One of the more interesting tidbits of the newly released Wells Report focused not on the AFC Championship Game but rather on a game three months earlier.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady told investigators that he complained during a Week 7 matchup with the New York Jets that the footballs he had been given felt “like bricks.” They “were heavier and harder to grip than they had been when he approved them prior to the game,” per the report.
“Although (equipment assistant John) Jastremski believed during the game that Brady was simply being competitive,” the report read, “he tested the air pressure of the game balls the next morning, discovered that many of them were over-inflated, and told Brady that he was right.”
It was after this game, Brady told investigators, that he first heard of the NFL rule mandating footballs be inflated to between 12.5 and 13.5 PSI. Brady said he then decided he would like his game balls to be inflated to 12.5 PSI and also “suggested that the Patriots give the game officials a copy of (the applicable rule) when they delivered game balls prior to each game, so that the officials would know that it was not necessary to inflate them further.”
Jastremski told investigators that before the Patriots’ next game — a home meeting with the Chicago Bears — he inflated each ball to 12.6 PSI.
Brady was far from terrible against the Jets — he went 20-of-37 passing for 261 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 27-25 win — but against the Bears, he was nearly superhuman. He completed 85.7 percent of his passes (30 of 35) and racked up 354 passing yards, five touchdowns and zero picks as New England routed Chicago 51-23.
The completion percentage and touchdown marks both were season highs, as was Brady’s 148.8 passer rating.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
Powered by WordPress.com VIP