Instead of getting more credit from the media after a 34-31 win over the Houston Texans which included another impressive second half, leading the New England Patriots back from a double digit deficit, accusations or at least subtle allegations coming from Antonio Smith force you to at least consider that there was something less than Kosher about the way the Pats adjusted to what their rivals were doing to slow them down.
This isn’t the first time in history a team has made a complete turnaround in the second half after an awful first one. Hey, the Broncos were ahead by 24 points against the Patriots before a huge turnaround and a win for Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. Maybe it’s simply the frustration speaking for the Texans and Smith, a team some thought will be heading to the Super Bowl this season but instead are currently trying to end what has turned into a 10-game losing streak.
Holding a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, the Texans lost their 3rd game this season after leading by double digits, all at home. The last team to lose more games at home when leading by double-digits in a season was the 1980 Buccaneers.
I’m very suspicious. I just think it will be a big coincidence if that just happened by chance. I don’t know for sure, but I just know it was something that we practiced this week. I can’t tell you an example because it’s G15 classified. It’s a defensive thing that we might continue to use. When you watch film of the team do something a certain way all the time no matter what team they play — it’s been 12 games played and they always did it — and then all of a sudden it’s changed? It was pretty clever and pretty suspicious. I’m saying it seemed like it (like the Patriots knowing what the Texans were going to do). You can’t never be for sure on anything because I ain’t over there in their huddle, in their locker room, but it just felt like it.
So what changed? Brady was held to 2-of-7 passing for 22 yards, an interception and a sack during the first half when the Texans were sending five or more pass rushers at him. In the second half? Brady was 7-of-9 for 137 yards and a touchdown without a sack in the second half against the Texans’ blitz.
So, is it a case of sour grapes and of Belichick and Brady once again simply making the right adjustments? Probably, but because of the history the Patriots have made for themselves, it’s easy to point a blaming finger at them. Let’s hope Smith is just talking out of frustration, and there’s nothing more to this story.