The National Football League is investigating allegations that the New England Patriots deflated balls during their blowout conference championship game win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, according to multiple reports.
NFL regulations require teams to inflate their footballs between 12.5-13.5 pounds per square inch (PSI). The advantage of a more deflated ball would be that it could be easier to catch. A ball was removed from the field during the game to be inspected. The league confirmed the investigation to multiple news outlets including Newsday, but didn’t comment further.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady called the controversy “ridiculous” in an interview with WEEI on Monday. “That’s the last of my worries,” he said. “I don’t even respond to stuff like this.”
A hashtag about the accusation, #DeflateGate, was making the rounds on social media Monday morning.
The 45-7 win sent the Patriots to the Super Bowl, where they will face the Seattle Seahawks. If the team is found to be in violation of the rules, it will most likely be penalized with a fine and/or a removal of draft picks.