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Deflate-gate? Report: Patriots being investigated for using deflated footballs

Eric Edholm
Shutdown Corner

The NFL will investigate the possibility that the New England Patriots deflated footballs during the AFC championship game, which they won 45-7 over the Indianapolis Colts, according to Bob Kravitz of WTHR.com.

It rained constantly on Sunday in Foxborough, Mass., which made gripping the ball challenging. Obviously, a less-inflated ball is easier to grip than a fully inflated one.

The league has guidelines on how much pressure the ball must have — between 12.5 and 13.5 pounds per square inch, weighing between 14 and 15 ounces. 

Kravitz says the fine could be a stiff one if the Patriots are found guilty.

There was a delay before the third-quarter-opening kickoff that might have included game officials investigating the balls the Patriots were using.

Although there hasn't been an NFL team accused or found guilty of this recently, former USC head coach Lane Kiffin — who, coicindentally, was named the front-runner in several reports to become the San Francisco 49ers' offensive coordinator — was accused of doing the same against Oregon in 2012 before losing his job during that season.

The Patriots have faced accusations that they've skirted the rules for years, and they were penalized for spying on the New York Jets during the 2007 season with the loss of a first-round draft pick and a hefty fine paid not by the team but by Bill Belichick himself.

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Eric Edholm is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at edholm@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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