Riders 27 – Bombers 7
If you noticed a remarkable improvement in the smell around Regina today it’s because the blue and gold clad band of inbreds known as Swaggerville silently left town yesterday with their tails between their legs (and I’m not talking metaphorically here since many do in fact have tails due to the aforementioned inbreeding).
For the first time this season the Rider faithful that packed Mosaic Stadium were treated to a victory. For the first time we were also treated to a team that came out prepared, motivated and focused. The difference in the team radiated up from the field and was visible in all aspects of the game.
Penalties were way down, turnovers were way down… they would have been zero we’re it not for a punt return fumble and a idiotic decision to hand the ball off in the backfield on a 3rd down gamble (with a 1 yard cushion I’ll never understand why the plunge isn’t automatic on 3rd and short), Durant looked sharp, Milo turned in a damn impressive game after being awful in his first few games, hell even Chris Getzlaf caught everything thrown his way. Plain and simple this was a completely different team from anything we’ve seen this year and anyone who can’t see now that our previous coach was the heart of the problem they should probably try and catch the last bus back to Winnipeg so they can be with people who are closer to their intelligence level.
Full credit to Miller and his offensive assistants for a great game plan. We completely neutralized that fearsome Bomber pass rush, maintained ball security against the best team in the league at taking it away, spread the ball around offensively and made a very good defense look very mediocre. Dallas Baker had an impressive debut. The moment he caught his first pass we officially won the Baker for Mullinder trade.
Defense also deserves credit. I don’t care how good Winnipeg’s defense played, the Bombers were not going to beat any team (including the lowly Riders) with a measly 7 points. The only people that can be happy with that kind of score is the Manitoba fans since they tend to get confused anytime they are required to count a number greater than the number of fingers on their hand. The Riders’ D played some inspired ball. Even Barrin Simpson, who up until now has looked like a decrepit old man, stepped up and played a great game. Fred Reid averaged a microscopic 2.5 yards per carry (a testament to the pressure our front 7 were able to get). Before the game, I wrote about how bad the Bomber offense has been thus far, but that was an embarrassing performance even by their standards. Any game where I don’t come away cursing Richie Hall’s soft coverages is a great day indeed.
Lastly, I think that was the best I’ve seen our special teams have played in a long long time. We consistently dominated the field position battle thanks to great returns and solid kick coverage. Maybe we are starting to see some of the magic we all hoped would come when Craig Dickenson was hired.
From start to finish it was a great game by all the players and coaches. Now that the honeymoon is over it will be an extremely tall task to repeat this performance again in Winnipeg but for we can sit back and enjoy what has become a scarce commodity in Saskatchewan… a win.
Other random thoughts from the game…
- That Dressler TD was ridiculous… his arms are like 6 inches long there is now way it should be possible for him to stretch and haul in a pass like that.
- On any other day, the small round of applause Omarr Morgan got when he was shown on the big screen probably would have been heart warming, but unfortunately it had to occur on the same day as Fantuz being back in town. The standing O Andy got probably made Omarr feel like scum… take heart Omarr in the words of the Italian chef from Simpsons “We only consider you scum compared to Andy”
- Some buddies and I were discussing Morgan joining our coaching staff and determined that he is only here on the off chance we win the Grey Cup. No way he is going to miss that a 2nd time.
- Message to Rory Allen: You are an Elvis impersonator… nobody gives a crap about your original material!
- As we always do, the people in my section had a Buck Pierce injury pool going where we all predict what injury will knock Buck out of the game. I went with a safe choice in “knee” but it was the guy who went off the board and chose “pride” that was declared the victor.
- Of all the penalties to take in Regina on Labour Day, the Bombers just had to take a Too Many Men call. Oh man did we mock their fans for that… a couple of them gave me the finger when I politely pointed out the humour in the situation… and by “politely pointed out” I mean “pointed at them and laughed hysterically”