It's being called "Deflate-Gate."
An NFL investigation found that the New England Patriots had 11 of their 12 footballs under-inflated with less air than the league requires, according to ESPN. Sources tell ESPN that the Patriots' footballs were under-inflated by two pounds per square inch of air during their 45-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC title game Sunday night. It's believed that under-inflated footballs are easier to throw and catch, especially during cold weather conditions.
What still needs to be determined is how the Patriots' footballs became deflated. If the continued investigation deems that the Patriots themselves deflated the footballs, it could result in the organization losing future draft picks.
"We have been in complete cooperation with the league and will continue to do so," Patriots spokesman Stacey James told ESPN.
Added Greg Aiello, the NFL's Senior Vice President of Communications: "We are not commenting at this time."
However, a source told ESPN that the league is "disappointed, angry and distraught" over their findings Tuesday.
Both the home and road teams are required to bring footballs, which are inspected and approved by referees before the kickoff, and then handed to a ball attendant.
Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice weighed in on the situation Tuesday night, tweeting: "11 of 12 balls under-inflated can anyone spell cheating!!! #Just Saying."
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