No offense to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but when any part of the Patriots is statistically comparable to the only 0-8 team, it’s probably a problem area.

So it is for the Patriots, who have reached the midpoint of the 16-game schedule with a 6-2 record, good for a two-game lead in the AFC East. They’ve won with a patchwork defense missing two injured captains, and with an inconsistent offense that’s also been impacted by injury, still waiting for their full arsenal of skill players to be available for the same game.

Injuries, more often than not, you can’t control. But the performance on the field is entirely under the team’s control, and in one key category, especially lately, the Patriots have struggled mightily. It’s factored into both of their defeats, and figures to be a hot-button story line the remainder of the season, starting with Sunday’s game against the Steelers.

Converting on third down. When it comes to the Patriots’ offense extending drives by turning a third-down play into a first down, the success rate this season has been surprisingly poor. Historically poor. Jaguars poor, which borders on embarrassingly poor.

How bad? The Patriots are 37 for 115 on third-down conversions, which is 32.2 percent. The only team in the AFC with a lower success rate is Jacksonville, at 29.5 percent. Among the 32 teams in the NFL, the Patriots rank 29th.

“It hasn’t been a strength for us, especially in the games we’ve lost,” quarterback Tom Brady said Wednesday. “It’s almost like we’re a good Canadian football team. But at the NFL, we’re just not doing anything on third down to stay on the field. That has to be something that over the next eight games, we have to do a lot better job of. We’re working at it, I’ll say that. It’s definitely a point of emphasis.”

It should be, based on New England’s recent showings on third down. In their past four games — road contests with the Bengals and Jets, home tilts with the Saints and Dolphins — the Patriots have gone a combined 9 for 49 on third-down plays, or 18.3 percent. They were 1 for 12 in losses to the Bengals and Jets, and are coming off a 2-for-10 effort last Sunday in a win over the Dolphins. In the last-minute victory over the Saints Oct. 13, the Patriots were 5 for 15.