The National Football League is investigating whether the New England Patriots used deflated balls in their blowout win over the Indianapolis Colts during Sunday's rain-soaked American Football Conference championship.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirmed the investigation but could not offer further comment how many instances are in question and what possible punishment, if any, the Patriots could face.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichik said he did not know anything about the potential issue until Monday.

"We'll cooperate fully with whatever the league wants us to; whatever questions they have for us, whatever they want us to do," Belichik told reporters.

According to a report on the NFL's website, a ball was taken off the field and out of circulation during New England's 45-7 win over the visiting Colts that clinched a berth in the Super Bowl.

Using a deflated ball is presumably done to help players increase their grip, which could have been an issue during Sunday's game that was played in rainy conditions.

Source: Reuters