Angst seems to be at an all-time high for New England Patriots fans.

The team has suffered so many injuries – Nate Solder, Dion Lewis, Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Rob Gronkowski, Dont’a Hightower, Aaron Dobson, etc. – that they fret over who’s next.

The receiving corps is stripped so thin that they wonder who’s going to catch Tom Brady’s passes.

The penalties are piling up – especially in critical situations – and they’re certain the referees are out to get the Patriots. They know the NFL is plotting against the team’s every move.

I have a little advice.

Take a deep breath … and relax.

As dire as things might look, there are probably 30 other teams in the NFL that would love to switch places with the Patriots. The undefeated Carolina Panthers may be the lone exception.

The Patriots are 10-1. They’re still in pretty good shape.

They will clinch a playoff spot – and possibly another AFC East championship – soon. Maybe as soon as Sunday when they take on Coach Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles at Gillette Stadium at 4:25 p.m.

If the Patriots win and the New York Jets lose or tie Sunday – or if the Patriots tie and the Jets lose – then New England clinches the AFC East for the seventh consecutive year.

If that doesn’t happen, the Patriots can clinch at least a playoff spot depending on what Pittsburgh (vs. Indianapolis) or Kansas City (at Oakland) do.

There are five games remaining in the regular season and they won’t be easy. But honestly, all that matters is getting healthy for January and the playoff run.

Yes, last Sunday’s overtime loss at Denver tightened things up for the Patriots. They now lead Denver (9-2) and Cincinnati (9-2) by just one game in the race for the top seed in the AFC and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.

But Denver and Cincinnati play each other Dec. 28. So at least one of those two will have at least three losses.

The Patriots obviously want a first-round bye. It would give their healthy players a chance to refresh mentally and physically. And it would give their injured players another week to heal. It would be especially helpful for Edelman, who broke a bone in his left foot on Nov. 15.

Chances are we won’t see much of Gronkowski the rest of the regular season. The Patriots, who rarely discuss injuries, took an unusual step last week when they released a statement that detailed Gronkowski’s injury (“bone bruise/sprain of the right knee”) and said he will be “evaluated on a week-to-week basis” with “no timetable for his readiness to return.”

In other words, they’re taking it slow because they need a healthy Gronkowski on the field. He is the NFL’s best tight end, a matchup nightmare able to overpower smaller defensive backs or run away from linebackers trying to cover him.

He may be back later in December, if only to get his timing back. But he needs to be healthy.

Since 2012 the Patriots have played three playoff games without Gronkowski and have won only one. The two losses came in AFC championship games: 2012 (28-13 to Baltimore) and 2013 (26-16 at Denver).

When Gronkowski plays in a playoff game, the Patriots are 6-1, the lone loss in the 2012 Super Bowl XLVI to the Giants, when he was rendered ineffective by an ankle injury suffered in the AFC championship game.

So yeah, it’s important he is 100 percent before he returns. Be patient.

The Patriots traditionally play better this time of year. Since 2001 the Patriots are 52-8 (.857) in December, the only NFL team with a winning percent over .800. Pittsburgh (43-18, .705) is next.

Fans are concerned that Brady is going to be injured because the offensive line has struggled. And the last two games, against Buffalo and Denver, have been brutal, with Brady sacked four times and hit 23 others.

It will improve. Remember that the offensive line was ravaged by injuries early in the year. And the unit that started last week in Denver – left to right, tackle Sebastian Vollmer, guard Shaq Mason, center Bryan Stork, guard Josh Kline and guard Marcus Cannon – was together for the first time this season.

They’re going to get better. It’s possible rookie center David Andrews will get some action, with Stork moving around. But the Patriots will settle on the players who will give them the best chance to succeed. And they will use the rest of the season to regain the communication and cohesion needed for an offensive line to be effective.

The defense will be fine. When Jamie Collins (who has missed the last four games with an undisclosed illness) and Hightower are healthy, this is a difficult defense to run against. Denver showed what can happen last week when both are out. With them back, the defense is whole again.

Slowly, the injured offensive players will return – as well as the attack that was putting up 38 points a game early in the season.

And then the rest of the league will have something to worry about.

Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH