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A scandal involving the New England Patriots that alleged 11 of the 12 balls they used in their 2015 AFC Championship Game win against Indianapolis Colts were inflated significantly below the NFL’s requirements. Football science says that cold weather can account for the footballs deflating about two pounds each. However, there were players in the past that wanted to take advantage of a deflated ball by intentionally manipulating its air pressure.

Why might the Patriots want under-inflated footballs? In theory, it would have made the balls easier for quarterback Tom Brady to hold and for the team's receivers to catch during the game's rainy conditions. Given the team’s large number of successful passes during the game, it could have worked in great favors to the Patriots. As American football tradition, teams always use their own sets of footballs when they're on offense, so a deflated ball wouldn't have helped their opponents, the Indianapolis Colts.

Both Patriots coach Bill Belichick and Brady denied any involvement. But if the allegations are true, it could mean serious penalties for the Patriots — possibly including fines and lost draft picks. And given previous instances of cheating by the team, it could further tarnish their legacy, even if they win Super Bowl XLIX.

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  • Category: Football
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