Sunday, December 1, 2013

Texans DE 'suspicious' of Pats' halftime adjustments


Some people think the act of making very good halftime adjustments is simply good football. Some think it's cheating.

Consider Houston Texans defensive end Antonio Smith the latter -- at least when it comes to the New England Patriots.

"You can tell they changed their scheme in the second half," Smith told The Houston Cronicle after his team's 34-31 loss to the Patriots Sunday. “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."

Smith called the Patriots' scheme adjustments "highly suspicious." Meanwhile, Smith's accusations are highly suspicious, though he clearly was reaching to justify the loss any way he could, and linking cheating to the Patriots seemed like a logical path considering the infamous "Spygate" ordeal of 2007.

Houston went into halftime with a 17-7 lead, but a pair of Patriots touchdowns in the third quarter turned it into a shootout. Stephen Gostkowski went on to kick a pair of 53-yard field goals late in the fourth quarter to tie and eventually win the game for New England.

Gostkowski must have scouted the field goal uprights prior to the kicks so he knew where to aim.

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