John Harbaugh on deflated kicking balls in New England: I chalk it up to being cold

One of the reports to emerge after the league opened up their investigation into the Patriots using under-inflated balls during the AFC Championship game alleged that the Ravens also believed their kicking balls were under-inflated during their playoff game in New England the previous week.

The report didn’t mention that kicking balls are not handled by the home team nor why the Ravens didn’t raise an objection at the time, but Ravens coach John Harbaugh took care of that on Wednesday when he was asked for his thoughts on the kicking balls having less air than they should.

“I chalk it up to being cold,” Harbaugh said, via Jamison Hensley of

It was 20 degrees at kickoff for the Ravens-Patriots matchup, about 30 degrees cooler than it was last Sunday, and cold air would lead to less pressure inside the ball. Given that and the fact that under-inflated kicking balls would have come from the officials, Harbaugh’s comment should probably be the last word on this angle of the deflated ball story that’s hanging over the league right now.

63 responses to “John Harbaugh on deflated kicking balls in New England: I chalk it up to being cold

  1. Taking the high road as always. Shula was man enough to call Belichick out and the Pats for what they are and that was before this mess.

  2. Glad he’s talking sense

    If Panthers kicker said kicking ball felt soft at 50 degrees, imagine how a ball feels at 20 or below.

  3. jeremyatoz says: Jan 21, 2015 11:54 AM

    Really wasn’t that cold this past Sunday.


    This is true but psi is checked inside where it’s likely 70-75 degrees. It was 51 at kickoff, colder by halftime when psi was check again outside.

    20 degree difference is significant. I definitely feel it on the wheels of my kid’s stroller. I have to constantly reinflate the tires during the winter due to cold

  4. I’m sure it’s hard for patriot fans to understand that Belichick is a cheater and will do anything to get to the top no matter the cost. they can say whatever they want but when you get caught twice once for spying on teams during practice to see how they are preparing and the other for deflating footballs to throw off opposing quarterbacks. What a horrible trash organization. It’s almost like a player using steroids and then making it to the Hall of Fame on the back of a performance-enhancing drug. I’ve always had a feeling the patriots were paying off refs to win games because it’s funny how they just make up calls off the top of their head like the tuck rule to guarantee a patriot win at a crucial turning point. What a sad pathetic team. I hope the league bands them from the playoffs or Super Bowls moving forward just like they do in college to punish a team. That’s the only way they will learn. Now they’re just an embarrassment to the league and to millions of football fanatics around the world who can now see them for what they really are. Cheaters!!!

  5. The drop in temperature excuse would hold a lot more water if all 12 balls were under-inflated. Being that one was still within legal limits lends credence to the tampering accusation.

  6. The colts also get to bring balls to the game. Did they bring them? Were they kept in the same place as the Pats balls? Were they also tested? If so, were they under-inflated too?

    If they did bring balls, and their’s were not under-inflated when tested, it pretty much kills the patriots’ temperature excuse.

  7. I think all teams should be punished for this Packers, Giants, Bucs and Pats. If your cheating your cheating. Make it even ….I mean some of these teams bragged about it.

  8. “…Given that and the fact that under-inflated kicking balls would have come from the officials, Harbaugh’s comment should probably be the last word…”

    One would think that. But this is the Patriots* we are talking about here. Wouldn’t put it past them to have figured out a way to get their hands on the kicking balls, too.

  9. I’m a diehard football man… but… I look forward to soccer overtaking football as America’s #1 professional sport.

    The NFL is as fixed as professional wrestling.

  10. Face it fans, the Pats do not have the benefit of doubt. Whether the game outcome would have been different, is inconsequential. This is totally about the integrity of the game and the possibility of deliberate cheating, a disdain for authority and the disregard of rules.

    If it’s true, Belichick has to take a long, unpaid vacation and get counseling, as a multiple offender.(w/fines) Any other punishment is a joke.

  11. So basically Harbaugh is trying to throw the Pats under the bus by just making up stuff that the Pats had nothing to do with. What a classless move. I would expect nothing less coming from Harbaugh.

  12. So the Ravens never played in 20 degree weather before? Harbaugh thinks that only the cold weather in that particular game caused the deflation noticed by the Ravens staff? Could it be that Harbaugh was asked by his FO to tone down the suspicions unless he has proof? Ya wanna bet the league office made the request?

  13. even if the cold weather is the real reason for deflation, people still aren’t going to accept it

  14. Yeah, good to see people trying to act like the Patriots would be responsible for this. They don’t handle the kicking footballs but somehow they altered them. Makes sense. I guess the Pats paid the NFL off for this.

  15. Harbs sticks up for the Pats and their fans still crap on him. THAT’S why other teams don’t like you guys.
    It is so deep that my Steelers friends (& I live in PA) all said they were rooting for Baltimore over New England. You don’t know how significant that is…Our arch rivals chose us 0ver the Pats!!!
    So maybe you should shut up and quit crying when YOUR team pulled another boner.

  16. The result of the game does not matter.

    Win, lose or tie, it is pretty clear the Patriots aimed to gain an advantage using illegally deflated footballs. They wouldn’t have known how the Colts would play when they deflating the footballs.

    Any claims about it being due to temperature is thrown out because one of the footballs was in the correct range.

