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NFL confirms investigation underway regarding accusation Patriots deflated footballs before AFC Championship game

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The Patriots find themselves amid controversy after allegedly deflating footballs used during the AFC Championship game. The Patriots defeated the Colts 45-7 to advance to Super Bowl XLIX.

Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots are accused of deflating footballs in their 45-7 AFC Championship win Sunday over the Indianapolis Colts.

According to CBS Sports' Will Brinson, "NFL rules stipulate game balls must be inflated with between 12.5-13.5 pounds of air. Each team must provide 12 primary balls for testing prior to the game."

Bob Kravitz of Indianapolis-based WTHR-TV reported that draft picks could be lost if the NFL confirms deflated footballs were used.

The last time the league was allegedly looking into something that carried with it the weight of forfeiture of draft picks was when Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was on the field of play during a kick return in a game against the Baltimore Ravens in 2013. The Steelers didn't lose any draft picks, but Tomlin was fined $100,000.

As for the Patriots, they were docked a first-round pick for illegally filming hand signals of opponents during the 2007 season. The Patriots went 16-0 in that regular season, only to fall to the Giants in Super Bowl XLII.