Minnesota's promising season has taken a swan dive over the past month.
"We've got three games left, and at the end of the day, we still have a chance to do what we set out to do," Newman said Tuesday, per the St. Paul Pioneer Press. "Nobody's in a panic mode."
Minnesota has been swarmed with injuries to key players on every level of the defense, with tackle Linval Joseph, linebacker Anthony Barr and safety Harrison Smith all missing last Thursday night's tight loss to Arizona, a game that showed Minnesota could hang with the big boys, even if they couldn't pull out the signature win.
Minnesota remains a strong bet to make the playoffs if they can simply outlast the frisky Bucs (6-7) and wilting Falcons (6-7). They have the look and feel of a team still a year away from doing major damage in the NFC, but reaching the postseason would serve as a massive victory for second-year coach Mike Zimmer.
"I hate to use this, but I think that the way we came out and played last week let us know that, 'Hey, we're able to play with good, quality football teams,'" Newman said. "But we just didn't get it done. So moving forward we know we've got to play with the same emotions and the same attitude, the same chip on our shoulder, and seal the deal."