Report: New England may not have deliberately deflated footballs in AFC Championship game


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It's quite possible the air is being let out of DeflateGate.

New details have surfaced in the NFL's investigation into whether or not the New England Patriots cheated in the AFC Championship game by using deflated footballs. According to NFL Network's Ian Rappoport, previous reports of 11 of 12 footballs being under-inflated by two pounds are incorrect --- a detail first reported by ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Rappoport reports that 11 of 12 footballs were deflated; however, many of those footballs were under-inflated by a "few ticks" under the minimum 12.5 PSI mark. One of the footballs was two pounds under the 12.5 PSI mark. He also says that an elderly man in charge of bringing the footballs to the field went into a bathroom for 98 seconds. There is video of the man entering and exiting the bathroom.

Rappoport also says that both Bill Belichick and Tom Brady were truthful when they said they have no knowledge of what happens with the footballs on gameday. According to the report, Belichick doesn't know what happens with the pregame preparation for footballs and Brady doesn't know what happens to them on gameday.

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With these new details, it may be hard to punish New England because if there is no evidence, it will be easy to just say the atmospheric conditions led to the balls being under-inflated. And if that's the case, will the Patriots owner Robert Kraft get the apology he's demanded?

You can read the full report right here.