What happened to the Patriots and Red Sox?!?

(Photo Source: Pats Pulpit)

(Photo Source: Pats Pulpit)

Ben Drescher, Writer

Things were looking so bright for the Patriots and Red Sox during the two year span from 2021-2022. The Red Sox made the ALCS and were so close to a World Series appearance, and the Patriots clinched a wild card berth at 10-7. Both of these teams were riding with a youthful underdog spirit that contained many promising players that, at the time, we thought were going to keep on playing for the team in the future. 

Now, these two teams seem like an utter disaster. The Patriots are a disappointing 7-8 with a lackluster offense, and the Red Sox let fan favorites Xander Bogaerts and J.D Martinez walk in free agency. 

The essential question being, what occurred in order for this to happen? How did two promising teams crush the hopes of fans in only half a year?

Well, on the Patriots’ side of things, losing offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels was a huge hit. With him coaching the offense last year, the Patriots went 10-7 and they ranked 15th total in offensive yards. 

This year, they were 9-8 and near the bottom of the NFL in the offensive regard. Second year quarterback Mac Jones clearly had frustrations this year with Matt Patricia, the former Patriots defensive coordinator who is now running the offense. Head coach Bill Belichick just didn’t adequately handle the offensive coaching and playing sides of things this year. Perhaps if he had hired an experienced offensive coordinator and not Patricia, the offense would’ve played up to par this year.

It also does not help that the offensive line took a hit, with Jones being given barely enough time to throw on many occasions. Along with that, wide receiver Kendrick Bourne, the Patriots’ best playmaker, strangely did not get used as much as he could this season. 

There have also been so many games this year for the Patriots that they could’ve won, but their tendency to botch it somehow late in games has led them to where they are. All of these things have added up to a lackluster season for the Patriots, where they missed the playoffs.

Now for the Red Sox, whose future looked so hopeful about this time last year. They had just almost made it to the World Series, and most players would return the following season. In 2022, things started to look promising for the Red Sox as they went on a tear in June to the tune of a 42-31 record. Then, many injuries to key spots in the pitching rotation derailed the Red Sox for the rest of the year. 

Chris Sale, who is usually the Red Sox best pitcher when healthy, only made two starts this year, and it appears as though he will never catch a break with injuries. Who knows if he can ever return to his ace status in the future. The most reliable pitcher after Sale would be Nathan Eovaldi, who left the Sox and signed with the Rangers. Eovaldi missed many games this year, which definitely hampered the pitching staff. 

At one point in the season, the Red Sox rotation consisted of five minor leaguers—that is not what you are looking for. Also, the offense lost two huge bats in outfielder Hunter Renfroe and designated hitter Kyle Schwarber after the season ended, who both hit 30+ home runs in 2022. It seems to be a theme lately for the Red Sox: losing valuable players that fans loved and cherished. 

At least after the talented Mookie Betts was traded, the Red Sox still had the chance to build around two great and young players, in shortstop Xander Bogaerts and powerful hitting third basemen Rafael Devers. Now, Bogaerts has been let go, and Eovaldi and J.D Martinez are gone too.

Everybody seems to be leaving this team, and the roster next year will look so completely different. The apparent mass-exodus of important and loved Red Sox players will inevitably leave a mark on the team and city. Things in Boston just won’t be the same going forward.

Is there hope for the future?

I believe there is still hope for the Patriots, since their team is relatively young, and the defense will probably still be good next year. It would be ideal if Mac Jones can be given both proper protection from the offensive line and an experienced offensive coordinator. The receiving core should still be in a solid state next year for the Patriots; making sure Mac Jones is given everything he needs to comfortably throw to them is key. 

The Red Sox offense still should be solid next year.  With the likes of power hitting rookie Triston Casas, shortstop Trevor Story, and the talented Devers, hitting won’t likely be a problem. Also, the outfield bats are pretty solid too–with new acquisition Masataka Yoshida hopefully boosting the offense. Alex Verdugo and Enrique Hernandez are also both decent hitters who are great defensively. The pitching rotation will probably consist of Sale, Corey Kluber, Nick Pivetta, Garrett Whitlock, and rookie Brayan Bello.

Along with that, Devers just got extended, and a collective sigh of relief was had among Red Sox fans when that news came out.

Taken at face value, the rotation is solid too. I believe there is some hope for the Red Sox in the future. Nobody expected them to play well in 2021, but they were a step away from the World Series. You never really know with baseball. 

With all the rings and world championships that the Red Sox and Patriots have gotten over the last two decades, it would be easy to be disappointed with where they are right now. However, the faith in this sports town must be kept. There is always optimism for the future with sports, because you never truly know what’s going to happen.