New England Patriots

From the outside looking in, it seems like the 2018 Patriots experienced a slightly bumpier regular season than normal, at least by their lofty standards.

Team captain Matthew Slater seemed to acknowledge some of the troubles the Pats encountered while talking at Super Bowl Opening Night.

In an interview with Zolak & Bertrand, Slater said the adversity the Patriots dealt with during the regular season galvanized the team and helped them reach their third straight Super Bowl.

“I think in years past things have been so smooth for us. We haven’t had to deal with much adversity, but this year we had to deal with a great deal of adversity,” Slater said. “Looking back on it, I think it was a good thing for our football team, because it really developed our character and I think our character is the reason we’re here today.”

Wide receiver Chris Hogan seemed to echo some of those sentiments, reflecting on how difficult the December losses to the Steelers and Dolphins were.

“The sense of urgency definitely went up a notch,” Hogan said of the Miami and Pittsburgh losses. “Those were two big games that we thought we could’ve definitely won.”

Hogan had some difficult moments this year personally when he seemed to fall out of favor when it came to targets from Tom Brady. But he came up big in the AFC Championship Game, hauling in five catches for 45 yards.

“I didn’t make my way in this league by asking for the football. I grinded my way throughout early on in my career and at the end of the day I’m all about winning and when we’re winning football games everything’s good. I’m willing to do whatever I can for this team.:

You can listen to the full interview with Slater, Hogan, and Phillip Dorsett below: