FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady has a simple message for anyone who thinks the New England Patriots are falling off their pedestal:

“This is not the time to fold up the tents and call it a season. We’re 2-2.”

But Brady knows in the NFL you’re only as good as your last game. And in this case the Patriots’ last game was one of the worst they’ve played since he took over as starting quarterback in 2001.

They were overwhelmed 41-14 by the Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night, a game that didn’t even seem that close.

And that’s why a certain sense of urgency pervaded the locker room Wednesday as the Patriots prepare to play the Cincinnati Bengals, who are 3-0.

While Coach Bill Belichick spent much of his press conference evading questions about the Patriots’ offensive issues – he answered five consecutive questions about Brady and his cast with some form of, “We’re on to Cincinnati.” – Brady and others addressed the need to quickly rebound from that loss.

Asked how high the sense of urgency was with the team, left tackle Nate Solder said, “Extremely high. As high as it can get.”

And special teams captain Matthew Slater, speaking to a large scrum of microphones, noted, “There is a sense of urgency and there needs to be. We’re in a fight and it’s going to be a fight the rest of the season, as it is every year. We can’t just assume that we’re going to be the Patriots, show up and have success. It doesn’t work that way.

“Every one of us needs to heighten our sense of urgency; every one of us needs to heighten our attention to detail in order for us to have the results we want to have.”

New England has been 2-2 in the past, most recently in 2012 when it advanced to the AFC championship game.

But there is more alarm this year because of how the Patriots have struggled.

Defensively, they cannot stop the run. The Chiefs ran over and around New England in Monday night’s game; the Miami Dolphins did the same in a season-opening win over the Patriots. The defense may get some help this week because cornerback Brandon Browner is eligible to return following his four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. He is regarded as one of the more physical defensive backs in the game and should provide an edge that has been missing.

Offensively, the Patriots cannot put anything together. They have started every game with a three-and-out punt. Brady is missing open receivers. Play-calling is a mystery. The offensive line continues to struggle as players are moved in and out of the lineup.

Brady, who lost two fumbles Monday night and threw two interceptions, knows he has to play better. But the same needs to be said of everyone in the lineup.

“Well, it’s not an individual sport, it’s a team sport,” he said when asked what he could improve on. “This isn’t like hitting home runs or playing golf and not making par. We’re all trying to do a better job. I think that the important thing is to understand the problems that we’re having and you try to fix them … I’ve been a part of a lot of teams that have found a way to grind through tough times and not really ride the emotions of one week or one loss or one win.

“It’s a long season and we obviously didn’t play very well the other night, but we’re looking forward to getting out there again and trying to play better this week.”

And historically that’s just what the Patriots do after getting blown out. Since Belichick became the coach in 2000, the Patriots have lost nine games by 20 or more points.

They won eight of the games that followed those losses.

The only loss came in 2009, when New England went to Miami and lost 22-21 after a 38-17 loss in New Orleans the previous Monday.

Safety Devin McCourty said the Patriots were, to quote their coach, on to Cincinnati as soon as they returned from Kansas City. And that’s the way it’s always been since he arrived here in 2010.

“I remember my rookie year we had a bad loss at Cleveland (34-14) and the next week it was all about going out and getting a win,” he said.

“Here we don’t like losing, whether we lose by a couple of touchdowns or three points. It’s all about that next week, going and getting that taste out of your mouth and getting a win.”

While faces may have changed in the locker room, that attitude hasn’t.

“I know that sounds really simple but that’s what football is,” said McCourty. “You lose one week and you go out and get a win. You win one week and you come back and say let’s win again. That’s all you can do.”

There are many in the media, local and national, who question whether the Patriots have the talent to do that, especially against a team as good as Cincinnati. Belichick spoke glowingly of the Bengals, saying, “It’s been a while since I’ve seen a team that’s as complete as they are.”

Slater, the one Patriot who has performed to his capabilities this season, said it’s time to find out what this team is made of.

“I expect us to be competitive, be resilient and to bounce back,” he said. “I’m excited and curious to see how we’re going to respond. I really believe in the guys in this locker room. I believe we have what it takes.

“But all that is noise if you don’t go out and execute. So all of us to a man need to challenge ourselves to do our job a little bit better and hopefully we’ll have the result we want.”