"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are." ~ Teddy Roosevelt
That's exactly what took place at Gillette Stadium on Sunday. The Patriots did what they could, which was dominate a Miami Dolphins team that was a deceptive 3-0 on the season...to go 43-4 against the AFC East and 15-1 versus the Dolphins - when playing at home. The Patriots did it with what they have...a Hall of Fame quarterback and their now healthy first-round draft pick running back, and the greatest coach to ever walk a sideline who put together an OUTSTANDING game-plan with his coaching staff. And the ...where they were on Sunday? No, not Gillette Stadium or Foxboro, Massachusetts. The biggest "where" was at the bottom of the AFC East looking up at the undefeated Miami Dolphins. The Patriots had their proverbial backs against the "End of the Dynasty" wall and were faced with losing 3 straight games for the first time in the Brady / Belichick era. How did the Patriots respond? With their most lopsided victory since week 16 of the 2016 season they embarrassed the New York Jets 41-3.
After Friday's night's embarrassment, the hope was for a better showing from the Red Sox in the middle game against the Yankees. Unfortunately, it was more of the same. Before I get into the meat of the recap, I want to rant a little bit here. I've gotten into several heated debates (or arguments, in some cases) with other Red Sox fans who argue that these games are so meaningless and "unimportant" that they don't care how the team looks in these final few weeks or how many games they win. They seem to think the team will just flip a switch and be back to their dominant selves the instant the ALDS starts next Friday. They also incessantly point to the record and cry "107 wins!" as if that means something.
Here we are at the final series of the regular season...can you believe it? When I had first seen the schedule back in February and noticed that the season ended with three games at home against the Yankees, all I wanted was for the Red Sox to be more than three games ahead of them by the time it came around. I harped on it for most of the summer when the division race was close, and now here we are with Boston up by nine games having sewn up the division more than a week ago. As such, these games don't mean much in terms of standings and playoff seeding, but there was still a lot for the Sox to play for in my mind. First, they could do some damage to the Yankees chances of playing at home in the gimmick play-in game. Second, they should want to take the season series (the Sox only need one win out of the three games to clinch that). Third and finally, after the way they ended the seasons in 2016 and 2017, the Red Sox need to finish this season strong and on a positive note with some momentum heading into the ALDS next Friday, especially since they'll most likely be seeing these same Yankees again.
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Well, that was a bit unexpected, wasn't it? After pummeling the Orioles into submission in the matinee, it seemed like it would be more of the same in the nightcap, especially with Chris Sale poised to make his final start of the season with no restrictions. Even with a bizarre empty-the-bench lineup put out there by Alex Cora, it didn't seem as though the Red Sox would have any trouble with the pathetic Orioles. Instead, the tables were turned and the O's returned the favor with a blowout of their own. It wasn't exactly what any Red Sox fans were predicting.
The NHL season was exactly a week away Wednesday night as the Boston Bruins hosted the Detroit Red Wings at TD Garden. While fans across the league have been itching to see meaningful hockey games that count on the score sheet, a young Bruins squad couldn’t set their sights too far ahead with the Red Wings on deck and the Philadelphia Flyers coming to town for a weekend meetup.
Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward are back, LeBron's in LA - the Celtics are destined to represent the Eastern Conference in the 2019 NBA Finals, right? Many fans are presuming this to be the case. It's been practically taken for granted that the Celtics will have a shot at dethroning Golden State this year, though the Warriors are still the favorites to win it all and retain their crown. So if anything less than a Finals appearance is an underachievement for the 2018-19 Boston Celtics, what would be a realistic achievement for this team to aim for?
There’s no other way to say it, Patriot Nation - and if you are a subjective fan of NFL football - you know it’s the truth...this current Patriots roster is not playoff material. This is not a typical September stumble for the mighty New England Patriots domination machine. The Patriots suck right now. Plain and simple. We all knew the Patriots’ 17-year reign as King of the NFL was eventually going to come to an end...it’s been debated and predicted for the past 6 years. But the time has come.
Originally scheduled for the day before, this game was postponed due to rain in Boston and ended up being rescheduled as the first game of a day/night doubleheader on Wednesday. In a way, it was a blessing for the Sox since it gave them an extra day off with another off day scheduled for Thursday. True, they'll have to play two games on Wednesday, but sandwiched between two off days doesn't seem too bad. David Price was scheduled to pitch the matinee after getting rained out Tuesday night and most likely enjoyed the extra day of rest. The sun was finally out in Boston and it looked to be a beautiful autumn day for baseball at Fenway Park as I listened on the radio in my office.