead. Anyone who still supports it is a sheep.

  89. So let me get this straight. The NFL is fine with allowing obvious catches to not be catches, inconsistent no-way-to-predict PI penalties, and old men refs that belong nowhere near a football field deciding outcomes of games; but a ball or two aren’t inflated 100% accurately and they’re crapping their pants about integrity?!!!!

    Anyone seen that movie “Idiocracy”?

  90. Mike Tomlin stands on the field and obstructs a punt returner: No big deal.

    Colts lose 45-7 and claim Pats using underinflated balls was the reason: Huge outcry of indignation from PFT participants.

  91. One needs to look no further than the slap on the wrist for spygate and then the NFL dropping the house on a shaky bounty gate accusation to see where the NFL’s loyalty lies.

  92. Why does the NFL need 30 footballs to play a 60 minute game of football? I say you play with one ball until that ball blows up and if it becomes under inflated you pump it up on the sidelines with psi gauge in hand on live tv…seems like a simple solution

  93. Integrity and NFL shouldn’t be used in the same sentence!
    Goodell has ruined the game for me and most of the people I know. I was a big football fan until this man took over, and now I can’t get through a complete game.

  94. The officials introduce balls into the game. If they find one that doesn’t seem right, they remove it. End of story.

  95. Sure thing. Where in Vegas can I put money own on them not finding anything in their investigation? I can pay off the house this year…

  96. Oh please. Game integrity? How about the embarrassingly inconsistent officials and the absurd rule book they have to navigate? That’s the real threat to the “integrity” of NFL games. (Funny, using integrity and NFL in the same sentence.)

  97. Any victories associated with the Patriots should have an asterisk placed next to it.Tuck rule,Spygate,etc.

  98. Where was the investigation against the Seahawks when Romo had to try and catch a greased pig(literally)for go ahead field goal years back.What a joke this league is turning into.

  99. Yes, I’m behind the times with this comment! But, the NFL threw game integrity out the window when they added to the possession rules. Not only did they fail to identify an additional action for the player to perform, but they also threw the definition of “Runner” out the window, along with the definition of a “Catch”. Everything that has been added to the possession rules lacks an association with gaining possession of the ball, which is the sole reason for these rules. When a player satisfies the first two elements of the Completed Pass rule, he has met the requirements of being THE Runner. He has possession! Requiring that player to do anything else does not eliminate his accomplishment of possession. But then, THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO PERFORM! Time is all that third element is! Blandino has admitted that. There has been no integrity of the game since they added to the rules in 2011.

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