2017 NFL Power Rankings: Preseason Edition

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1. New England Patriots, 9.22 nERD

Well, odds are, you saw this one coming. And for as good as the New England Patriots are, this also has something to do with the fact that just 3 of the top 13 teams, just 2 of the top 10, and just 1 of the top 6 by our rankings are in the AFC.

New England also draws just the 18th-toughest schedule this season. They've paired a top-6 offense with a top-12 defense in each of the past four seasons, and Tom Brady just isn't slowing down. He ranked second in Passing NEP per drop back (0.35) and sixth in Success Rate (51.45%) last year.

He did that with just six games of Rob Gronkowski and now gets to add in Brandin Cooks and Dwayne Allen to the mix. The Pats are also cycling in 2016's most efficient rusher (Mike Gillislee) and the underrated Rex Burkhead. That's scary.

Last year's 11th-ranked defense also added Kony Ealy, David Harris, Stephon Gilmore, Lawrence Guy. It's hard to see how last year's best team by nERD got worse this offseason.