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Matthew Slater not sugarcoating Patriots' loss to Ravens

Matthew Slater has a lot of faith in "Axel" Brian Hoyer
Matthew Slater has a lot of faith in "Axel" Brian Hoyer 01:13

BOSTON -- Now in his 15th NFL season and his 12th as a captain of the Patriots, Matthew Slater has been through it all. He was drafted by a team that had just gone 16-0 before losing the Super Bowl, and his rookie season was spent watching Matt Cassel lead the offense. He's lived the lows of 2009 and 2020, and he's experienced the highs of 2014, 2016, and 2018.

With this season being just three weeks old, the 37-year-old can't speak definitively on where it's ultimately headed. But for now, coming off a 37-26 loss at home to the Ravens, Slater isn't sugarcoating things after the team dropped to 1-2.

"Disappointed. Obviously, we don't like the way that we represented ourselves [Sunday]," Slater said. "I think that goes without saying. I think we didn't play enough winning football [Sunday]. There was some, and that's why we were in the game late. But it was certainly disappointing to go out and play the way that we did, especially down the stretch."

While occasionally, film study on a Monday can make a team feel a bit better about the way it played during a loss, Slater said he felt the opposite effect this week.

"I probably feel worse after having just watched it a couple hours ago," Slater said. "I mean, we just did so many things to not give ourselves a chance to finish the game the right way, and so many non-winning football plays from everyone. So it's very disappointing. And if you're a competitor, that's something that really sticks with you, so let's hope we can use that as motivation for the week and try to avoid a repeat of that in Green Bay."

Ever the optimist, though, Slater shared his positive outlook for the Patriots' ability to forge a winning identity as the season goes along.

"I don't want to speak too much to it, but I do like the fact that this group is very together. I mean, you know, it's in early season, but I feel like we've been through a lot. And there's a strong sense of togetherness with this group. And I think that that's important for any football team that aspires to have success," Slater said. "You have to have some togetherness. So I feel really good about that. I think we play with a great deal of toughness, and we're doing things well. But for us, it's about consistency. And if we can't figure out how to be consistent, and play winning football on a consistent basis, all that other stuff is not gonna matter. So you know, that's what we're striving for. And hopefully that becomes a large part of who we are."

The simplest factor at play for the Patriots and their lack of winning plays would seemingly be turnovers. The Patriots have turned the ball over eight times already, the second-most in the NFL, behind only the Saints and their nine turnovers. Mac Jones has thrown five interceptions, and he's also lost a fumble, while Nelson Agholor has lost two fumbles -- both of them coming in the fourth quarter of losses.

Now with Jones likely off the field for some time, the Patriots' offense will really have to eliminate most or all of their mistakes in order to win games. If Jones does indeed miss time and the Patriots continue to give games away ... Slater didn't mince words when assessing what's at stake in the coming weeks.

"I do believe that we'll respond the right way," Slater said. "I mean, look, we're very early on in our season here, and if we don't handle it the right way, this thing can spiral away from us."

If Slater's message is any indication, it would be safe to expect -- at the very least -- an increased sense of urgency out of the Patriots come Sunday afternoon in Green Bay.

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