Riders 45 – Bombers 23
After watching the born again Riders of the past 2 weeks it feels like I’ve just awoken from a long sleep. Like the first 8 weeks of the season were just a horrible nightmare. If you had been living in a cave for the first 2 months of the season and only emerged now you wouldn’t even notice a difference, you wouldn’t think anyone was wrong. You would also likely have some issues because really, who the hell lives in a cave for months on end unless they are a terrorist?!
I expected the Riders to play better football when Miller came back to the sidelines. But the team’s performance over the past 2 weeks is beyond expectations. It’s like night and day, like cold and hot, like an idiot on the sidelines and competent coach. I’m reluctant to be this excited about a 3 win team but its hard not to when all 3 phases of the game are playing at such a high level.
The game started out as I expected, with Winnipeg coming out strong and taking an early lead. What followed over the next 3 quarters, however I did not expect. I did not expect a good old fashion ass kicking (well I didn’t expect us to be the ones dolling it out), I did not expect us to score enough points in the 2nd quarter to win the game, I certainly did not expect us to run a fake kick. I mean I think we are all used to unexpected things happening on special teams but over the past few years they have tended to be bad things that were not planned. That was a thing of beauty.
Durant played another great game. Made good decisions, protected the ball, spread the ball around, relentlessly mocked the Bomber fans. I was worried coming into this game that Durant would lock on Fantuz and force the ball to him. Evidently the Bombers D thought the same thing as they were glued to him. Fortunately we ended up using Fantuz as a high profile decoy for most of the game (he might as well been doing the Charleston). While the Bombers’ secondary was focusing on Fantuz, Dressler and Getzlaf were having a hay day with the space that left for them. Once again hats off to our O-line for a strong showing against what was supposed to be one of the best pass rushes in the league. We saw first hand what poor pass protection can lead to.
On that note, how about that hit Butler laid on Pierce!!!! His helmet flew for more yards than the Winnipeg offense got the entire game. It marked the first time I can actually remember a white safety getting to the QB on a safety blitz. Usually they get lost in the pile and inexplicably end up in the produce section at Superstore or something. I also thought Tearrius George was going to turn Pierce into an actual pancake on his sack. Pierces brains were clearly rattled and most likely concussed as he went on to start throwing out picks like he was a guitar player at a rock concert. It’s tough to read a defense when your brain is nothing more than strawberry jam… maybe he actually thought he was a guitar player at a rock concert.
What a game by Craig Butler! In addition him hitting Pierce so hard he almost become a permanent part of the turf, he made 2 INTs (one because he was in great position and one because of an athletic play on the ball). I was not really in favour of moving JP out of that spot but Butler has stepped up big time and allayed my concerns. He’s like a Scott Gordon with talent. I just wish he had a different last name as I have developed a negative association with Butler based on previous ones.
I don’t care who you are you are not going to win a game with one TD (excluding the one in garbage time) and 5 INTs. Defense came to play and outright embarrassed an offense that wasn’t very good to begin with. It would have taken a large amount of cheating or bribing for the Bomber D to overcome that. Defense led the way, but all 3 phases played an outstanding game. As I said before I feel bad getting this excited about a 3 win team but damn they look good.
Other random thoughts:
- Now that Swaggerville seems to have died off can we go back to calling Winnipeg Inbredville?
- I really wish Durant could have hit Shologan on that TD attempt… I love seeing that guy score.
- Jerrell Freeman is a freak
- I really feel sorry for the Bomber who had to try and take on a rumbling Tearrius George after Freeman pitched it to him. That’s like starring down the rails at an oncoming train and knowing your job is to stand there and try and stop it.