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Rob Ninkovich on M&M: Antonio Smith’s insinuation ‘kind of a silly comment’

12.02.13 at 12:24 pm ET

Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich joined Mut & Merloni on Monday to talk about New England’s 34-31 win over the Texans on Sunday.

Rob Ninkovich

Rob Ninkovich

The Patriots moved to 9-3 on the season, but Houston defensive end Antonio Smith stole the spotlight with his comments after his team’s 10th straight loss. After the game Smith said he was “very suspicious” of New England’s adjustments in the second half, after the Patriots fell behind 17-7 in the first 30 minutes.

“It’s kind of a silly comment,” Ninkovich said. “I’m sure they’re a little upset that in the second half they couldn’t stop Tom [Brady] and our offense. It’s a comment where I really don’t know where that would come from.”

Stephen Gostkowski kicked the game-winning field goal with just over three minutes remaining to complete the comeback. The Texans also held a 31-28 lead in the fourth quarter.

“It’s an emotional game that we play, and people put a lot of heart and effort into preparing for a football game,” Ninkovich said, adding: “That’s a tough loss. … When you lose 10 in a row, I’m sure there’s a ton of frustration in that locker room.”

Ninkovich and his defensive unit did not play well against the hapless Texans. Rookie quarterback Case Keenum threw for 272 yards, and running back Ben Tate rushed for 102 yards and three touchdowns. Keenum also ran for a touchdown.

“We definitely do have to do a better job of playing our responsibilities and everyone doing their job,” said Ninkovich, who made four tackles and recorded two QB hits. “Good team defense is everybody playing their gap responsibly and not having those holes.”

The game was the Patriots’ second straight come-from-behind win. Two weeks ago, New England trailed the Broncos 24-0 heading into the third quarter. The Patriots went on to win 34-31 in overtime.

“We need to figure it out and play better, because you can’t spot a team 17, 24 [points], whatever it may be, in the first half and expect to win every game,” Ninkovich said.

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Patriots news, visit the team page at

Read More: Antonio Smith, Ben Tate, Case Keenum, Rob Ninkovich Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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