Riders 27 – Bombers 23
Much like the Labour Day Classic has become a yearly tradition, the Bombers losing on labour day is becoming a yearly tradition as well. Sunday the Bombers dropped their 6th straight Classic. While many Labour Day games were truly deserving of the term “classic”, it would have been more accurate to call this one the Labour Day Adequate Performance or the Labour Day Marginally Better Than The Worst Team in the East.
For the second week in a row, I thought our defense turned in a great performance. We kept both Terrence Edwards and Fred Reid in check which I said would be key to winning. We get give up some big yards to Bowman but quite frankly I think we (Winnipeg coaching staff included) were all shocked when he didn’t drop those passes. Barrin Simpson played like a man possessed (and likely sent the game film to Mike Kelly for good measure). Patrick continues to be a game changing safety (though he got a nifty assist on his pick. Hopefully he is not too hurt because it would be a big loss to have him out. The D-line didn’t get as much pressure as I thought they would but I still think they had a good outing overall.
Is anyone at all shocked that Buck Pierce got hurt again? To me the only surprising thing is that it took so long to happen. We actually had an injury pool going up in my section. Head and knee were popular choices. I went with shoulder. Turns out we were all wrong and Pierce managed to hurt a new part of his body. (I swear if Pierce manages to crawl back onto the field at some point I am either taking his hip or his duodenum since those are pretty much the only things he has left to hurt).
Our offense looked better than last week… but not by much. Our O-line got embarrassed thoroughly but Winnipeg’s front 7. I know the Bombers have a good pass rush but I’m sure 5 garden gnomes would have given Durant more time than our line did since there’s a chance the DLs might trip on them. Dan Goodspeed has been playing like absolute crap. I’m convinced that Joel Bell must have slept with one of the coaches wives… well given the age of our coaches, daughters in probably more appropriate, because I can’t think of another reason not to get him back in the line-up.
Our run game struggled. Part of that was the aforementioned poor play of our O-line. The other part was our refusal to run anywhere but straight up the middle. Doug Berry is evidently not aware that you can run off tackle. The good news is that Durant was able (well more like forced ) to use his legs effectively. That long drive late in the game was exactly what we’ve all been expecting from our offense. Not sure why it took them this long to figure it out.
As for special teams... Eddie Johnson and our cover team very good, Dorsey and our return game bad. The good news is that I’ve gotten so used to it that it’s as hard to take as it used to be. I wasn’t aware that fumbling important kicks that completely change the momentum of the game was in the job description of a kick returner who is making 6 figures (though with Taman running the show anything is possible). Dorsey you suck. Do us all a favour and twist your ankle or something.
Overall it was a step in the right direction offensively and a strong game defensively. We need to improve in a number of areas but for now we are back in the win column and that’s all that really matters.