The New England Patriots’ defense carried veteran quarterback Tom Brady and the team to eight straight wins this season before they faltered in their 37-20 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9. In nine games, Brady has completed 230 of 355 passes for 2,536 yards and 14 touchdowns with five interceptions. Currently, Brady is second among quarterbacks in passing yards and has a quarterback rating of 93.1. Compared to last season, he already had 18 touchdown passes at this point.

New England’s defense, for its part, led the league in points allowed and forced turnovers, holding their opponents to just 7.6 points per game and forcing 25 turnovers in its first eight outings.

The Patriots’ defense also has a league-best 19 interceptions, led by safety Devin McCourty with five. However, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson torched the Patriots defense with 163 passing yards and a score and 61 ground yards and two touchdown runs. In that game, the 42-year-old Brady was far from his usual self as he completed 30 of 46 passes for 285 yards and a touchdown with an interception.

Gannon believes Brady physically, mentally capable

Despite his struggles, two experts believe that Brady can carry the Patriots to another Super Bowl in case the defense falters late in the season. The experts were interviewed by Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald. According to retired quarterback and current CBS NFL analyst Rich Gannon, Brady is physically and mentally capable of doing what he has done in the past.

Gannon explained that the loss of starting center David Andrews to a season-ending injury and the absence of left tackle Isaiah Wynn have contributed to Brady’s struggles this season.

The absence of a reliable center and left tackle also affected the Patriots’ running game, which is currently 23rd in the league with 93.9 yards per outing.

Gannon also pointed out that the changes in the Patriots wide receiver and tight end positions have affected their momentum. “You factor all those things in, it’s amazing to me, the guy is still completing 65 percent of his passes,” Gannon said of Brady.

Billick says Brady can still pull out a win

Gannon also believes that Brady and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels can put it together with the Patriots’ wide receiving corps of Julian Edelman, Mohamed Sanu, Phillip Dorsett, and rookie N’Keal Harry now set.

For former Ravens coach and NFL Network analyst Brian Billick, Brady can still pull out a win for the Patriots if the game’s on the line. Billick explained that it’s not easy for Brady to find a rhythm with other receivers and develop a connection with them, especially with the departure of Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown.

In addition, Billick said the struggles of the Patriots offensive line have affected Brady’s performance. As a veteran, Billick expects Brady to adjust to the situation and help lead the Patriots to victory. The Patriots have a bye in Week 10 and they will face the dangerous Philadelphia Eagles in Week 11. The Patriots have a challenging four-game stretch where they will face the Eagles, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, and the Kansas City Chiefs.