According to Texans defensive end Antonio Smith, anyway.

The Patriots had to make another second half comeback yesterday, as they trailed Houston 17-7 at halftime, but rallied in the second half for a 34-31 road victory.

Following the game, Smith said:

“You can tell they changed their scheme in the second half. It just seems miraculous to me how they changed some things on offense that keyed on what we put in 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.

“Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are among the best at their craft because they put so much into their craft. But you have to be a descendent of ‘Tones-tradamus’ (as Smith calls himself on occasion) to know what we put in this week and to be able to then go change that fast. I got the only crystal ball in existence. I don’t know what it is. Either teams are spying on us or something’s going on.”

Smith wouldn’t give specifics, because the Texans might use these super-secret plays going forward:

“I can’t tell you an example because it’s G-15 classified,” he said. “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. …

Thankfully most people do not appear to be taking Smith’s remarks too seriously, though I’m sure we’ll be lectured this afternoon from 2-6 about how the Patriots brought this upon themselves.

Wonder if Smith considered that both Wade Phillips and Bill Belichick have been in the NFL a whole lot longer than he has, and that their tendencies are probably pretty well known to both. There’s a good chance that just because Smith never used these plays before it doesn’t mean that they’ve never been used by a Phillips defense before.

Get all the reaction to yesterday’s game at

A few notes/observations/reactions:

  • Happened to be in the car shortly after the game, and the very first words I heard were Gary Tanguay – Are you concerned about this team?
  • Then flipped to WEEI to hear Butch Stearns say about the same thing with the addition of how bad playcalling has been all year. It was comforting to hear Fred Smerlas and Steve DeOssie bury him immediately.
  • Ty Law on the CSNNE postgame says we don’t know anything about this team until they beat a real team. Denver doesn’t count, apparently. Neither does New Orleans.
  • What was with Felger jumping on Belichick’s description of the distance of a Gostkowski field goal attempt? Weird.
  • Speaking of Gostkowski, are we closer to completely burying the He can’t make a tough/clutch kick storyline?
  • Tom Brady was asked following the game whether winning was masking the team’s deficiencies. Does any other team get asked questions like that? Tom, we know you’re 9-3, but doesn’t your team actually suck?
  • What would be the reaction if Bill Belichick did what Mike Tomlin did Thanksgiving night? We know that some quickly brought up a play from 2004 involving Belichick and Marvin Harrison, showing that, as always, when something happens, there are people who will always rush to associate it with Belichick and the Patriots. Even when there is a better, more recent example. (Jets)

Non-Patriots items:

The excerpts in the Globe from the new Ted Williams bio from Ben Bradlee have been terrific. Today’s – Feud with writers helped Ted Williams hit harder – is especially interesting from the perspective of media coverage then and now.

The Lowell Sun had Ted’s back, however. From a 1956 editorial:

“The tide has begun to turn in this case of the Boston sports writers versus Ted Williams, and the verdict is becoming increasingly favorable to Ted as public opinion starts to make itself felt . . . ” wrote the suburban Lowell Sun in an editorial. “If there has been a case of injustice done by a group of sportswriters to a great sports figure, this is it. Time after time they picked Williams apart, they have tormented him, they have knifed him, roasted him, flayed him, tortured him, and have obviously taken what can only be called a sadistic glee in doing so. It is sports journalism at its lowest.”

Wonder what that writer would think of today’s media?

Kevin Paul Dupont’s Second Thoughts column hasn’t always been a must-read for me, but yesterday’s brought up a fairly interesting topic. It’s an idea that may have been discussed before, but it was new to me. With the financial struggles of newspapers, Dupont suggested as a means to improve the outlook, selling “naming rights” to the paper, and even individual sections. The Boston Globe presented by Home Depot for instance. Sounds silly at first, but when you think about it, I think it could work.

For shame, Peter King. For shame.



11 thoughts on “Belicheat and Cheating Cheatriots Back At It

  1. Is there are a more lazy narrative than this one?

    “Then flipped to WEEI to hear Butch Stearns say about the same thing with the addition of how bad playcalling has been all year.”


  2. I honest to god haven’t listened to any drive time talk shows since before the Denver game. My life has been greatly improved without being lectured/brow beaten for my half hour to 45 minute commute.
    Turns out there’s a whole slew of podcasts where the people seemingly enjoy the subjects they’re talking about. After listening to the radio in Boston all these years, who knew?


    1. Couldn’t agree more, ONF. I stopped subjecting myself to most of the inane sports talk radio shows a few months ago and haven’t looked back. (I do enjoy the segment with Boomer Esiason during football season, and always have.) Instead, I read and listen to who I want to read and listen and simply ignore all the others. It’s very liberating, not to mention it preserves brain cells.


      1. I’ve been listening to T&R since they came to Boston, so they get my ears in the AM and I don’t really want hardcore sports discussion during my am commute. Other than that? I’ll pass.
        The lack of knowledgeable basketball talk in a region where the pro team has won more titles than anyone else is off putting too. And all Felger and Mazz will do is rip the team because Tommy Heinsohn bothered the 13 year old Bucks superfan Michael Felger who was watching national broadcasts.


        1. Can you name drop some podcasts centered on sports that are worth checking out? I’ve punched out on Boston sports talk radio at this point (I also listen to T&R, but I even find myself annoyed with the dicking around instead of actually TALKING PATRIOTS the day after a game), but I don’t want to give up completely on listening to people talk sports.


          1. Partial answer: If you wanted to listen to the bare minimum, I’ve pushed WEEI’s Sunday show with Dale/Matt Chatham/CPrice and will continue to. It’s the best in the area. Dale always hosts but he focuses the entire show on whatever the big sport is at the time. IE: Sept->Feb = NFL+Patriots, Feb->May/June Bruins, NHL, Rest being Red Sox. It’s normally on 9-12 but they always take the segment before the Patriots game.


          2. For basketball, I’ve enjoyed Short Corner with Justin Halpern (SH*T My Dad Says author/tv writer) and Paul Shirley (admittedly, he’s not for everyone) lately.
            ESPN used to have a really good NBA podcast, NBA Today. I’m not sure if that’s still a thing but it had rotating hosts of Russillo (Rodillo? Rotillo?), Legler and others.
            I’ll still listen to Simmons podcasts too.
            Other than that, just google and try some stuff. You can usually tell within 5-10 minutes if it’ll be something you’ll enjoy.
            I like general interest stuff too like Bill Burr’s Monday Morning Podcast. Joe Rogan’s podcast (depending on guest) and a variety of others.


  3. Actual conversation on F&M today –

    MAZZ: “Jones and Ninkovich weren’t putting ANY pressure on the quarterback yesterday. And if those two can’t pressure the quarterback, then what have you got?”

    FELGER: “Carter was able to pressure the quarterback yesterday.”

    MAZZ: “Yeah.”

    Wow. They should just change the name of the show to Felger & The Echo. No-talent and he knows it. Just trying not to rock the boat and get fired. The boat being Felger, of course.



    1. As a epitome of what the show has become, I thought the reaction after the MNF debacle in Carolina was all you needed to know. When you’re ‘against the grain’ of the usual row of media suspects who take every opportunity to trash the team, something is up.


  4. Tuned in to Gresh and Zo for about 15 seconds today. They are playing a clip of Belichick giving (for BB) a fairly detailed explanation on Ridley….after the clip first words out of Gresh’s mouth, “WELL I’M NOT BUYING THAT!!”

    So Belichick gives short/curt answers and he gets bashed….He gives longer answers, they say they don’t believe him. Sounds like a lose/lose situation.


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