In the wake of the “DeflateGate” controversy surrounding the Patriots’ AFC title game win over the Colts, CBS Sports had reported that some Baltimore Ravens thought something may have been afoot in their playoff loss in New England one week earlier, and apparently warned Indianapolis before the Colts went to Foxborough.
According to FOX Sports' Jay Glazer, the Ravens tipped off the Colts that the Patriots had used under-inflated footballs going into the AFC Championship game. Glazer says that "the NFL was already planning to inspect the balls at halftime, despite D'Qwell Jackson's interception originally being reported as the cause."
The Colts apparently didn't need the alert, however, as sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter on Wednesday that they had concerns about under-inflated balls after their Week 11 game against the Patriots in Indianapolis.
But head coach John Harbaugh said his team didn’t notice anything wrong with the pigskin in his team’s AFC divisional round loss to the Patriots on Jan. 10, adding that he believes the softness in the kicking balls was related to the weather that day.
"We did not notice anything," Harbaugh told ESPN on Wednesday. "We never had a ball that they used or anything like that on offense, so we don’t know anything about that in our game. We didn’t have a chance to handle any of their offensive footballs.
"As far as the kicking balls, it was 20 degrees out, so the balls were softer," Harbaugh said. "Our guys told us during the game, and I just chalked that up to the fact that it was cold and that both teams were kicking the same kicking balls, so I didn’t think really anything of it during the game. Other than that, it’s not something we’ve really given any thought to at all."
News came out on Tuesday that the NFL found the Patriots had used under-inflated footballs in the AFC title game, according to a letter shared with The Boston Globe. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen has reported that 11 of the 12 Patriots game balls from the first half were under-inflated. If the Patriots are found to have deliberately doctored the footballs, the team could face a fine of at least $25,000 as well as the possible loss of a draft pick.