Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Not Again!

Riders 34 – Ti-Cats 35

Now do you people see the dangers of the wave on offense?!? People started it on Saturday and looked what happened: Durant fumbles. I keep telling you people but only the few people sitting directly around me seem to heed my words (mainly because I think they are scared of me). Since verbal beration doesn’t seem to be working, I think I will have to ramp up my efforts. Next time the wave starts on offense, someone is getting shanked to make an example of them and every time it goes around, one more person will get shanked. This will continue until you people learn your lesson… or there is no one left to participate in the wave. Consider yourselves warned!

Looking to avenge a late collapse in Calgary and prove that they had learned their lesson, the Riders went out and … managed an even bigger 4th quarter collapse and proved only that they are getting better at these late game collapses.

This team could be 5 and 0. Notice how I saw could instead of should… because the Riders damn sure don’t deserve to be undefeated based on their performance over the past 2 weeks. In the wake of this most recent collapse, blame was being hurled fast and furiously. Thing is, this was yet again a total team effort in the collapse. Everyone played a role so to single any person out would be useless. This is by no means an exhaustive list but here’s a few of the reasons we get to spend the bye week in bitterness.

- The offense did a lot of stuff I didn’t like but fact is they put up 34 points. That should be more than enough to win. They put up 38 the week before which should have been more than enough. In the first 3 wins the defense only allowed 37 points total. They have allowed 41 and 35 in the past 2 games. You don’t win when your defense can’t hold the opponent under 30 (unless you are playing the Riders of course and give them a cushy lead in the 4th quarter). Chamblin Hall better get this figured out fast!

- The Crossing Route: The natural enemy of the Richie Hall defense. Over a decade in this damn league and every time a crossing route is run against us Richie Hall is up in the booth going “Well, what the heck is that new fangled play?”

- Nick Graham. The guy is junk. We already established that he was completely incapable of covering Chris Williams in Game 1 yet we went right back to it in game 2 stupidly thinking the results would be different. Why did we refuse to make adjustments to counter it rather than just let them keep doing it? If James Patrick is really our best cover man then why not try bumping him to corner to eliminate Williams and move Butler to safety? You are allowed to make adjustments.

- Chris Milo. The guy is money from 50 but pretty much anywhere else it’s a crapshoot. 2 misses on the day (and 6 misses on the year). This simply won’t cut it. He either needs to improve or we need to find a more reliable placekicker. The positive here is that it is developing a market the “Another Miss For Milo!” T-Shirts I planned on making a year ago.

- Durant. He’s so frustrating to watch because he will make great reads and plays and then follow up a boneheaded one that makes you think Michael Bishop has briefly tapped his earpiece. If he could eliminate those boneheaded plays, the sky is the limit for the guy but he just keeps shooting himself in the foot. Hard to fault a guy who puts up 30 points in back to back weeks but its just frustrating because he could be even better.

- Coaches get in on the blame here too. Their play calling and refusal to make adjustments played as big a part in the collapse as the onfield mistakes.

- Offensive play calling. Remember how I said Hamilton had the WORST run D in the league and that Sheets was in for a big day? Well evidently the Riders thought that trying to take advantage of that would be too obvious and completely shied away from it. Especially in the second half when we had a lead to protect. Guess how many carries Sheets had in the 3rd quarter? 2. Guess how many carries Sheets had in the 4th quarter? One! One F*$%& carry! And it went for 8 yards! That is beyond stupid! Run the damn ball!!!!!!!! We refused to run the ball on first down so we were continually in 2nd and long with the backfield empty allowing Hamilton’s pass rush to pin their ears back and let loose (the same thing happened in Calgary).

The TSN turning point was the injury to Tristan Jackson. He was killing Hamilton on the returns and playing well at corner. When he went down our return game suffered a bit (Sanders did ok but he’s no T-Jax) but our secondary went to hell. I already told you how awful Graham is, well after that we had to pair him with Woldu and about the nicest thing I can say about Woldu is that he wasn’t our worst CB. He rarely missed a tackle but he was always playing 15 yards off so he also rarely disrupted a completion. The Woldu/Graham pairing was one of the worst combinations at CB I’ve seen in a long time. I mean seriously they were garbage. James Johnson would be an update at this point (you have no idea how much I died inside upon writing that). Jackson, Russ and Turenne need to get healthy over the bye so we can get back to fielding a secondary with a hope in hell of stopping somebody.

We still have a winning record and still have a share of first so overall the season is still exceeding my expectations but you can’t help but be frustrated at a team that pissed away wins in 2 consecutive weeks. Hopefully the bye week will allow the team to get healthy and mentally focused for the rest of the season. If we can just play like we did in the first 3 quarters all the time we will be a formidable opponent.

Other random observations (including some of the positives from the game):
-       Saw some good things out of the offense early. The retarded rabbit was getting involved. Sanders was being mixed in and that TD pass to Taj Smith was just a beauty read.
-       Brackenridge once again did a great job keeping Fantuz in check.
-       Jeffers-Harris has some worked to do. Noticed that Durant was continually giving him onfield directions. Also, I’m still not sure how he lost him helmet on his first catch. Must be getting equipment pointers from Jon Cornish.
-       Evidently I should not have made fun of B Boudreaux in my pre-game post. He responded with 2 sacks.
-       I thought once again our kick cover teams did a great job. Williams was held in check.
-       Getzlaf is picking a hell of a time to break out his inconsistent hands again.
-       On that last missed FG, what the hell were our players thinking just letting the returner stand there and let the clock wind down?!? Get your heads in the game!

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