You can't pick up a newspaper, surf the Internet, turn on the television, or listen to the radio without hearing it.
"The Patriots are in trouble!" "They can't play defense!" "They're flawed!" etc., etc.
Just how bad is it? CSNNE.com Patriots Insider Tom E. Curran started his weekly 'Quick Slants' segment with Jerod Mayo by declaring that the Patriots were "making their run at Andrew Luck and the first overall pick."
Curran was joking, of course, but the point is that people around New England are panicking after the last two games.
Guess who doesn't care?
"I don't pay attention to you, man," Mayo told Curran after the Luck jab. "I don't pay attention to anybody out there except the people in that locker room and my coaches."
That's good, because "out there" isn't the happiest place right now. Gone are the days, at least right now, where Patriots fans go into a game confident they'll cruise to a win. But Mayo says that the only confidence they need is that of the people within the confines of their locker room.
"We have confidence in our teammates, we have confidence in our coaches," Mayo said. "Coach Bill Belichick has won a lot of games, so we have confidence in him especially."
That said, Mayo knows the defense has to get better. Last week was an improvement from the Pittsburgh game, but it was that last Giants drive that will stand out in everyone's minds.
"We're trying to get better each and every week," Mayo said. "We still have a young team but at this point in the season, we're halfway through the season, we have to get better. Hopefully we can continue to build on that success from last week and hopefully finish the game."
That doesn't mean pressing and trying to do too much, though.
"At the end of the day . . . you have to do your job," Mayo said. "Anytime you go out there and try to freelance and things like that you give up more plays than you make. So Coach Belichick has always preached to do your job."
As for the naysayers and doubters, Mayo and the rest of the Patriots aren't listening. You're either with them, or without them.
"It doesn't matter who has confidence in us as long as the guys in that locker room have confidence in each other," Mayo said. That's the mindset we have and if you don't pick us we don't care."