The New England Patriots have suffered a couple setbacks over the last two weeks, losing back-to-back games and falling several places in the standings, but one of their leaders is confident the team will rebound.
The Patriots remain a safe bet to reach the playoffs, but two consecutive lackluster performances have cast some doubt over whether this team is a legit contender in the AFC.
Patriots special teams ace Matthew Slater isn't worried about his team's outlook.
“We have some choices here. One of the choices is to let this just spiral out of control. And the other choice is (put) our feet in the ground and make a stand and fight," Slater told reporters Monday.
"I believe in the character of the men in this locker room. I believe we will fight.”
The Patriots have two more games left in the regular season -- a Week 17 matchup versus the Jacksonville Jaguars at home and a Week 18 game against the Miami Dolphins on the road.
New England controls its own destiny in the playoff race. If the teams wins out, it will secure at least a wild card playoff berth. There's also a small chance the Patriots can still win the division, but they need the Bills to lose at least one more game.
The Patriots have flaws to address and plenty of adjustments to make over the next two weeks, but they are still one of the best teams in the AFC and would be a tough opponent in the Wild Card Round.