Nick Wright explains why the Patriots have relied so heavily on Tom Brady this season

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Nick Wright talks about New England's defensive struggles in 2017 and why they have relied on Tom Brady so heavily.

- Even though this is probably something that Tom Brady has said for the last couple of years, this is the first year I believe it. I truly believe that this team isn't sure who they are and where they're going. And is it time to start thinking about the Patriots differently five weeks in?

- I mean, if by differently you mean is it time for people to start joining my side of the boat? Possibly. The question the Patriots have to be asking themselves, fans of the Patriots, people that picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl when they were enormous Vegas favorites, what are the Patriots great at? And the answer, the only answer, is Tom Brady. And that's not even a thing. That's a person.

Tom Brady, which we can disregard the concern about what Brady's going to look like after the last two weeks, as beat up as he was, as the seasons get colder, as we get into games 13, 14, 15. Right now, the Patriots are great at having Tom Brady. And you might say, well, that means they have a great passing attack. Well, I suppose. But they're-- think about how good Tom Brady's been. He is-- he and Alex Smith and Kareem Hunt are probably your three leading league MVP candidates.


- CC, the Patriots opposing quarterbacks have been better than Tom Brady, and Tom Brady might be the league MVP. What do I mean?


- I mean, the Patriots are averaging--

CRIS CARTER: Because Tom's been good.

- Tom's been unbelievable, but the defense has been so bad the Patriots are averaging 13 yards a catch. Their opponents 13 and 1/2. The Patriots have 79 passing first downs. Their opponents have 80. The Patriots are-- they have got-- they're giving you a rushing, 11 rushing touchdowns, their opponents 12. So as good as the offense has been, the defense has been so bad every team the Patriots play, the Patriots defense makes them the Patriots, if that makes sense. So what do the Patriots do great? The answer right now is not much other than have Tom Brady.