Apparently we have not learned from the follies of the Toronto Argonauts over the last 2 seasons. You simply can’t expect to be successful in the CFL without a viable passing game. Well Saturday night we tried our darndest to defeat the Stamps without one.
Our run game had its moments. Our return had its moments. Our defense played pretty good overall. But our pass game did not look good at any point in the game. I mean if you take away that fluke TD to Dressler our pass game was abysmal. I mean not since the epic combination of Marcel Bellefeuille’s ball control offense and Nealon Greene’s complete lack of ability to actually complete a pass have we seen an offense this ineffective. If it weren’t for the fact that our average drive lasted 3.7 seconds the pure boringness of our offensive output likely would have put me to sleep.
The blame for this sorry excuse for a passing game is spread amongst all parties involved. First and foremost, our receivers couldn’t catch salmonella from 3 day old raw chicken let alone a freaking football. Good god, somebody... anybody (not named Dressler) catch the F’n ball!! Even Clermont couldn’t haul in a catchable pass in the endzone. I assume he was just shocked to actually get a look in the redzone and since it had been so long he has forgotten how to react.
Second: after seeing firsthand how well our offense worked when Durant used his les last week, our genius OC designed a game plan that kept him stuck in the pocket all game. I mean I know that Calgary’s defense likely designed their schemes to try and force Durant to stay in the pocket but we didn’t even try to test it at all. Durant ran 2 measly times and low and behold one of those was for a TD. 2 years and we still haven’t figured out that we lose when Durant doesn’t move around.
Lastly, although Durant was given absolutely zero help y his so-called received or his so-called offensive coordinator, he still shares in the blame because he made his share of mistakes. That time count he took at the end of the first half was a killer. No excuse for a vet like him to make an mistake like that. Also what the hell was he doing on the last series.?!? I know the game was likely over but with only a few seconds left on the clock why the hell did he check down twice?!? For the love of god throw it up and hope for a PI flag! That’s basic freaking football strategy (unless of course our big plan was hope Clermont would turn a 10 yard pass up field for 90 more yards. I don’t care if Berry called for those stupid plays. Show some sense, sends some guys deep and try and draw a flag. Don’t just lie down and give up. Durant never used to do that, why is he starting now?
Defense played well with 2 exceptions. We struggled to limit the run and we struggled to stop Nik Lewis. But I was happy with the pressure we applied and I was happy with the overall effort they played with. Offense could take some lessons.
After the Montreal win, I cautioned against getting to excited as we were just a 1-3 team with only one good game to their name. Turns out I was right as we are now a 1-4 team with only 1 good game to our name. The frustrating part is that even though we didn’t play all that well (at least offensively) it was still a winnable game. But like I said at the start you can’t win without a viable passing attack.
Things are looking pretty grim at this point for the Riders (though on the plus side thanks to the failures of the Lions and Argos we are still firmly in playoff spot) and we have a number of issues to address. Some should be relatively easy to fix such as designing a game plan that involves Durant using his legs (though apparently this is akin to solving complex advanced calculus for Doug Berry). Others such as fielding receivers who can actually catch are not so simple (though at the rate we are going it’s looking like the return of Fantuz, Koch and Bagg is more likely than an offensive game plan that highlights our QBs strengths).