11 of 12 Patriots’ Footballs Deflated

The New England Patriots had 11 of 12 designated game footballs underinflated by 2 pounds per square inch of air during their AFC championship win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, an ESPN report citing anonymous sources said Tuesday. NFL officials responded to ESPN’s claim that the investigation is continuing. “We’re still awaiting findings,” Troy Vincent, the NFL executive vice president, told the Associated Press. The game balls were required to be inspected and approved by referee Walt Anderson two hours and 15 minutes before kickoff and no alteration of footballs is allowed under league regulations. Lighter footballs would have made it easier for quarterback Tom Brady to throw the ball and for receivers to catch. The Patriots have a history of cheating allegations, including illegally filming their opponents. The Patriots said they were cooperating with league officials while Patriots Coach Bill Belichick deferred questions to the league on Tuesday.