Riders 37 – Stamps 34
Well, this is what I get for making bold predictions. Thursday I stated that the Riders would not win another game with Michael Bishop at QB… well that looks like a stroke of genius now. I managed to time that prediction with the best game of Bishop’s career. While he didn’t put up massive stats, he did manage the game better than I’ve ever seen from him. He took what the defense gave him and focused on short to medium routes. With the exception of that one fumble where he remembered that he was Michael Bishop and was therefore playing far too well, he played a great game.
I always thought that the moment I saw Bishop get hurt and take his pads off would be the happiest moment of the season. Unfortunately, it was not a happy moment and for the first time in my life I found myself hoping Bishop would return (it was very awkward, like realizing the stripper you’re watching is your cousin awkward). So I will give credit where credit is due, Bishop played a good game. This does not however mean I no longer hate him. This latest outing gives Bishop a grand total of 5 good quarters played over the past 6 games. It will take a little more consistency than that before I start rethinking my Bishop hatred. (It took being named the Grey Cup MVP for James Johnson to make it off my hatred list so that gives you an idea of how far Bishop still has to go).
With Bishop looking like a decent QB this week, the “Worst Player on the Team” role now firmly belongs to Omarr Morgan. Morgan has one kind of coverage… giving a 5-10 yard cushion and letting WRs catch everything in front of him. While this strategy is alright on 1st and 10, it does not work out so well on 2nd and short. Did you notice how the majority of the Stamps offense involved lining up Rambo against Morgan? Guess even Henry Burris is smart enough to figure out that attacking Morgan is a good strategy. Morgan is looking more and more like Scott Gordon every game… his coverage is questionable and he tries to make up for it by tackling hard. Well guess what? It isn’t working and Morgan is the weak link on our secondary. I think it’s time to give either Patrick or Heard a shot at corner. They can’t do any worse than Morgan… unless they play with a 30 yard cushion I suppose.
How about them Regina boys? They accounted for all our offensive TDs. The coaches decided that establishing a running game once again would be a good idea and lo and behold it led to 2 TDs by Neal Hughes, including 1 from the 1 yard line (I won’t lie, I thought we were screwed when the ball was placed on the 1 given our past record). Fellow Regina product Chris Getzlaf added another TD in a fantastic debut.
Other notable mentions include newcomer Hugh Charles (or as I call him Charleston Chews) who looked pretty good running the ball, our O-line which allowed 0 sacks and our defense which once again turned in an impressive performance (3 sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles, 1 INT and 1 TD). It’s amazing what they can do when their offense gives them a decent breather.
I was unaware that the league amended their rules so that the restraining zone for no yards was reduced from 5 to 2 yards. If anyone out there knows when this change occurred could you please send me an email? I can only assume that I do not know the rules correctly since I refuse to believe that one of our highly esteemed referees would make a mistake. Actually to be fair the reffing wasn’t that bad but come on guys, those missed no yards calls were ridiculous!
In a shocking turn of events this latest win resulted in… you guessed it more injuries. This week’s victims were Jeremy O’Day (done for at least 6 weeks with a torn ACL) and long-snapper Jocelyn Frenette (hyper extended knee). That’s right, we lost our long-snapper and centre who happens to be our back-up long-snapper. That bodes well for our snaps next week.
The win leaves the Riders in a 3 way tie for first heading into Monday’s rematch in Calgary (it also guarantees us at least a crossover playoff berth). Myself and Media Consultant along with a few others will be making the trip to Calgary to take in the Thanksgiving festivities so if your going to be up there please be sure to stop by and say hi (hint: I’ll be the one with the white beard and hobo cloak).