We’re on to 2017. Time to ring in the new with our annual list of resolutions for Boston’s major pro sports teams.

n Year after year, the Patriots keep on rolling. They enter the playoffs favored to win another Super Bowl. Tom Brady sat out the first four games of the season with a dubious suspension and is once again in the MVP conversation. Bill Belichick trades away Jamie Collins, and the defense improves in the games ahead. He claims troubled receiver Michael Floyd, and Floyd makes a major impact in the win over the Dolphins that clinched the AFC’s top spot.

The Patriots must resolve to keep a steady course in the year ahead. The challenges won’t be in the AFC playoffs, or even Super Bowl LI in Houston. If New England doesn’t beat itself it should take care of business on the field. The real issues will be keeping the team’s football operations staff intact. The regular season had barely ended before reports surfaced that director of player personnel Nick Caserio, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia were on the short list to fill vacancies around the league.

In Belichick we trust. There’s no doubt the Pats could survive losing some of the staff around him. Losing most or all of it could make 2017 a year of transition in Foxborough – something we haven’t said in a long time.

n The Red Sox returned to the postseason for just the second time in seven years and finished 2016 by adding one of the game’s top pitchers. Chris Sale should make this one of the best rotations in the game. Mookie Betts has emerged as one of the game’s top players, and is surrounded by a core of young talent that should make this team a contender for the next few years.

The Sox must resolve to find a way to replace David Ortiz. Big Papi is a rare larger-than-life presence, the sole remaining member of the 2004 team that ended an 86-year championship drought. Mitch Moreland was added as a left-handed bat, but he’s no Ortiz. The Sox will try to replace Ortiz’s offense by committee, and will need young players like Betts and Xander Bogaerts to join Dustin Pedroia as leaders.

n The Bruins begin 2017 in playoff contention after missing the playoffs in two straight years. A return to the postseason is vital for this team to continue showing its growth. Tuukka Rask is still one of the best and most valuable goaltenders in the game, while Patrice Bergeron and Brad Marchand are an unlikely couple that gives Boston a legitimate top line.

The Bruins must resolve to show patience with their young players. Bruins fans aren’t as patient as their Celtics brethren, but David Pastrnak (20) has emerged as one of the league’s best goal scorers and Brandon Carlo, just six months younger, is emerging into a legitimate Top 4 NHL defenseman. Frank Vatrano returned from injury and resumed his role as a threat to score. The Bruins managed to rebuild their roster. Now, they’ll have to live with the inconsistencies that come with youth.

n The Celtics begin the new year with the second-best record in the NBA’s Atlantic Division. Of course, the playoffs are months away and the Celtics have to ride the ups and downs that come with a young roster.

The Celtics must resolve to keep faith in Danny Ainge’s rebuilding plans. Isaiah Thomas is becoming a legitimate star after his 52-point performance against the Heat. The team still holds a plethora of potentially high draft picks. They might not be where you want them to be just yet, but they are on their way. Ainge can’t panic and break things up unless a truly outstanding opportunity presents itself via trade.

All in all, 2017 is a pretty good time to be a Boston sports fan. Two teams are favored to play for championship while two others are rebuilding and should make the playoffs this year. Here’s hoping you resolve to enjoy the ride.

Tom Caron is a studio host for the Red Sox broadcast on NESN. His column appears in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesdays.


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