  17. Laces out, for the cold weather causing the pressure to drop it would only make sense if ALL the footballs had low pressure.
    One had the correct pressure.

  18. And one more thing…

    The cheating in New England goes back as far as when Meyer was their head coach (I think that’s his name).
    The Pats were playing Shula’s Dolphins and were ready to kick a field goal on a heavily snow-covered field…and here comes the snow-blower…onto the field to clear the area where NE’s kicker is setting-up the ball. Of course, the Patriots make it and take the lead.
    THEN, when the Dolphins were to try a FG – no snow-blower! And the refs let it slide. I always thought that Shula should have stopped the game and demanded the same treatment. But he id not. But maybe THAT is why he may have hard feelings to this day.
    The Patriots have been cheaters for a LONG TIME!

  19. I just looked it up and it was the Patriots coach Ron Meyer in 1982 who asked the snowplow guy to clear an area so the Pats could kick a fieldgoal on a snow-covered field.
    And the Pats won 3-to-0!!!
    So they DID cheat and it was against Shula’s Dolphins.

    Check it out!

  20. The difference in temperature between the locker room and the field would only account for about 0.4 PSI in pressure reduction, not 2.0 PSI. The outside temperature by itself is not the culprit here.

  21. Postpone the Super Bowl.

    Let Bmore and the Colts play to represent the AFC in the game.

    Note to NFL-your fans are getting tired of the BS, bad officiating and favortism.

  22. arwiv says:
    Jan 21, 2015 12:05 PM
    The drop in temperature excuse would hold a lot more water if all 12 balls were under-inflated. Being that one was still within legal limits lends credence to the tampering accusation.

    One of them had to be correct, you can’t kick a deflated football as far as you could a regular one.

  23. Pats fans would diss harbaugh no matter what he said. Some of you don’t even realize he was actually taking up for the pats with this comment. And yet he is still a classless whiner. This is a perfect example of karma coming back to bite y’all. Brady tells harbaugh to study the rule book and then they get caught breaking The rules yet again. Atleast the ravens don’t have asterisks next to there victories. Bellechek is ruining football and their whole season is tainted.

  24. Not sure how Pats fans think that it was only cold on one side of the field. Oh wait……

  25. Says the whiner who probably started this whole thing…By the way,John the kicking balls are not the same as the “game ” balls. You should know that.

  26. Gotta love the conspiracy theorists on this one

    The Patriots – and no team – has any access to kicking balls

    So that means the Refs were the ones deflating them if that’s the case

    Anyone who lives in a cold region of the country knows that tires lose WELL more than 2 lbs psi from warm (70 degree) to cold (30 degree) weather.

    But for some football fans they think the laws of physics should be suspended when their team sucks

  27. The punter averaged over 50 yards a punt. It’s obvious it hurt him??? Sore loser
    Terrel Suggs poured bleach on his wife and child. Tell that to the kickers and ask them why he is on the team!

  28. I think tires are a little diffrent when they have about 2 tons of weight pressing down on them and not to mention driving on them. Weather would nit account for a whole 2 psi”s . Anybody who has any real knowledge will confirm that. And by the way. Harbaugh did say something about the kicking balls being seperate, obviously he knows this. They only highlight little blurbs of what is said in a interview genius. Once again, it wouldn’t matter what he said, people are going to dislike him for no apparent reason even though he coaches within the spirit of the rules and has a passion for the game.

  29. It’s obvious that Pats fans are trolling this site and giving ‘thumbs down’ to any comments that do not support the Pats innocence. The strange thing is that on the Pats forums, most fans are very upset about this matter. They are concerned that if the accusations are true, then their Pats don’t deserve to even play in the SB. Even their cheerleader Mike Reiss on ESPN says the Pats should be harshly punished if the reports of deflation are true. I guess it is the 14 year old Pats fans who come to this site.

  30. Why not use the whole quote?

    “We did not notice anything,” Harbaugh said Wednesday. “We never had a ball that they used or anything like that on offense, so we don’t know anything about that in our game. We didn’t have a chance to handle any of their offensive footballs.”

    “As far as the kicking balls, it was 20 degrees out, so the balls were softer,” Harbaugh said. “Our guys told us during the game, and I just chalked that up to the fact that it was cold and that both teams were kicking the same kicking balls, so I didn’t think really anything of it during the game. Other than that, it’s not something we’ve really given any thought to at all.”

  31. filthymcnastyog says:
    Jan 21, 2015 5:53 PM

    Why not use the whole quote?


    That would make too much sense. God forbid they use the entire quote to show an unbiased opinion on the matter.

  32. Far be it for me to brag, but I believe right after the Ravens playoff loss I remarked that the Pats likely cheated but we wouldn’t find out about it til later. crown, the soothsayer.

  33. crownofthehelmet says:
    Jan 21, 2015 10:09 PM
    Far be it for me to brag, but I believe right after the Ravens playoff loss I remarked that the Pats likely cheated but we wouldn’t find out about it til later. crown, the soothsayer.

    That’s because Ravens fans can’t imagine losing unless they were “cheated”. Any team who played and lost against Ray White Suit Lewis or Terrell Pour Bleach On My Wife Suggs should feel cheated because those two should be in jail!

    Please Ravens fans – go back inside your glass houses and be quiet.

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