I wonder how many times I can post this with it being ignored.
Well, there's no evidence and you don't care for my opinion so:
Considering that our impartiality was at least implicitly recognized by the N.F.L. in the past, we believe that our analysis of the evidence in Deflategate, in a study released Friday by the American Enterprise Institute, could help resolve this latest controversy.
Our study, written with our colleague Joseph Sullivan, examines the evidence and methodology of the Wells report and concludes that it is deeply flawed. (We have no financial stake in the outcome of Deflategate.)
The Wells report’s main finding is that the Patriots balls declined in pressure more than the Colts balls did in the first half of their game, and that the decline is highly statistically significant. For the sake of argument, let’s grant this finding for now. Even still, it alone does not prove misconduct. There are, after all, two possibilities. The first is that the Patriots balls declined too much. The second — overlooked by the Wells report — is that the Colts balls declined too little.
The latter possibility appears to be more likely. The Wells report notes the expected pressure for the footballs at halftime in the Patriots-Colts game, factoring in the decline in pressure to be expected when a ball, inflated in a warm room, has been moved to a cold outdoor field. If the Patriots deflated their balls, their pressure levels at halftime should have fallen below the expected level, while the Colts balls at halftime should have hovered around that level.
But when we analyzed the data provided in the Wells report, we found that the Patriots balls declined by about the expected amount, while the Colts balls declined by less. In fact, the pressure of the Colts balls was statistically significantly higher than expected. Contrary to the report, the significant difference between the changes in pressure of the two teams’ balls was not because the pressure of the Patriots balls was too low, but because that of the Colts balls was too high.
One of the gauges, as the report notes, records pressures that are higher than the other. If the official used that gauge to measure the Patriots balls (but not the Colts balls) pregame, then those balls may well have started out with too little air, which could explain a later appearance of intentional deflation. The report, however, does not consider that possibility.
Our recommendation? When the N.F.L. hears Mr. Brady’s appeal of his suspension later this month, it should proceed with the knowledge that the Wells report is unreliable.