FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) The New England Patriots will practice with a sense of urgency this week, but that's not because the team has lost back-to-back games.
It's simply the way they're programmed.
''We've always been on alert and we're going to continue to work hard,'' Patriots running back James White said Monday. ''That's all we can do is take it one week at a time, just try to continue to be a better football team.''
New England (10-2) was dealt its second straight loss Sunday in a surprising 35-28 setback to the Philadelphia Eagles. A week ago, the Broncos handed the Patriots their first loss of the year in a 30-24 overtime thriller in snowy Denver.
It marks the first time since the 2012 season that New England has lost consecutive games.
''It's very rare that we go out there and perform like that, but that's the nature of the NFL,'' wide receiver and special teams player Matthew Slater said. ''If you're not ready to go and on top of your game every time you take the field, the other teams and coaches in this league are very good and they can make you pay for it.''
Slater was especially complimentary of the next opposing coach the Patriots will face, Bill O'Brien of the Houston Texans. O'Brien spent five seasons as an assistant in New England.
''Obviously, Coach O'Brien knows this team very well, so a lot of familiarity there,'' Slater said.
New England hasn't lost three straight since 2002, when it stumbled through a four-game skid.
''We're thankful we have another opportunity to take the field on Sunday,'' Slater added. ''It's going to be a good game.''