Even after back-to-back losses that have landed them in a three-way tie atop the AFC East, Wilfork had a message to deliver to the Boston media on Thursday.
"I think we have a good team here, I really do," Wilfork said. "We just have to work a little harder, especially now. You're in the middle of the season, you have 10, 11 teams in the AFC (with similar records). Nothing is decided now. We definitely know we have to play better in November and December to set ourselves up where we want to be."
Indeed, what happens after Thanksgiving goes a long way toward determining what happens in the NFL postseason. But the critics might not share Wilfork's steadfastness, given the Achilles' heel of the Patriots -- the defense -- ranks last in the NFL in passing and total defense.
Wilfork was asked how difficult it is not to let the doubt creep in, and his long-winded answer to where the Patriots are as a team lasted two full minutes.
"What we have in this locker room is what we have," Wilfork said. "This is what we're going to ride with, we're going to die with. We have something good in that locker room. We all know that.
"It's not always going to be perfect, but when it's not perfect, what are you going to do? Will you be mentally tough and handle your situation? Or will you just fold and just give in to the critics and give in to everyone who says we can't do it?
"I have faith in this team. I really do. I really believe that all of us are going to come to work, and we're going to grind, we're going to grind for one another."
The knee-jerk reaction to two mid-season losses is that the Patriots' dynasty is over. Perhaps that's true. But a strong second half, as it would for any team, easily erases bad early-season memories.