Kansas City Chiefs v New England Patriots
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Does the infamous Deflategate saga have a new chapter in 2023? 

Not really, but there was a snafu with the kicking balls in New England's Week 15 matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs. The balls for both kicking teams were underinflated by two pounds, according to MassLive.com. Following complaints by both teams, the officials examined the 'K-balls' at halftime and determined that they weighed 11 pounds per square inch instead of the legal 13.5 PSI. Upon realizing the issue, the officials pumped the ball up to the proper PSI for the second half. 

Patriots coach Bill Belichick confirmed that the balls were "underinflated by 2, 2½ pounds," according to ESPN.

"We don't have anything to do with it. Were we aware of it? Yeah, definitely," Belichick said. "As I understand it, they were all the same. I don't know what the explanation is. It was the same for both teams. You'd have to talk to the league about what happened on that. That part of it, they control all that."

Both Patriots kicker Chad Ryland and Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker missed field goals in the first half and the underinflation of the balls sailing through the Foxborough weather helped cause those early struggles. 

Specifically, the Patriots sideline first noticed something was off when Butker's opening kickoff landed at the 3-yard line. This season, Butker's kickoffs have resulted in touchbacks roughly 87% of the time. On top of that, the hang time on kickoffs and punts was noticeably lower for each team. This blunder by the officials did play a part in Butker missing his first field goal of the season. Before his 39-yard attempt in the first quarter of this game went wide right, the Chiefs veteran had connected on all 23 of his attempts this year. In the second half after the balls were corrected, Butker converted both of his field goal attempts from 29 and 54 yards out. 

While there was nothing nefarious about this latest PSI incident between the Patriots and Chiefs, it does garner a bit more attention given New England's history. During the 2014 AFC Championship Game, officials discovered that the Patriots footballs were underinflated in the first half of the team's win over Indianapolis. That triggered an investigation by the league and ultimately resulted in the team being fined $1 million and a deduction of two draft picks, while Tom Brady was suspended for four games.