Preseason power rankings: No. 3 New England Patriots

Chuck Mills

The Patriots overachieved in 2013, winning 12 games despite suffering injuries on both sides of the ball.

2013 Record: 12-4

Notable Losses: Tommy Kelly, Brandon Spikes, Dane Fletcher, Aqib Talib, LeGarrette Blount, Danny Aiken, Ryan Mallett (trade), Logan Mankins (trade)

Notable Gains: Brandon LaFell, Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Patrick Chung, Tim Wright (trade)

Draft Class: Dominique Easley, Jimmy Garoppolo ,Bryan Stork, James White, Cameron Fleming, Jon Halapio, Zach Moore, Jemea Thomas (released), Jeremy Gallon (released)

The Facts: The Patriots won 12 games despite having Tom Brady experience lows in touchdowns and QBR rating. Seriously, Thad Lewis, Mike Glennon and Josh McCown all had higher QBRs than him (which tells how useless the QBR is). Danny Amendola did not make Patriots fans forget Wes Welker. Josh Boyce, Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins struggled (as rookie receivers tend to do). Rob Gronkowski tore his ACL against the Browns and Aaron Hernandez was sent to prison. Seriously, Austin Collie was employed by the Patriots at one point.

But the Patriots should have improved weapons this year. Julian Edelman had a career year in 2013, and Thompkins and Dobson should've developed this offseason. Brandon LaFell had a career year in 2013 and has developed quite the relationship with Tom Brady. Tim Wright's athleticism should make for a decent two-tight end set with Rob Gronkowski (who is a top tight end when healthy). They also have a decent platoon at RB with Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen and James White.

Defensively, the Patriots have a very talented front seven. But it's on the back where things get interesting. The Patriots added Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner to a secondary that already had plenty of talent in Kyle Arrington, Alfonzo Dennard, Devin McCourty and Logan Ryan. They may have a secondary that's able to rival Seattle's.

Of course there's only one way to find out about that and that's for them to meet in the Super Bowl. Which, like it or not, isn't too terribly unlikely.

Projected Record: 13-3. Wins against Broncos, Colts, Jets ,Bills (x2), Dolphins (x2), Vikings, Bears, Packers, Bengals, Raiders and Chiefs.

If you disagree with my ranking and assessment remember: Unless it's something crazy,your guess is as good as mine.