Riders 5 – BC 24
When Prophet Jr’s first word is a swear, the Saskatchewan Roughriders will be to blame. Not only did I have to endure a dreadful Rider performance, thanks to the wonders of CFL scheduling, I get to follow up that dreadful performance with Monday morning… what a terrible way to start the week!
After 3 consecutive weeks where the defense was the group where most of the aforementioned swear words were directed, I was actually pleasantly surprised with their performance. I will give them a pass this week. They stepped up big time and played really well for the first part of the game… unfortunately while they appeared up to the challenge of stopping the BC offense, they were not up to the challenge of having to contend with both the BC and Saskatchewan offense. It was 2 on 1 and by the end they were tired (understandably so). I was particularly impressed with the pressure of our front 4. BC has a very good OL and the best tackles in the league but you would not have known it judging by the pressure our guys got. Through 3 quarters the D allowed just one TD and held a every potent offense very much in check. I have been very harsh on this group (and Richie Hall) for their craptastic performance over the past few games so I will give credit where credit is due and give them a thumbs up. (That said I did see at least one play where we rushed 3 and dropped 9 and still left a receiver wide open… it honestly boggles the mind).
As for our offense, short of me learning 3 new languages there are not enough curse words out there for me to describe their performance. The worst part is, they started off good. The first few drives they were doing a good job of keeping the Lions’ D off balance and moving the chains. But it went steadily downhill from the 1st quarter on… so much so that if you were charting it on a graph you would need to add 2 or 3 pages at the bottom to catch the tail end of the downward slope.
I know Darian played like absolute garbage and I am not excusing that but I think we have far deeper reaching issues than our QB which need to be addressed before we have a hope of getting good play out of our QB (regardless of who it is). The problem is quite clearly with our offensive play calling (I know CRF will agree with me on this)… it’s awful!
The crap Bob Dyce is designing makes Marcel Bellfeuille’s offensive attack seem creative and potent by comparison. For those of you who are not familiar with my overt hatred of Bellefool, that last statement would be akin to me extolling the passing prowess of Ryan Dinwiddie or campaigning for the induction of James Johnson into the Plaza of Honour. Bellfefool was awful… Bob Dyce is worse.
Second and 20? Let’s run a hitch screen despite the fact that the DBs are playing up close because we have no deep threat.
BC Pass Rush coming right up the middle on us on every play? Let’s leave DD in the pocket and not make any attempt to make life difficult on the pass rush.
2nd and inches? Lets hand off 5 yards deep… twice!!!
That last one is one of my pet peeves for any team, but especially for the Riders. The is the CFL, the D-line gives you a 1 yard buffer, if you can’t fall forward for the requisite 6 inches on a QB dive then you don’t belong in the CFL. If all you need is inches why move the ball backwards so your back needs to get 5 yards???? And why in the hell would you do it again after it didn’t work the first time?!?!?!?!? When they left Durant in on 2nd and inches I assumed they were going to use what is essentially a free play and try something that might result in a big play. Instead we ran a play that even if it had worked would not have resulted in any more yards that the far safer and saner QB dive. Twice!!! (Insert soon to be learned Swedish swear word here)
Here is a spoiler alert to CFL D-Coordinators (who I assume read this blog as part of their pre-game game planning): If you eliminate Sheets and Dressler our offense becomes as impotent as a eunuch. We have nothing else! Were it not for their token catch a piece I would have assumed Hill and Sisco were healthy scratches. And it would have been better for everyone if Getzlaf had been a healthy scratch… good things don’t happen when the ball is thrown his direction.
Not only do we rely completely on 2 people for our entire offense, we compound things by not even giving the illusion of any kind of deep threat so the secondary just cheats up on all he underneath stuff that we run exclusively. If I can pick up on the glaring weaknesses in our O, it’s no wonder a good DC like Stubler had no problem neutralizing our sad attempts at offense. (Insert soon to be learned Japanese swear here)
I had questions about Dyce coming into the season given that he was our receivers coach last year and our receivers were awful but I was willing to let him prove his worth without Marshall/Miller confounding things. But through 6 games here’s what I have seen:
- An OC who couldn’t figure to run the ball against the worst run D, in the 4th while protecting a big lead
- An OC who has yet to establish a passing threat beyond 8 yards
- An OC who is constantly screwing up shortage yard plays by calling over thought plays that fail rather than running the simple and logical plays.
- An OC who is reluctant to make adjustments in-game or game to game
So all of you calling for Willy to start can go ahead and clamour but Willy in our current offensive system will fare no better and likely worse (and that is not a knock on Willy’s potential).
Other Random Observation:
- Do you realize that at one point our line consisted of a rookie import tackle, a junior player in his first real action, a guy whose never played centre, a rookie guard and 2nd year player making his 3rd start? It’s actually a miracle Durant is still walking
- So can we go back to hating DeAngelis now?
All is not lost, we have a good shot against Calgary, then there’s Labour Day where we always do well and Banjo Bowl where we don’t (insert soon to be learned click clack swear here). So a .500 record is within reach and coming into the season that’s where I had us pegged (just saw us getting there a different way). Our D just picked up their socks after a couple bad weeks so there is at least hope for the offense.