On Sunday, the Texans were pushing the Patriots around the field in the first half. But, much like the Denver-New England game the week before, the Patriots made some halftime adjustments and ended up winning the game 34-31.
There are two possibilities here: that the Patriots are exceptionally good at changing game plans on the fly, or, as Texans defensive end Antonio Smith suggests, there's something "suspicious" going on.
"I'm very suspicious," Smith said to a group of reporters after the game. "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 ... Either teams are spying on us or scouting us." Or possibly the Texans are a terrible football team, but we understand why Smith wouldn't take that explanation.
Smith said the team had practiced new defensive schemes this week that would not have shown up on film, but the Patriots appeared prepared for the new look. The Texans were up by 10 at halftime, but gave up 27 second-half points.
Tom Brady brushed off Smith's critique with the dismissiveness that he usually reserves for second-rate secondaries. "We've kind of been through a lot of this before," he told WEEI on Monday morning. "I don't really think much of it, truthfully. I just kind of have moved on."
Of course, the Patriots have "been through a lot of this before" during the first "Spygate" controversy. Back in 2007, the Pats were found to be taping the Jets during a September game, and the resulting firestorm and allegations even involved Congress. Belichick was fined $500,000, the Patriots were fined $250,000, and the team forfeited a first-round draft pick.