NFL to investigate the Patriots deflated balls
The NFL is investigating whether New England intentionally deflated balls during Sunday’s victory over Indianapolis that sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl. The Patriots defeated the Colts 45-7 at Gillette Stadium in a game that was played in often driving rain. Doubt has arisen as a deflated football could be easier to throw and catch and it has been reported that officials during the game took a ball out of play at one point and weighed it. It was unknown whether the ball was underweight. If the Patriots deflated footballs intentionally, they could lose draft selections.
According to the NFL rulebook, in a game played outdoors, the home team has 36 balls, which are available for testing with a pressure gauge by the referee two hours prior to the starting time of the game to meet with league requirements.
NFL rules also specifies the acceptable pressure and weight of the balls and the rules also stipulate that the offensive team’s centre can request a “playable ball” in the case of a “wet, muddy or slippery field”.
This is not the first time the Patriots have been involved in similar seedy behaviour as they had already annoyed Baltimore coach John Harbaugh in the post-season with Harbaugh accusing the team of using deceptive formations in New England’s second-round win over the Ravens. The NFL, however, said the Patriots had done everything legal from a formation and reporting standpoint in that contest, so nothing came of this. The Patriots, however, were sanctioned, over the 2007 “spy-gate” affair, in which the NFL found they illegally filmed another team’s hand signals during a game and were fined $250,000 and lost a first-round draft pick while coach Bill Belichick was fined $500,000.
Tom Brady threw for three touchdowns and LeGarette Blount ran in three more on Sunday to lead the New England Patriots into the SuperBowl. The Patriots won their eighth AFC championship, their sixth under Brady and coach Bill Belichick. They will play the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, in what the best american football tipster would call a classic. New England (14-4) opened a 14-point lead in the first half and then broke it open in a driving rain with three third-quarter touchdowns and another to start the fourth. That made it the second-most lopsided game in AFC championship history. Brady completed 23 of 35 passes for 226 yards. Blount ran 30 times for 148 yards. Andrew Luck, on the other-hand completed 12 of 33 passes for 126 yards with two interceptions for the Colts (13-6).