FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Six of the seven players who caught passes for the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl just three seasons ago are gone.

So are all three who carried the ball.

And that tough left side of the offensive line? Tackle Matt Light retired. Guard Logan Mankins was traded.

The defense also has only six players from that team. Yet the more the Patriots change, the more they keep winning.

After losing the Super Bowl to the New York Giants 21-17, they made it to the next two AFC finals and have the best record in the AFC this season.

“Until we get another Super Bowl it ain’t done yet,” said Ivan Fears, in his 13th year as running backs coach.

Chances for that slipped when they fell to 2-2 with a 41-14 loss to Kansas City. Since then the Patriots (7-2) have won five straight, outscoring opponents by an average of 40.2-21.6.

The most recent win was the most impressive – a 43-21 rout of Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos. Now they have a bye before facing another division leader, the Indianapolis Colts.

Consistency in the organization’s leadership makes the Patriots contenders every year.

In Robert Kraft’s 20 full seasons as owner, the Patriots have won 13 AFC East titles, six AFC titles and three Super Bowls.

Bill Belichick is in his 15th season as coach and quarterback Tom Brady is in his 13th as a starter, not counting 2008 when he suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener.

“The stability at the top is just awesome,” Fears said. “Once the program was put in, once they decided what we’re going to do and what we want to be and how we want to do it, then there’s a certain work ethic that those guys that come here, especially free agents, they sort of buy into it. And then the rookies, we train them how to do it. We train them how to be what we need them to be.”

Of the 46 active players from the Super Bowl on Feb. 5, 2012, only 18 are still with the Patriots. Current running back Shane Vereen was one of the seven inactive players for that game.

But of the 14 members of the coaching staff, nine remain.

“(Belichick) does a real good job of evaluating where we’re at and obviously where we want to go,” said Scott O’Brien, in his sixth year as special teams coach. “It’s very important to make sure we’re looking for our type of players, the mentality we’re looking for, obviously the physical ability we’re looking for.”

Some changes have worked.

The Patriots let Wes Welker sign with Denver before last season after his 672 catches in six years led the NFL in that span. Wide receiver Julian Edelman took over and has been outstanding.

They also drafted defensive end Chandler Jones and linebacker Dont’a Hightower in the first round in 2012, and linebacker Jamie Collins in the second round in 2013. Then they signed free-agent cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner before this season.

All of them have been key contributors.

Belichick “has always tried to bring in guys who football is important to them, and if it’s not then you’re usually not here very long,” Brady said.

Some moves didn’t work – such as the big-money signing of wide receiver Danny Amendola before last season and the addition of wide receiver Chad Johnson (then Ochocinco) and defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth before the 2011 season.

Amendola has just nine catches this season after being slowed by injuries last season. Johnson caught only 15 passes in 2011 and wasn’t re-signed. Haynesworth was cut after playing six games.

“We train them to do the kind of work they have to do or they don’t last,” Fears said. “It’s as simple as that. You just can’t walk through this thing. It’s kind of demanding around here.

“But you get good players, you get a guy that wants to be a winner, that sees what you’ve been doing and buys into the program, he’s got a shot.”

Even the best players – Brady, linebacker Jerod Mayo – get criticized in team meetings. And success hasn’t kept them from being among the hardest workers.

“New guys come here and they see guys you watch on TV, the so-called stars of the team, the leaders of the team,” safety Devin McCourty said. “They see them putting in the work and I think that just trickles down throughout the team.”

Players who remain accept a system that emphasizes improving every day, taking nothing for granted, and believing in a coach and organization with a legacy of excellence.

Brady picked that up from older Patriots.

“Veteran leadership,” he said, “is making sure we’re all accountable. That’s what Willie McGinest did for me when I was young. That’s what Rodney (Harrison) did. That’s what Tedy Bruschi did, called me aside and (said), ‘Look, this is what we’re looking for,’ and I think that’s how you can, hopefully, build and sustain. It’s led to a lot of wins.”