NEW YORK — The New England Patriots used footballs that were not up to NFL standards in Sunday’s AFC Championship game win over the Indianapolis Colts, according to a report on ESPN.com. A NFL investigation found 11 of the 12 footballs the Patriots provided during the game were inflated “significantly less” than league requirements, a source close to the investigation told ESPN.
Under-inflating a football changes the way a players grips the ball, thus impacting how the football is thrown and caught. Each NFL team provides the footballs it uses while on offensive. The Colts used their own footballs while Andrew Luck was on the field.
While Tom Brady and the Patriots prepare to take on the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, the NFL is working to figure out how and why the footballs were deflated. It is possible the league could punish the Patriots, however the league has not yet officially commented on the outcome of its investigation.
This is a developing story.