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Tom Brady on Patriots' troubles: 'No magic scheme'

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These are strange days for the New England Patriots.

Coming off one of the team's ugliest losses in the Bill Belichick era, quarterback Tom Brady acknowledged that his struggling offense won't find an easy fix in time for Sunday night's showdown with a Bengals team allowing a league-low 11 points per game.

"There's no magic scheme," Brady told WEEI-FM on Wednesday morning. "It's up to the players to play a lot better than we're playing. This hasn't been an isolated incident. I don't think offensively we've played well all year. I don't think we've played well for a long time. We've gotta figure out the reason why we're not playing as well as we're capable and try to improve them."

Brady was off-kilter from wire to wire against a Chiefs defense that stymied the air attack and drummed up two picks off the star passer. Miscommunication with wideout Julian Edelman led to the first interception; the second -- a pick-six to Husain Abdullah -- was a head-scratcher that saw Brady completely misread the field.

Stuck behind a struggling offensive line, Brady isn't throwing with anticipation, a problem compounded by a receiving corps absent of difference-makers. Whether or not Brady looks "scared to death" in the pocket, as former teammate Rodney Harrison claimed Tuesday, it's no secret that he's facing new frontiers of duress.

Just three quarterbacks have averaged a lower time to throw this season than Brady's 2.3 seconds, per Pro Football Focus. The site points out that when Brady holds the ball for more than 2.5 seconds, he's completing an NFL-worst 40.5 percent of his passes.

Brady hasn't played well, by his own admission and our own eyes, but decision-makers league-wide see larger issues at play with New England's offense:

Monday night's breakdown was enough to lead Belichick to rest Brady early in favor of rookie Jimmy Garoppolo, a switch that doesn't deserve too much attention -- and one the three-time Super Bowl winner didn't feel like talking about.

"I just do what I'm told. I'm not over-analyzing anything," Brady said. "We were getting our butts kicked. It was a situation where we didn't have a good game. That's what (Belichick) wanted to do and that's what we did."

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