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Deflategate deja vu? Harrison Butker won’t blame underinflated footballs for first miss

Perfect season no more; Chiefs’ kicker says nothing sinister behind first quarter misfire

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at New England Patriots Eric Canha-USA TODAY Sports

Oh boy. Here we go again.

Underinflated footballs were under the microscope again Thursday after a report published following the Kansas City Chiefs’ Week 15 win over the New England Patriots claimed kicking balls used in the first half were not up to standard.

“It was noticeably more pumped up, I guess, in the second half than the first half,” kicker Harrison Butker told a gaggle of reporters Thursday.

Mass Live reports the kicking balls used in the first half “were underinflated by two pounds,” and the issue was corrected after being pointed out to officials at halftime.

The perennial Pro Bowler missed his first kick of the season Sunday in Foxborough, attempting a 39-yard try on the team’s first offensive possession.

“I don’t know anything about it,” head coach Andy Reid said of the controversy, adding he was out of the loop until Thursday’s pre-availability briefing. “I’m not worried about all of that.”

The miscue marked Butker’s first miss since January 1, 2023, snapping a streak of 54 consecutive kicks converted.

“I think it was technique,” Butker said when asked flatly if he believed the balls impacted his first miss of the year. “I’ve made a lot of big kicks with flatter balls and shoot, even in college, they don’t measure their pressure at all.”

Butker says he’s moving on.

“Stuff like that happens, and you just roll with it. I’ve made field goals, and I’ve made decent kickoffs with balls that maybe aren’t, you know, perfect 13 PSI, indoor room temperature, but it’s just kind of the nature of the game. And sometimes that stuff happens.”

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