The New England Patriots may have some explaining to do.
According to Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com, the NFL has found that 11 of the 12 football used by the New England Patriots in Sunday’s AFC Championship game against the Indianapolis Colts were under-inflated by two pounds each.
The Colts noticed one of the Patriots footballs was abnormal after linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted Tom Brady. The issue was then relayed up through the organization and ultimately to the league, who began an investigation into the situation.
Mortensen said on ESPN’s Sportscenter that the investigation is still not complete and the league is still looking to determine how the footballs became underinflated. NFL executive V.P. of football operations Troy Vincent said on PFT Live on Tuesday the investigation should be concluded within 2-3 days.
Per NFL rules, the footballs must be inflated between 12.5-13.5 pounds per square inch of air pressure.
It seems pretty improbable that mere happenstance would result in 11 of the 12 footballs being under-inflated without outside factors. While the blame for the deflated footballs has yet to be assigned, the Patriots won’t get much in the way of benefit of the doubt due to previous issues.