By: Steve Balestrieri
The New England Patriots for the second straight week overcame a double-digit halftime deficit, before rallying for their fourth win in five weeks over the Houston Texans 34-31 at Reliant Stadium.
The Patriots trailed 17-7 at halftime, after playing a sluggish first half but Tom Brady and the offense rallied to score 27 second half points and the Patriots improved to 9-3. But at least one Texan defender is crying foul….
According to Houston DL Antonio Smith, the Patriots’ ability to make second-half adjustments on Sunday was “highly suspicious,” going as far as calling Brady’s comeback effort as “miraculous” and “fishy”.
Speaking with Houston press after the game Smith said, “You can tell they changed their scheme in the second half,” adding, “It’s miraculous they changed some things on offense that keyed on what we put on this week to stop what they were doing.”
“They did things they never did all year before. It was a specific thing that was important to what we were going to do today, as to how we were going to call the defense. We’d not ever did it before, and they never changed like that before. It just let me know that something wasn’t right. Either teams are spying on us or scouting us.”
Asked to elaborate on what he saw that New England did that was so outlandish Smith refused to answer stating that it was, “G-15 classified”, adding that, “It’s a defensive thing that we might continue to use. … The way, I’m trying to say it without giving it away.”
“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.”
One thing that isn’t suspicious during Houston’s ten game losing streak is that the Patriots ability to overcome a 10 point deficit in the second half isn’t exclusive to them. Houston’s meltdown on Sunday is the third game this season that the Texans have blown a 10 point second half lead….and all of them were at home.
For Smith, who likes to call himself “Tone-stradumus”, perhaps a look into the past rather than the future would answer his questions about the validity of New England’s come-back. Brady and the Patriots have faced the Texan’s defense three times in the past year, and the results speak for themselves.
New England faced Houston in what was billed as a big showdown last December 10 that ended up as a New England blowout as Brady led the Patriots to 42 points. On January 13 in the divisional round of the playoffs, Brady dissected the Texans defense again as the Patriots scored 41 more. So the idea that Brady putting 34 points on Houston’s defense as “miraculous” is completely unfounded. The breakdown of the past three games are:
Date Comp Att Yards TDs INTs Result
Dec 10 21 36 296 4 1 New England 42 Houston 20
Jan 13 25 40 344 3 0 New England 41 Houston 28
Dec 01 29 41 371 2 1 New England 34 Houston 31
So in three games against the Texans in the past year, Brady’s combined numbers are 75 for 117 good for 1011 yards with 9 TDs and 2 INTs which works out to a completion percentage of 64.1, with an average of 8.64 yards per attempt with a QB rating of 110.
While Smith’s thinly veiled accusations of wrong-doing by New England will undoubtedly find some play with many of the over the top types that over-populate social media, and especially with the virulent, anti-Patriots crowd, perhaps his comments should really turn inward.
Brady and the Patriots have the Texans’ number and it has nothing to do with anything suspicious or wrongdoing, the hallmark of the Belichick, Brady era has been being prepared by studying tendencies that occur over a long season. And their 46-6 record in December will attest to just that. As well as three late season routs of this defense in the last 12 months.
The four-letter network ran a story that Peyton Manning “Has the Chiefs’ Number” but isn’t it strange that if Brady has similar success, it has to do with allegations with zero proof of wrongdoing?