The New England Patriots' lack of talent has been evident over the last two weeks in an 18-12 loss to the lowly Denver Broncos and a 33-6 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers.

But do their issues go beyond personnel?

Patriots special teamer and team co-captain Matthew Slater issued a blunt (by his standards) criticism of his teammates' play on NBC Sports Boston's "Monday Night Patriots," suggesting to co-hosts Phil Perry and Ted Johnson that the team isn't playing hard enough.

Perry's Report Card: Pats' non-competitive effort a total failure vs. 49ers

"I think there were times last night (against the 49ers) where we let the attitude and effort part slip away from us," Slater said. "That's never acceptable. So, we're going to have to make sure that we're on that each and every day and never taking anything for granted."

"We're so blessed to be able to play this game, and we owe it to the game to go out and pay it the respect that it's due and approach this thing the right way.

"I'm confident that we'll be able to do that moving forward. We'll see if that's good enough."

Slater's comments should raise a few eyebrows, as the Patriots rarely have had issues with effort or playing the right way under head coach Bill Belichick.

New England appeared to enter the season with a collective chip on its shoulder following Tom Brady's departure, but Slater seemingly believes players have lost that edge over back-to-back losses that dropped the Patriots to 2-4.


The Patriots have a virtual must-win matchup in Buffalo this weekend against the AFC East-leading Bills, so if effort is lacking in that game, Slater won't be pleased.

Check out his full interview on "Monday Night Patriots" below or on YouTube.