Chalk this up to overkill. The New England Patriots, victors in three of the past six Super Bowls, are accused of using technology to gain an unfair advantage last Sunday.
The NFL's front office has determined that the Patriots swiped defensive signals during Sunday's 38-14 drubbing of the New York Jets, according to a report published Tuesday on ESPN.com. League officials confiscated a video camera and tape from one of the Patriots' assistant coaches after he allegedly was caught taping Jets' coaches sending hand signals, ESPN reported.
A spokesman for the league could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. New England has been accused of stealing signals in the past.
What the league found on the tape convinced them that the Patriots were cheating and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is considering whether to hit the Pats with "severe sanctions," according to ESPN. NFL rules prohibit coaches from videotaping from the sidelines or the coaches booth.
The league is also looking into how the Patriots were using radio frequencies during the game, in which New England racked up 431 yards of offense.
Under NFL rules, only one offensive player, typically the quarterback, is allowed to receive communications from coaches via radio during games. Several teams are pushing for a rule change that would allow coaches to wire a defensive player with a radio helmet as well.