Cris Carter: ‘New England is going to rely on Tom Brady more now than other time in his career’

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Cris Carter and Nick Wright tell Michael Vick and Jenna Wolfe that while Tom Brady looked exceptional for New England, the Patriots will need him at the top of his game now more than ever.

CHRIS CARTER: New England has more ways to win games than any team we've seen. But I think that we just have to change what we're looking at and realize that New England, at this point, is going to rely on Tom Brady more than any other point in his career. All right?

He's one of the greatest players we've ever seen. But the way the team is constructed, all right? Not a dominant running back. They don't have one running back they're going to give the ball to 12 times a game. I mean, they're going to give five here, four here. They're going to throw the ball around, but you're not going to see one running back dominate carries. You're not going to see a running back run for 100 yards.

So in looking at New England, the things I'm concerned about, I'm concerned about their defense. I'm concerned about how a rookie quarterback made their defense look. I'm concerned about their lack of a pass rush. All right? That's going to hurt them.

I know this team is going to change. All wins in the NFL are very, very difficult. So Tom Brady, yes, I'm encouraged to see him playing at the level he's playing at at 40. Because I work with a person who told me, if you're over 40, man, you're washed up.

NICK WRIGHT: I didn't say washed up. I didn't say washed up.

CHRIS CARTER: So, I'm pulling for Tom Brady every week, because he said he's gonna fall apart like a 37 Chevy.

- And listen, all-- props to Tom Brady. Back-to-back weeks, he's been excellent. Absolutely excellent against a bad Saints defense and then what people think is a good Texans event. So there's no asterisks on this one for the defense he was facing. Got a real pass rush. They're supposed to have a good secondary. Didn't see it yesterday. I assume that's because Brady was so good. Brady has been excellent the last two weeks. My concerns about Brady come week 10, 11, 12. But we'll see.

But my concerns about the New England Patriots as a whole, those were very well-founded. Yesterday's game, best evidence of it. Can we show the back-to-back plays in the fourth quarter with a minute left where the Patriots-- it was out of their hands if they were to win or lose. That is a loose ball fumble. If the Texans get that ball, the game is over. On the very next play, Brady chucks it up deep. That's intercepted, oh, dropped. Either of those plays that are out-- he has it C.C.

CHRIS CARTER: He's playing on defense for a reason.

- OK, that's fine.

CHRIS CARTER: That would have been a hell of a catch.

- OK, that's fine. But either of those plays that are-- if the game is out of New England's hand-- the moment the ball leaves Brady's hands both times, if either one of them goes the other way, we are sitting here this morning sounding the damn alarm about the Patriots. So, it can't be, we are this close from sounding the alarm to now, we're just, like, oh, it's all good because Brady was excellent.

The Patriots came into this season having won 87 in a row when they lead at the half, 105 in a row when they lead after three. Week one, they snapped that streak. And last night, or yesterday afternoon, they were this close to having it be two in a row snapping that streak. That's not good. That's worry signs, even though, Mike, they got away with it.