The patriots are cheaters.
The report came out that 11 of 12 balls were "under inflated" which is against the rules, and everyone knows that. So doing it intentionally is, in fact, cheating. #shrinkage
But there's more. I've been thinking about what I saw over the last few games where the patriots were subbing players, and making players eligible or not.
Certainly on the surface, they used the rules to their advantage. And that's fine.
The issue was/is that they were doing it continually, confusing the officials on who was eligible, and probably running some illegal formations along the way. It would be difficult for *them* to always know who was eligible.
Add to that another rule that the defense must have "last substitution" before the snap, in order to adjust to the formation. The patriots were waiting until the play clock had run far down before telling the ref they were eligible. Then they would snap the ball as quickly as they could. So the defense was not given the chance to adjust.
For both, there's an interesting side note here: the officiating crews are all star teams. Their communications aren't quite as good as a regular crew. And BelliCHEAT took advantage of that, in how he managed the game. And game balls.