Home / National News / Report: Eleven of 12 New England Patriots Game Balls Were Under-Inflated


(NEW YORK) — The New England Patriots had 11 of their 12 allotted game footballs during Sunday’s AFC Championship game under-inflated, ESPN reports, citing league sources.

The NFL’s spokesman declined to address the report.

“We are not commenting at this time,” said Greg Aiello, the NFL’s senior vice president of communications.

According to ESPN’s report, the footballs used by the Patriots were reportedly under-inflated by two pounds per square inch. Footballs, which are weighed before the game, must be inflated to no less than 12.5 pounds per square inch.

A deflated ball could be easier for the quarterback to grip in bad weather, like in Sunday’s rain at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. New England won the game 45-7.

Each team provides 12 new Wilson Official NFL footballs for referees to check before games, with additional balls available for backup or at the away team’s discretion. The minimum disciplinary action for tampering of a football is a fine of $25,000, according to the NFL’s game operations manual.

The controversy around “deflate-gate” has taken attention away from the Super Bowl, which features the Patriots playing against the Seattle Seahawks.

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