Skipper Alex Wakely admits every game is now must-win for Northants after they lost at Lancashire Lightning.
The Steelbacks suffered a 45-run defeat on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method as the rain brought an early end to Wednesday's Royal London One-Day Cup clash at Emirates Old Trafford.
Northants, who lost the toss, were bowled out for 269, with Jason Holder having made 72, Rob Keogh hitting 66 and Ricardo Vasconcelos making 50.
Saqib Mahmood took six wickets for Lancashire, who then cruised along in their reply, getting well ahead of the game on 164 for two from 28.4 overs before the rain came.
Holder was unable to bowl for the Steelbacks due to injury.
"They bowled very well up front," Wakely said. "Saqib bowled as good an opening spell as I've faced for a long time. He didn't give us anything and bowled straight with pace.
"We lost early wickets and were always trying to claw it back from there.
"We actually got a decent score on that wicket, but we lost a bowler in the process. Jason (Holder) has hurt himself. I don't know much about it, but he's sore around the back of his (left) leg.
"It was a bit of a precaution, and he didn't want to risk it. He's the West Indies captain, so we didn't want to push him too much on it.
"Him and Rob Keogh played nicely to get us back into it, but then we came out and didn't hit our straps with the ball. We bowled with width and got cut and pulled."
The Steelbacks have lost three of their opening four North Group games in the One-Day Cup.
And Wakely said: "We have to win every game now.
"It's a shame because we played brilliant cricket in our last game against Warwickshire.
"It's been a theme for us in the last two years. We've been so inconsistent."
Lancashire bowler Mahmood returned a career-best six for 37.
And he said: "That was a great day. It's probably not the way we wanted it to finish with the rain, but a win's a win.
"We wanted to bowl first knowing the rain's around and we could control the rate in the second innings, and I thought we did that.
"As a team, we played the game we wanted to play.
"I'm happy. The last couple of years I've just missed out with Lancs through injury, so I'm just trying to make up for the lost time.
"It's coming out well for me. If anything, I tried to not try too hard today. Maybe because I was a bit more relaxed, they came out that bit quicker for me.
"In the past couple of games, I tried too hard."