After the AFC title game, the Patriots were accused of deflating balls to gain a competitive advantage. Before every contest each team is required to hand in 12 primary balls for testing prior to the game. The average balls weigh 14 to 15 ounces. The game took place in a downpour making it hard for players to grab the ball. Before the third quarter began there was a delay because officials had to check the remaining footballs. As it turns out the Patriots did use 11 underinflated balls, each ball weighed two pounds less than the typical NFL football should. I
n every playoff game so far there has been a level of controversy but this has officially gotten out of hand. If the refs reportedly paused the game and felt that the balls were lighter, then why where the balls in question still in play? This opens up a Pandora's box of questions for the league and officials. Balls that kickers use come straight from the manufacturer but each team gets their own set of balls? Why? This is exactly the reason you want everyone to have the same footballs; also how did the refs not notice the Colt's balls were heavier than the Patriots? The refs handle balls on every play.
The penalty for such actions is stiff and would probably result in a loss of money and draft picks. The Patriots, especially Tom Brady, remain confident that this is just one big, “ridiculous”, accusation and dismissed any charges of game tampering. "I think I've heard it all at this point, that's the last of my worries. I don't even respond to stuff like this." said Brady after the game. It should be noted that this was not a close game, the Patriots blew out the Colts in what seemed like a regular season game. After “Spygate” in 2007 the Patriots lost their first round draft pick and the team as a whole, coaches included, embaressed Robert Kraft the owner of thr team. Kraft has publicly supported NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in several instances, including the famously controversial Ray Rice scandal.
At the most, the Patriots, including their coach knew about this, knew they had an advantage, and the refs lcalled up Goodell and he let them have it. At the least, the Patriots equipment staff screwed up resulting in 11 underinflated balls. Lets not forget the last time the Patriots had a scandal brewing of this magnitude they lost the Superbowl, this is more than familiar waters. Sadly this should not be about punishment because there is no way to prove the Patriots did this intentionally except obvioulsy if someone was recorded telling the equipment staff to do this. The refs have had entirely to much control and thats a problem. If the refs were going to pause the game because they are getting complants about deflated balls, shouldnt they have them filled. Head ref Walt Anderson was with the balls two hours prior to tip off, and the home club is supposed to provide a pump just in case. "The Referee shall be the sole judge as to whether all balls offered for play comply with these specifications," the rulebook states, so why did Walt not feel the difference? This brings up tremendous tremendous integrity issues for both the league and the Patriots.The Patriots say they are fully cooperating with league officials about this incident, however they never denied it. The person who brought this issue to the Colts was their equipment manager after handing a Patriot's ball to their sideline.