New York Jets outside linebacker Quinton Coples (98) knocks the ball away from New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in East Rutherford, N.J. Patriots player at center is unidentified. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (The Associated Press)
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) talks to teammate Tom Brady (12) before an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013 in East Rutherford. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) (The Associated Press)
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) runs with the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Oct. 20, 2013, in East Rutherford. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) (The Associated Press)
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – Tom Brady is hardly accustomed to this.
The New England quarterback is leading a 5-2 team into a pivotal matchup Sunday against the Miami Dolphins (3-3), but the Patriots' record hardly reflects their offensive struggles.
While Brady is working with a relatively new and youthful cast of receivers, and his favorite target made his season debut just last week, New England's offense clearly isn't as feared or fluent as it once was.
Third downs are becoming a significant hurdle. Third-quarter play is declining. Red zone efficiency ranks near the bottom of the league.