Sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter on Wednesday that the Colts had concerns about underinflated balls after their regular-season game against the visiting Patriots on Nov. 16.
During that game, Colts safety Mike Adams twice intercepted Tom Brady and gave the balls to the Colts' equipment manager to save -- and both times there were concerns about the balls feeling underinflated, sources told Schefter.
Those sources said the Colts raised concerns to the league, which was aware of the issue going into this weekend's AFC title game.
The Colts and the Patriots also played back in November, and in that game the Patriots also dominated the Colts, winning 42-20 in Indianapolis. But in that game, like the game on Sunday in the AFC Championship game, Tom Brady threw an interception (he actually threw two in the November game), and it sounds like the Colts noticed something was up after those interceptions too. Which raises even more questions, including how often the Patriots have been doing this, and why the NFL hadn't begun investigating earlier. Is it only an issue to the league because people now know about it or because it was in the AFC Championship game? We don't have many details about this prior incident from November other than what Schefter reported, but it does bring up some more questions.
As does this report from CBS's Jason La Canfora, where he says that some Ravens players felt like the kicking footballs were under inflated in their game against the Patriots. And, if you remember, that game was much, much closer than the AFC Championship game, so perhaps if that is true there could be an argument that it impacted the outcome of the game.
Either way, there are a lot of questions still surrounding this whole "deflategate" controversy, but it sounds like Sunday's AFC Championship game against the Colts might not have been the first time the Patriots had deflated footballs, and in fact it sounds like the Colts were suspicious of it following their November matchup with the Patriots.