FOXBOROUGH — With an injury taking out Tom Brady’s main target, Danny Amendola, Thursday night against the Jets, the Patriots needed to rely on rookies Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson, as well as Julian Edelman, to keep the team’s high-powered offense moving efficiently.
But, alas, true chemistry requires more than two weeks of football.
Brady once again found himself frustrated with his receivers, missing the mark on passes to Thompkins, Dobson, and even Edelman on numerous occasions. He finished 19 of 39 for 185 yards and a touchdown, as the Patriots edged the Jets, 13-10, in an ugly display.
Brady had a 71.0 passer rating and completed only 49 percent of his passes as the Patriots totaled 232 yards.
In a sign of offensive futility, the Patriots went three-and-out on six occasions. Ryan Allen had a franchise-record 11 punts for 514 yards.
But where the Patriots’ offense suffered most was on third down. After one half, they were 1 for 9 on third down, with slight improvement with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, finishing 4 for 18.
With 3:05 remaining, connected with Edelman for a 9-yard completion on third down, milking the clock with the extra set of downs to put the game out of reach for the Jets’ own troubled offense.
Edelman, who was targeted 18 times, caught a career-high 13 passes for 78 yards. Dobson, who was targeted 10 times, caught only three passes for 56 yards. And Thompkins, targeted seven times, caught two passes for 47 yards.