The leaves are turning across New England, which means the weather is cooling but the sports scene is heating up.
Despite one major disappointment – which is the World Champion Boston Red Sox not making the playoffs for the first time since 2015 – this fall also marks the first time since 2015 that the New England Revolution have qualified for the playoffs. For this year, at least, the fans of the local nine can turn their attention south and root for a different type of Foxboro football. Go Revs!!!! Meanwhile, the rest of the fall sports campaign looks to be as spectacular as the autumnal colors across the region.
The Patriots, of course, are cruising along.
The Super Bowl Champs have jumped out to a 4-0 start but they are about to be challenged by a string of young gunslingers heading to Gillette this fall and eager to top Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. The first is rookie Daniel Jones, who is 2-0 in his first two games with the New York Giants and could be 3-0 by the time the Giants come to New England on October 10. The Patriots' next home game after that will feature second-year QB Baker Mayfield and the upstart Cleveland Browns trying to assert themselves in the AFC. If the Pats are still undefeated after the Browns game then things will certainly get interesting as Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys visit Gillette November 24, followed 2 weeks later by Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. We won’t get ahead of ourselves, but just imagine if the Pats and Chiefs are both 13-0 when that showdown occurs on December 8?
Photo courtesy of TD Garden
The Boston Bruins are back.
The Boston Bruins, last seen suffering through the most excruciating of losses, get back to work this week with a four-game swing through Dallas, Arizona, Vegas, and Colorado. They return to the Hub for the home opener on October 12 vs New Jersey. The Bruins still have their veteran core intact – Patrice Bergeron, Zdeno Chara, Brad Marchand, David Krejci, Tuukka Rask, and Torey Krug – but they will need further development from young players like Charlie McAvoy, Brandon Carlo, David Pastrnak and Jake DeBrusk if they plan on playing for the Cup again this year. They got so close last year. They should have at least one more run in them with this combination of seasoned veterans and exciting young players.
Photo courtesy of TD Garden
The Celtics, meanwhile, will have a completely different look in 2019-2020.
With Kyrie Irving gone, and the venerable Al Horford leaving for Philly, the Celts will need their young players to step up big-time. Will the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown be ready for primetime? Will newcomer Kemba Walker shine in Boston, where the pressure to win is greater, and both scrutiny and adulation more intense? Will Gordon Hayward get back to the player he was in Utah? The Celtics have the parts to potentially contend in the Eastern Conference this year, but they also have a ton of unknowns. If nothing else, this should make for an exciting year to watch the young Celtics. They kick off the season against Al Horford and the 76ers in Philly on October 23 before returning to the Garden to face the NBA Champs Toronto Raptors on October 25.
Those are four teams, all with different expectations and ceilings, but all of them need to compete fiercely this fall if they are going to realize their ultimate potential. Can the Revs make some noise? Can the Celtics surprise people? Can the Patriots and Bruins get back to the championship round of their respective leagues?
It’s Boston in the fall, and against the backdrop of shifting seasons and iconic annual events such as the Head of the Charles Regatta, it’s time to get back to what we do best in Titletown, USA – winning!
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