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Reports: NFL Investigating Patriots for Deflated Footballs in AFC Championship Win vs. Colts

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According to a number of sources, the NFL is investigating the Patriots for deflated footballs in the AFC Championship win over the Colts.

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

According to a number of sources, including WTHR's Bob KravitzNewsday's Bob Glauber, and Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, the National Football League is investigating the New England Patriots for the possibility that they deflated footballs in Sunday's AFC Championship win over the Colts.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>I&#39;m told at one point the officials took a ball out of play and weighed it. Should hear more tomorrow on this subject.</p>&mdash; Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) <a href="https://twitter.com/bkravitz/status/557054224924950528">January 19, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>Just heard from an nfl spokesman the league is in fact investigating the matter.</p>&mdash; Bob Kravitz (@bkravitz) <a href="https://twitter.com/bkravitz/status/557159360733126656">January 19, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

NFL rules have specific requirements for the inflation of footballs, as they must be between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds of air for games.  Before each game, both teams must present 12 footballs for testing by officials to ensure the proper inflation.  Especially in a game like Sunday night's, when the conditions are less than ideal, a deflated football would be easier to play with in the rainy weather when throwing or catching the ball.

Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio is reporting that it's pretty certain (from what he's hearing) that abnormal footballs were removed from the game last night - the question is whether they were intentionally deflated or not.

According to Kravitz, if the league finds that the Patriots did indeed deflate the footballs to gain an advantage it will result in a loss of draft picks for New England.

Look, even if true, this wasn't the reason why the Colts lost.  If the footballs were properly inflated, the Patriots still would have won - that's how much they dominated.  What this would do, however?  Just fuel the intense dislike that Colts fans (and NFL fans) have for the Patriots.

Of course, we'll monitor this story as more information becomes available.