Saturday the 3-1 Riders take on the 1-3 Ti-Cats at a sold out Mosaic Stadium. Both teams are coming off humbling loses (though in the case of the Ti-Cats it was one of many humbling loses) and looking to rebound. For the Riders, what better way to rebound then by playing in front of a sold-out Mosaic Stadium.
The game has many subplots due to players playing their former teams. Prechae and Goodspeed are playing Hamilton for the first time since leaving the Ti-cats while Belton Johnson, Adam Nicolson and of course Marcus Thigpen will get their first chance to stick it to the team that sent them packing. For me its pretty much a non-issue. For the most part its business as usual for these guys. Rodriguez will continue to be the gifted receiver who squanders his talent because he’s a pussy just like he did in Hamilton. Nicolson will continue to have as big of an impact as Scott Gordon on a safety blitz just like he was here. As for Thigpen, given the embarrassing state of our special teams, if he were still here he would have done absolutely nothing and people would probably be calling for him to be benched/cut.
Despite their poor showing last week the Riders still have one of the most potent offenses in the league. Wes Cates was one of the lone bright spots in Calgary and leads the top rushing attack in the CFL. Our O-line will have to step up after getting embarrassed (like an Asian guy standing next to a black man on the shower embarrassed), otherwise our passing attack will continue to falter.
Defensively our pass defense has more wide open holes than a cheap porno mag. We are routinely giving up huge yards through the air and that has lead to us having given up the most point in the league so far. Pure and simple defense needs to tighten up.
Hamilton comes into this game in not great shape. They are a -3 in the turnover ratio, have allowed more sacks than anyone, have allowed the 3rd most points so far and have the worst rushing attack in the league. That in large part has to do with the fact that Cobb is not as good as he was made out to be last year (I told you so). Even Buck Pierce has more rushing yards than Cobb and he only played 2.5 games, that’s just embarrassing.
They are also choosing to focus their offensive attack (if you can call it that) on some very odd players. Instead of making perennial all-star Arland Bruce or talented wideout Maurice Mann the focal point of their offense, they have chosen to go with perennial leg cast sporter Dave Stala and Marquay McDaniel.
Kevin Glenn is the CFL’s version of Jekyll and Hyde this year. If you watch his home games compared to his road games you’d think you are watching 2 different QBs.
At home – he has completed 79% of his passes for 692 yds, 4 TDs and 0 INTs
On the road – he has completed 50% of this passes for 398 yds, 1 TD and 1 INT
You’d almost think they dressed Michael Bishop for their away games… well except for the fact that given that the turnovers are in the single digits, the QB has yet to knock himself unconscious on his own player and the fact that Bellefeuille hasn’t had to resort to white boards to call plays it’s fairly safe to assume its not Bishop.
To make maters worse, the Ti-Cats big name offseason acquisition, Sandro DeAngelis seems to be trying really hard to lose his “most accurate kicker in league history” designation. He is currently the least accurate kicker this season hitting just over 50% of his attempts. Even that talentless bum Serna has managed not to suck that much. The only thing that sucks more than DeAngelis at this point would be like vacuums and hookers and even then I’m not so sure.
Despite the above mockery, the Ti-Cats are not a team to be taken lightly. They have a strong front 4, the best group of LBs in the league and a dangerous receiving group. They have the talent-laden roster that has thus far underperformed but has the potential to be a very good team. We just need to prevent them from reaching that potential just yet.
The keys to the game are all in the trenches. Our O-line needs to step up and protect Durant. Hamilton has weak run D so a strong performance by our line should lead to big chunks of yards being chewed up by Cates. Though their LBs are great, the Ti-Cat secondary has been pretty weak so as long as Durant gets some time in the pocket he should be able to move the ball effectively.
Defensively again we need a strong performance from our line. We need to pressure Glenn. The Ti-cats have next to no ground game, and the odds of Glenn taking off are next to nil so they should be able to pin their ears back a fair bit and go after Glenn. Our DBs need to step up because Glenn has 4 talented receivers to work with and if our secondary is not playing at a high level they have the ability to make us pay.
Kye Stewart (one of my favourite players from last year) will make his debut this week in an effort to help improve our special teams. This unit is already pretty much at rock bottom so I guess they have nowhere to go but up.
Hamilton will put up a strong fight but in the end I think the Riders will make this a statement game.
Riders by 10.
One last thing I have to comment on this week…
Rob Murphy was fined for making racially insensitive comments on Twitter. Now normally I would be about as likely to defend Rob Murphy as I would be lobby for the induction of James Johnson into the Plaza of Honour but I find this whole situation kind of funny. He said the following…
"Pumped to be smelling foreigners this early in the A.M. They smell less offensive this way....little known fact," and "Ok...the novelty of riding on a train thru Ontario and "Frenchland" has worn out....get me off this damn thing!!!!"
To be fair most people smell less offensive in the morning, the only falsehood there is that this is a widely known fact. As for “Frenchland”… that’s not even that bad. It’s not like called them a bunch of poutine eating, whiny separatists frogs who smell like cheap wine and submit at the slightest sign of resistance (I mean who would be so rude as to come up with something like that?).
I’ve said worse things on this blog… hell I’ve already said worse things in this post and will likely say something else more offensive before this post is done.
I guess the lesson here is that Rob Murphy is a jerk and I can do whatever I want... that and Puerto Ricans are lazy (see I told you I'd say something more offensive).