Patriots’ Footballs Possibly Under-Inflated By One PSI, Not Two


Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

After a wacky week of media frenzy dedicated to throwing the New England organization and its reputation under the bus, ProFootballTalk’s Mike Florio has published an article claiming the footballs measured during halftime of the AFC Championship game may have been closer to league specifications than previously reported.

“As one league source has explained it to PFT,” Florio wrote Sunday, “the football intercepted by Colts linebacker D’Qwell Jackson was roughly two pounds under the 12.5 PSI minimum. The other 10 balls that reportedly were two pounds under may have been, as the source explained it, closer to one pound below 12.5 PSI.”  Hmm…so the lone ball allegedly measuring 2 PSI lower than the cutoff just happened to be the same one caught by the Colts during the intercepted pass?  Conspiracy theorists, do with this what you will.

While Florio’s “league source” can hardly be considered reliable (as has been the case with all unnamed “sources” throughout this entire fiasco), the report does add merit to Bill Belichick’s own internal investigation claim, which in itself aligns with the experiment run by qualified researchers at HeadSmart Labs.  Both tests prove that weather and various conditions can and do directly impact football air pressure fluctuation.

Much like the rest of the media, Florio has shown little support for, or come in defense of the Patriots throughout the “Deflate-Gate” allegations, so it is not shocking that this new information is found buried halfway into his article.  In fact, Florio’s report headline itself does not shine the spotlight on what seems like huge news; instead, it simply shifts blame toward the NFL, without acknowledging any prematurely-negative media judgment against New England.  Just another case of proving that it’s cool to hate, but even cooler to hate the Patriots.

In a week filled with nothing but relentless Patriot-bashing by every media outlet under the sun, Saturday Night Live, and even Bill Nye, this latest turn, if true, feels like a step in the right direction and away from distraction.  After all, the team does still have one very important game left to focus on — one that has been fueled with plenty of newly-discovered fire for the Patriots and their rabid fans.