If there is a second Spygate scandal brewing, it didn’t seem to bother Tom Brady much on Monday.
Brady, brushing off accusations by Texans defensive end Antonio Smith, trumpeted the Patriots’ adjustments and execution in the second half Sunday as they recovered from an ugly first two quarters to rally past the Texans in a 34-31 win. Smith had suggested after the game that “spying” on Houston may have helped the Patriots generate their rally.
“I don’t really think much of it, truthfully,” Brady said of Smith’s comments in his weekly, contractually obligated interview on WEEI. “I just kind of have moved on.”
Patriots coach Bill Belichick was mum when asked about Smith’s comments.
“Yeah, I saw them,” Belichick said. “I don’t have any comment on them. That’s a league matter.”
The Patriots trailed 17-7 at the half on Sunday before exploding in the third and fourth quarters. They scored touchdowns on their first three drives after halftime and added field goals on their next two drives.
“Execution is the name of the game. We did a good job there in the second half,” Brady said.
The Patriots developed a better rhythm, the quarterback said, and had an easier time collecting first downs in the second half, which helped drive the rally.
Smith said it was “miraculous” that the Patriots were able to adapt their offense around what he said was a unique Texans game plan. But Brady that shot down.
“They definitely did some different things than we were expecting, but nothing that really blew our mind,” he said.
The win was the Patriots’ 16th in their last 17 games in the month of December.
Brady at first shrugged off the importance of his record in the final month of the year.
“We’ve had great teams over the years,” he said, “so our record in a lot of the months is probably going to be pretty good.”
But he acknowledged there is likely a method to the Patriots’ late-season success that eludes so many other teams. The key, he said, is the accountability and demand for improvement over the course of the season that coach Bill Belichick requires, he said.
“By the time we get to the latter parts of the year, our margin of error is usually better than other teams,” Brady said.
“When we get to December, we’re playing at a much higher level than September.”