BOSTON (CBS) — The infamous “SpyGate” scandal involving the Patriots and Bill Belichick took place six years ago, but to some opponents, the perception has yet to fade.
The latest to take offense to a loss against the Patriots is Texans defensive end Antonio Smith. The nine-year NFL veteran helped the Texans hold Tom Brady and the Patriots to just seven points before halftime, and he found it peculiar that Brady and the New England offense scored 27 second-half points en route to a 34-31 victory.
Smith said that the Texans installed new schemes to their defensive game plan this week, but the Patriots adjusted so well to the changes that something fishy was going on.
“Either teams are spying on us or scouting us, I don’t know what it is, man,” Smith told a group of reporters in the Texans locker room. “We had some ways that we was going to play this week that just got put in this week, and it was just miraculous that they changed up some things that they did on offense that keyed on what we put in this week to stop what they was doing.
“[They did things] that they never did before all year, so it just seems to be like, miraculous to me.”
Smith, who registered two tackles on the day, admitted that Belichick and Brady are “pretty good,” but that in itself couldn’t explain to him why the game played out the way it did.
“And there’s no way — we had not did it ever before, and they ain’t never changed it ever before, so it was just kind of fishy how it just got changed today,” Smith said. “It just let me know that something just ain’t right.
“I know Bill Belichick and Tom Brady are one of the best at their craft, because they put so much into their craft,” Smith added. “But also, you have to be a descendant of Tone-stradamus to know what we put in this week to be able to change that fast.”
Smith isn’t the first Patriots opponent to suggest the Patriots used some illegal tactics in a game, and he won’t be the last. The one common thread among such complaints is that they typically come after a team loses to New England, and the other is that they typically lack any real, concrete evidence or description of the alleged “cheating.” Therefore, they pretty much always come across more as sour grapes than anything else.
Given that Sunday’s loss was the Texans’ 10th straight and third against the Patriots in the last 12 months, Smith’s complaints fit in line with that description.