Patriots: AFC Champs Or AFC Cheats?

The Patriots were accused of deflating the footballs they used shortly after an interception of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady by linebacker D’Quell Jackson of the Indianapolis Colts, CBS News reported. Reportedly, Jackson claimed the football seemed deflated after he intercepted it, and this gave rise to the allegations against the Patriots.

“The NFL is investigating whether the New England Patriots deflated footballs that were used in their AFC championship game victory over the Indianapolis Colts. New York Newsday reported Tuesday that the Colts first noticed something unusual after linebacker D’Qwell Jackson intercepted Brady in the second quarter,” CBS News reported about the “deflate-gate” allegations of deflating footballs lodged against the Patriots.

CBS News reports that NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy disclosed in an email to the Associated Press that the league is looking into the allegations of the Patriots deflating the balls in Sunday’s game. Patriots coach Bill Belichick announced at yesterday’s press conference the team will fully cooperate with such an investigation.

“According to the NFL rule book, home teams are responsible for furnishing playable balls at all times. Each team brings 12 primary balls, while home teams are required to also bring 12 backup balls. Once the referee makes sure the footballs are properly inflated, they’re delivered to ball attendants provided by the home team,” CBS News reported.

The Patriots beat the Colts 45-7 in the game, and soon after the game, the accusations of deflating the balls were widely reported against the Patriots. The claims behind the allegation is the Patriots benefited by using somewhat deflated balls that would be easier to grip in the rainy weather of the game or perhaps more beneficial for the Patriots passing game.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady dispute the charges, saying, “I think I’ve heard it all at this point… I don’t even respond to stuff like this,” CBS News quoted him as saying in response to the “deflate-gate” allegations against the Patriots.

While some might explain the alleged deflation of the balls used by the Patriots as caused by the weather, the Boston Herald cited Boston College Physics Professor Michael J. Naughton, who said the weather would not cause the balls to deflate.

“The answer is largely moot because the Patriots won, 45-7, and few football experts believe that slightly softer footballs were the reason. But because the accusation involves the Patriots, who have a history of running afoul of league rules, the N.F.L. is looking into the matter,” the New York Times reported on the allegations against the Patriots.

The allegations against the Patriots have been questioned as more “hot air” from “Patriots Haters,” the Inquisitr reported yesterday. The success of the Patriots, some say, invite criticism and allegations for the team’s detractors, some believe.

“But with the Patriots going back to the Super Bowl for the sixth time in 14 years, don’t expect to feel the love. Outside New England, everybody hates the Pats. They don’t like Pats coach Bill Belichick, the original Mr. Personality, who is thought of as arrogant at best and a cheat at worst. They don’t like Pats quarterback Tom Brady, who has to be the only multimillionaire athlete whose wife is the real breadwinner,” Kevin Cullen wrote in a sports commentary for the Boston Globe today about the charges against the Patriots.

Evidence that the Patriots deliberately deflated any balls to gain an advantage in the game seems unlikely and few sports analysts expect much to come from these allegations against the Patriots. While little or nothing is likely to be settled in this debate of whether the Patriots cheated in last Sunday’s game, it is more likely the “deflate-gate” affairs will just be more on controversy that will be dismissed by Patriots fans and cited as more proof by detractors that the Patriots are cheaters. Regardless, none of it will change or prevent the Patriots from going to Super Bowl to play the defending champion Seattle Seahawks in two weeks.

[Image of Coach Bill Belichick and footballs from bleacherreport.com]