New England Patriots special teamer and longtime captain Matthew Slater thinks the Pats put on an embarrassing display in a blowout loss to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Slater was critical of New England’s approach, saying the Patriots lacked a steely resolve and desire to compete:

“I think there were times last night (against the 49ers) where we let the attitude and effort part slip away from us,” Slater said, via Darren Hartwell of NBC Sports Boston. “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.”

Slater also said the Patriots must work harder to recognize the position they are in and show more reverence to the opportunities they have been afforded in the game:

“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.”

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The Niners dominated the Patriots in every aspect of Sunday’s game.

San Francisco pounded out nearly 200 yards on the ground and mixed in quick hitters in the passing game while totally overwhelming the Pats on the other side of the football. The result was one of the most lopsided home losses in the Bill Belichick era.

Players in New England’s locker room will want to make sure Slater’s words do not fall on deaf ears. Slater is one of the most respected players in the organization, a consummate pro who has been around for years of team success.

The Patriots will do well to heed Slater’s message as they hope to get 2020 back on track.