Two things. One: There’s no way a Jets fan was going to get through this week without the cheapest possible “Brady handling balls” joke in a headline. So, box checked. Two: As you listen to his “I knew nothing, nothing” schtick hot on the heels of Belichick’s denial this morning, ask yourself this. How likely is it that a random New England sideline underling would take it upon himself to tamper with the star quarterback’s equipment before the conference championship? Even knowing that Brady prefers to throw a slightly deflated ball, you would never surprise him by injecting a variable like that into a big game. It could throw him off. Imagine if he’d played poorly, the Pats had lost, and then it came out that someone on the staff, unbeknownst to Brady and the head coach, had decided to squeeze a couple of PSI out of the balls before the game. That guy would be fired summarily and possibly sued. No one’s going to mess with a player this valuable, on this team, with this much on the line, without feeling very, very sure that the team wants him to. So how was that approval conveyed to the still-unnamed culprit? And who conveyed it?

Pretty much, yeah:

Exit question one: Brady said at one point during the presser that the NFL hasn’t questioned him yet. Why not? We’re four days into this and he’s at the center of it. Exit question two: If the deflation was a fluke thing that happened accidentally, because of the weather or whatever, how come the Ravens also suspected tampering by the Pats a week earlier? That game, you may remember, was decided by just four points. It’s easy to dismiss Deflategate if the Colts were the only victims because that was a blowout. What if Brady also had an advantage in a game that wasn’t?

Update: Deflated balls are, of course, easier to grip. Well, whaddaya know:

The 2014 Patriots were just the 3rd team in the last 25 years to never have lost a fumble at home!  The biggest difference between the Patriots and the other 2 teams who did it was that New England ran between 150 and 200 MORE plays this year than those teams did in the years they had zero home fumbles, making the Patriots stand alone in this unique statistic…

There is no other team even close to being near to their rate of 187 offensive plays (passes+rushes+sacks) per fumble.  The league average is 105 plays/fumble.  Most teams are within 21 plays of that number.