Rider Prophet here, coming at you fresh off a road win in Toronto.
The Riders beat the Argonauts 24-13 to extend their winning streak to 3 games. More importantly, the win, coupled with a BC loss, moves us into a tie for first place. That's gotta be tough for Rider fans to say. Given our history, saying "Riders" and "first place" in the same sentence is more awkward than having sex with a rhinoceros who doesn't love you anymore. I have to admit though, I'm really enjoying it... saying Riders in first place that is.
The victory wasn't the blowout many were predicting but let's not forget that Toronto has the 2nd best defense in the league. For the record though, the only reason that Toronto is tied with us for the lead in sacks is because they played the Montreal Alouettes twice. I'm pretty sure a D-line consisting of Nate Davis, Norm Fong, Gary Coleman and a cardboard cut-out of Chuck Norris could average 5 sacks a game against Montreal.
Heading into this game there were a number of key match-ups being watched: Arland Bruce vs. the Riders secondary and Fred Perry vs. the Toronto O-line to name two. The match-up that was the highlight for me though was former Special Teams Player of the Year Brashir Levingston vs. banged-up O-lineman Wayne Smith. In one corner you had a close to 300 lbs man with a bad back 47 yards downfield and in the other corner you had one of the best kick-returners in the league with the ball being kicked pretty much right at him. That was simply amazing effort on Smith's part.
After fumbling that kick Levingston must feel lower than Mike McMahon's QB efficiency rating.
By the way, the last time we started 5-2 was 2003 (not the 70s as some people think). Interesting fact: That season we finished 11-7... coincidentally that was what I predicted our record to be this year. Hmm...
Other news from around the league:
Montreal seems to be getting back on track after downing Calgary for their 3rd win in a row. A big reason for Montreal's recent success has been the play of defensive back Chip Cox. After the game, a few Calgary receivers commented on how hard it is to concentrate on making the catch when they constantly have Cox in their face. Just wait until Davis Sanchez gets back from injury and receivers have to deal with dirty Sanchez and Cox in their face. Only in Quebec!
Many feel that the reason for many of Calgary's current offensive woes is the lack of touches being given to standout tailback Joffrey Reynolds. Upon reviewing the game film after the loss to Montreal, Tom Higgins was quite distraught to find that Burke Dales was on the field to punt no less than 11 times. To his credit, Higgins realized that having a punter touch the ball almost three times as often as Reynolds was no way to win football games, so he did what any rational football man would do to correct this anomaly and decided to sit Dales in favour of Duncan O'Mahony.
After watching Saturday's game against Edmonton, it's obvious that Hamilton rookie receiver Chris Bauman has really learned a lot from the veteran receivers on the team. In particular, Jason French seems to have really rubbed off on Bauman.
Well that's the way I saw things this week.
And remember: Accept no imitation. There is only one true Prophet in Riderville. Anyone else trying to pass themselves off as a "prophet" is nothing more than a hack.