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Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Patriots 6th in Power Rankings

By Field Yates

The NFL regular-season opener is just two days away, and now that rosters have been trimmed to 53 players, ESPN.com's staff of seven voters has pulled together its final preseason Power Rankings.

The Patriots checked in near the top of list, settling in at sixth, behind just one other AFC team, the Broncos (fourth).

Writes the panel about the Patriots: "With Gronk's injury and Wes Welker gone, the Pats' offense rests on Tom Brady's chemistry with undrafted rookies Zach Sudfeld and Kenbrell Thompkins."

The duo of undrafted rookies emerged throughout the offseason, with Thompkins looking primed to play a top-three receiver role. Sudfeld, meanwhile, should see extensive playing time, particularly as Rob Gronkowski continues his rehabilitation.

As far as AFC East counterparts go, the Patriots are way out in front. The Dolphins sit 20th, while the Bills are 30th and the Jets pull up the rear at 32nd.

To see the full set of Power Rankings and read what the voters had to say about each team, CLICK HERE.