The New England Patriots put in an impressive performance to open up the 2015 NFL season last night, running out 28-21 winners against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
But, just as we all thought we could get back to concentrating on the gridiron, one controversial incident on Thursday night has threatened to taint the Pats' good work once again.
With ESPN reporting that the Steelers were suffering from radio communication issues during the first half of the contest, Pittsburgh head coach Mike Tomlin appeared to fan the flames of speculation with his post-game comments.
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The issue became apparent during the first quarter of the game, ESPN noting that Pittsburgh staff were getting Patriots coach communication in their headsets rather than their own colleagues - clearly a far from ideal situation as you look to outmanoeuvre the Super Bowl champions.
And, with headset malfunction having been one of the issues raised in the recent in-depth exposé on the Patriots' supposed cheating antics, Tomlin's words oozed with suspicion.
Asked about the loss of radio communication, Tomlin had a simply answer about playing in Foxboro:
"That's always the case," he told reporters, via ProFootballTalk.
The coach was pressed to elaborate on what appeared to be an accusation against New England of persistent interference, but would only confirm that his staff's radio was tuned to Patriots frequency for most of the first half before "eventually" being solved.
The fact that something like this happened with the Patriots' reputation already pretty low following recent events could, and most likely is considering the NFL are in charge of communication at games, an unfortunate coincidence.
Mike Tomlin's thinly veiled response however just goes to show that there are people in the NFL who will always view New England with suspicion.
NFL fans: Do you believe this was coincidence, and is it just being used as an excuse for defeat? Have your say in the comments below...
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