The Chiefs-Patriots game on Saturday will mark the first postseason contest at New England since last year’s AFC Championship Game, site of the infamous Deflategate incident involving the Patriots and Indianapolis.
The Patriots were fined $1 million, stripped of their first-round draft pick in 2016 and fourth-round pick in 2017 and quarterback Tom Brady — accused of using underinflated footballs in the first half of New England’s 45-17 win — spent the summer in court appealing the four-game suspension levied by the NFL, a penalty yet to be determined.
Gillette Stadium was also the scene of the 2015 season opener when the Pittsburgh Steelers claimed their headsets were not in working order, just another of many instances of the Patriots’ being accused of nefarious activities, dating to the Spygate scandal of the early 2000s.
“We try to know the rules and teach them to our players,” coach Bill Belichick said when asked if his club tries to push the envelope and take advantage of the rules. “It’s a pretty thick book … we try to make sure we know how to play and what’s allowable and what isn’t.”