BOSTON (CBS) — This November, we give thanks for most everything that comes with Boston sports, from the diamond and gridiron to the rink and hardwood, because the goal is still a championship and the overall prognosis remains good, and because this golden age of Boston sports marches on like a certain 40-year-old quarterback who shows no real signs of aging.
And we do it, as a testament to Tom Brady, with a slew of numbers, excluding age, that actually mean something.
Points allowed per game by the Patriots over their last six games, a period during which the Patriots are a perfect 6-0 and have reclaimed their place as not only the top team in the AFC East but in the entire AFC and, for the matter, the entire NFL. This comes after a season-opening four-game stretch during which the Patriots allowed 128 points, an average of precisely 32 per game, that ranked among the worst in the NFL. All together now: in Bill we trust.
Field goal percentage over the last two games for Celtics point guard extraordinaire Kyrie Irving, who has made a preposterous 26-of-34 shots from the field while leading the Celtics to their 15th and 16th consecutive wins of the season. Incredibly, Irving has shot an even better .769 from 3-point distance (10-for-13) while averaging 38.5 points per game. Oh, and he has made 15-of-16 free throws, a sterling 93.8 percent. Isaiah who?
Over the last four seasons, average number of games required for Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton to hit a home run. Are the Red Sox going to get him? Maybe yes. Probably not. But for today, let’s celebrate the facts that the Sox even have a chance, because there are far more places in baseball that have zero chance of landing Stanton than places that do. Thanks heavens we don’t live in, say, San Diego. Bleh.
Still the age of Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy, who doesn’t turn 20 until next month. And yet, already, McAvoy leads the Bruins in hits, assists and power-play assists, while ranking second in average time-on-ice to Zdeno Chara, who is more than twice his age. Where are the Bruins headed? Well, we’re not exactly sure yet. But they have the rock on which their future should be built.
Average age of the Jayz, Celtics teammates Jaylen Brown (21) and Jayson Tatum (19), who have been every bit as important to the Celtics as Irving during this eye-popping, early-season run. Combined, the Jayz have shot a blistering .423 from 3-points distance while averaging 30.1 points, 13.5 and 2.2 steals per game. There is still a long, long way to go, but the sun is rising in the East. And with a green hue.
Since his 39th birthday, the quarterback rating posted by Brady – who else? – over 22 regular season games since the start of last season during which the Patriots have gone 19-3. During that span, Brady has completed 68 percent of his passes for exactly 6,700 yards (and average of 304.5 per game) while throwing – get this – 50 touchdown passes and four interceptions. Oh, and during the same time, he essentially forced head coach Bill Belichick to cut ties with Jimmy Garoppolo. Ree-diculous.
In millions of dollars, salary due to Red Sox left-hander David Price during the upcoming 2018 season. Once a seeming candidate for Tommy John surgery, Price is coming off a dominating stretch of games as a reliever at the end of the season that suggested he may be able to pitch in Boston after all. Can he? Time will tell. But with an opt-out at in his contract following next season, he may be positioned for a big, big year.
Career plus-minus for Brandon Carlo, the soon-to-be 22-year-old and less celebrated young Bruins defenseman who plays alongside Chara on the Bruins’ first pairing. Is he flashy? Is he a superstar? No and no. But Carlo was a plus-9 as a rookie last season and a plus-4 this season, and a Bruins defense that once hopeless over the long-term seems headed in the right direction. Now, if they can just get some consistent goal-scoring…
Career victories for Belichick, a number that now places him third on the game’s all-time list behind only Don Shula and George Halas. Will Belichick ultimately end up No. 1? Um … who cares? Seriously. Belichick may or may not be the greatest coach in NFL history, but we can this much with absolute certainty: there has never been anybody better. If you want to include others in the conversation, fine. Just don’t leave him out.
Record of Celtics coach Brad Stevens since the start of the 2015-16 season, a winning percentage of .643 that translates into a 53-29 record over an 82-game schedule. Look, any coach will tell you that any NBA coach is almost entirely a product of the players he has. But that’s not the point. A slew of accomplished college coaches have failed miserably in the NBA over the years – Rick Pitino, John Calipari – and Stevens has made the transition seamlessly. He has no ego. Or at least he doesn’t seem to.