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And the flaws in Ted Wells' report continue to come out. This time, it's with the pressure gauges that were supposedly used by the officials to measure the balls.

First off, according to Pro Football Talk, there were 2 in use by the official and they supposedly yielded very different results:

One gauge had a Wilson logo on the back. The other didn’t. One had an obviously crooked needle. The other didn’t.

The gauge with the Wilson logo and the longer, crooked needle typically generated higher readings, in the range of 0.3 to 0.45 PSI.

The measurements taken at halftime of the AFC title game by the two available gauges demonstrated this reality. Here’s the gap in PSI for each of the 11 Patriots footballs, based on the two gauges: (1) 0.3 PSI; (2) 0.35 PSI; (3) 0.35 PSI; (4) 0.3 PSI; (5) 0.35 PSI; (6) 0.35 PSI; (7) 0.45 PSI; (8) 0.45 PSI; (9) 0.4 PSI; (10) 0.4 PSI; and (11) 0.45 PSI.

Second, referee Walt Anderson can't remember which one he used:

The absence of a documentation regarding the air pressure in the Patriots footballs prior to kickoff can be justified by Anderson’s clear recollection that he ensured each ball was set to 12.5 PSI. However, Anderson doesn’t clearly recall whether he used the gauge that generates the higher measurement or the one that generates the lower measurement.

It’s an important point because the gauge used before kickoff determines the starting point for the halftime analysis. If the pressures were set by the gauge with the logo and the long, crooked needle, that’s the gauge that should have been used at halftime. If it was the other gauge that was used before the game, that’s the one that should have been used at halftime.

The Wells report concludes that Anderson used the gauge that generates the lower measurement before kickoff, despite Anderson’s lack of specific recollection as to which gauge he used. The reasoning for the decision to assume Anderson used the gauge without the Wilson logo appears in the paragraph contained at the bottom of page 116 of the report.

Frankly, the explanation doesn’t make much sense. If anyone understands it, please let us know.

And last, knowing (or not) which gauge was used is crucial:

At page 113, the Wells report states: “[T]he Ideal Gas Law predicts that the Patriots balls should have measured between 11.52 and 11.32 psi at the end of the first half, just before they were brought back into the Officials Locker Room. Most of the individual Patriots measurements recorded at halftime, however, were lower than the range predicted by the Ideal Gas Law.”

As those of you who were visiting PFT frequently in the early days of #DeflateGate may recall, the Ideal Gas Law refers to the formula that determines the changes in gases based on various factors, including but not limited to volume, pressure, and temperature. And the Wells report concludes that all Patriots footballs should have measured between 11.52 and 11.32 PSI at halftime.

But that observation hinges on the question of which gauge was used to set the PSI prior to kickoff. If the gauge that generates the higher numbers was used, the measurements of the Patriots footballs taken by that gauge are mostly consistent with the 11.52-11.32 PSI range at halftime: (1) 11.8; (2) 11.2; (3) 11.5; (4) 11.0; (5) 11.45; (6) 11.95; (7) 12.3; (8) 11.55; (9) 11.35; (10) 10.9; and (11) 11.35.

Based on those readings, three of the footballs were above the predicted range, five were in the predicted range, and three were below the predicted range.

Between this and Mike Reiss pointing out what he saw as flawed last week, the only thing the Wells report has to stand on right now are the text messages between the 2 locker room attendants. Looks like just about everything is flawed between Reiss last week and this report from PFT, though. The NFL still has to decide Brady's punishment, if any, but it's hard to imagine Brady getting more than a game. This is the NFL, though. Not everything makes sense.

Conor Frederick 5/11/2015 12:06:00 PM Edit
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