Jan. 18, 2015: Patriots defeat Colts, 45-7, in AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium. A ball intercepted by the Colts' D'Qwell Jackson in the second quarter winds up with a Colts equipment staffer who notices it is not fully inflated. Coach Chuck Pagano is informed and reportedly relays the information to general manager Ryan Grigson in the press box. He notifies NFL director of football operations Mike Kensil, who contacts game officials at halftime. Later it is learned that at least one ball is removed from play.
Jan. 19: Newsday's Bob Glauber reports that Patriots coach Bill Belichick says he will cooperate with an NFL investigation into whether the Patriots used footballs that were not fully inflated during the AFC title game. NFL spokesman Michael Signora confirms to Newsday that the league is looking into the matter. In an interview with a Boston radio station, Tom Brady dismisses the charges as "ridiculous.''
Jan. 20: An ESPN report says 11 footballs confiscated from the AFC title game were found to be underinflated by about 2 pounds. CBS Sports reports the Ravens suspected some balls were underinflated in their loss to the Patriots in Foxborough in the divisional round.
Jan. 22: Brady denies knowing about alterations to the footballs, and says: "I would never break the rules.''
Jan. 23: The NFL says it has hired a private investigative firm, Renaissance Associates, and attorney Ted Wells will join NFL lead counsel Jeff Pash to oversee the investigation. NFL confirms that game balls used by the Patriots in the first half of the AFC Championship Game were underinflated.
Jan. 24: Belichick, in an unscheduled 23-minute news conference, maintains his team is not to blame for the underinflated balls. He also says the Patriots had performed tests that lead him to believe "atmospheric conditions'' affect air pressure in a football.
Jan. 26: As the Patriots arrive in Chandler, Arizona, to prepare for the Super Bowl, Fox Sports reports that the NFL has zeroed in on a Patriots locker room attendant as a "person of interest,'' saying there is video evidence showing he allegedly took footballs from the officials' locker room to another area on the way to the field. Patriots owner Robert Kraft challenges the report, and says he expects an apology from the NFL if its investigation leads nowhere.
Jan. 27: Newsday reports that during the NFL's investigation the league was told that the Colts suspected the Patriots used underinflated footballs when the teams played in Indianapolis on Nov. 16 but did not tell officials.
Feb. 19: Colts GM Grigson confirms Newsday's Jan. 27 report that his team suspected that the Patriots were using underinflated balls.
May 6: The NFL investigation concludes that Patriots employees likely deflated footballs used in the AFC Championship Game and that Brady was "at least generally aware" of the rules violations.