‘‘We’re a very close knit group of guys,’’ Slater said. ‘‘We understand how we’re going to keep jobs in this league and we take a lot of pride in what we’re doing.’’
Especially when the emphasis the Patriots put on special teams leads to big plays and victories.
‘‘You’re not counting on the special team to score every game. It’s just not realistic for that to happen,’’ Slater said. ‘‘But when it does happen, it brings a huge momentum swing to the game. In the case of the last two weeks, it’s been huge for us.’’
And the teams that don’t stress special teams as much?
‘‘Those are usually teams,’’ Martin said, ‘‘that are losing.’’
Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP_NFL