You can thank D’Qwell Jackson for sparking Deflate-gate.
According to Bob Glauber of Newsday, the investigation into whether the Patriots intentionally deflated the footballs in play in Saturday’s AFC Championship game began when Jackson intercepted a Tom Brady pass in the second quarter.
Given that each team provides a dozen balls to game officials to use when it is on offense, the Colts might not have known anything was different about New England’s barring the turnover. Ostensibly, a slightly deflated ball would be easier to grip and throw in rainy, windy conditions, as they were playing in Sunday night.
When Jackson returned to the sidelines after his pick, he gave it to a member of the Colts equipment staff, who noticed it felt under-inflated.
The equipment man told coach Chuck Pagano, who relayed the information to General Manager Ryan Grigson, who contacted NFL director of football operations Mike Kensil, who told the officials on the field at halftime.
So while Brady laughed off the suggestion of a conspiracy when asked yesterday, the reality is, he could have kept it from being an issue at all.
All he had to do was throw it to his own teammates, and it’s possible no one would have ever known.