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Mayo, defense search for answers

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Linebacker Jerod Mayo was perplexed at the Patriots’ defensive performance in Sunday’s 22-21 loss to the Dolphins, in search of answers for how second-year quarterback Chad Henne could set career highs for completions (29) and passing yards (335).

“We’re struggling right now, the defense as a whole,” he said. “We can’t blame it on one person or one unit, one part of the defense. It’s all of us. We all have to get back to the [drawing] board and fix it.”

Mayo admitted that he wouldn’t know where to start.

“We’re just not playing like we can,” he said. “If you look at our guys on paper, you’d think we’d be a top defense.”

Against the Dolphins, Mayo said the goal of the defense was to stop the run and make them one-dimensional. They accomplished that feat, limiting the NFL’s third-rated rushing offense to 88 yards on 27 carries (3.3 avg.).

Yet the pass defense was easily sliced through, with a big part of its struggles a lack of pass rush.

“We just have to be more consistent on rushing,” said veteran defensive end Derrick Burgess, who was acquired to do just that but hasn’t delivered. “Right now, we have different things going on and we have to work better as a unit.”