Riders 20 – Eskimos 37
Short Week + Road Game + Place we never win = lackluster performance and a disappointing loss.
In my pre-game post I went through a list of things we need to keep doing right in order to win this game. By the midway point of the first quarter the Riders had pretty much managed to screw them all up as well as a few other ones I hadn’t even thought of.
Jackson was fumbling punts, DeAngelis was fumbling snaps that hit him right in the damn hands (he must have been thinking about the new flooring swatches for his living room at the time.), our O-line was giving up a ton of pressure, our D-line was only 6 injuries to Esk OL away from getting within 5 yards of Joseph... I mean I could go on and on. The Esks may not be a great team but they are certainly good enough to beat us handily when we make that many mistakes.
It was nice to see the old Durant who is dangerous with his legs make an appearance, unfortunately that coincided with the old Durant who throws INTs. On that first INT, Sherritt read Durant like a book. Outside of our continued to commitment to Sheets and Taj Smith continuing his spite of the Rider Prophet by turning in another decent performance, the offense was pretty useless. If you take away the Craig Butler fumble return, we really only had one legitimate drive on the day. I know Edmonton has good defense but if we have aspirations of a playoff run we need to be able to produce offensively in spite of it. The pressure created by the D-line I think was real difference maker for the Esks. It forced Durant to rush his reads and led to incompletion and mistakes. Really glad we traded for Greg Carr, his impact on offense is slightly above nonexistent. He also showed off some Cory Boyd-esque blocking skills on that one Durant run.
Defensively we were awful. No pressure against a second rate O-line, no ability to stop the run, no ability to tackle (not that that is anything new). I mean we are supposed to be the 2nd best defense in the CFL and we were shown up by the lowly Alouette defense this weekend. Aside from that one TD, we actually did manage to keep Fred Stamps in check... unfortunately in the process we made pretty much every Esk receiver look like an all-star... especially Nate Coehoorn. He might as well been wearing camouflage for how we failed to take note of him in coverage. Worst of all we were even fooled by plays that we patented back in 2007. What this? Kerry Joseph runs the QB draw? Who knew? Throw back to the QB? Who could even dream up such a play?
Hats off to Joseph who seems to have uncovered the fountain of youth... either that or the fountain of performance enhancing drugs. He played a good game but our D put up about as much resistance as the French army.
While the short week and the road game certainly explain our craptastic performance, they certainly don’t excuse it... particularly when our shot at a home playoff game was at stake. We will have to put this one behind us a regroup. I think a home game on a regular weeks rest will see us back to our old form.
- Look what happens when we find a route other than the out for McHenry. Still think his TD set off some imbalance somewhere in the universe but until that comes back to bite us, congrats to McHenry.
- Our short yardage is progressively getting worse... maybe if we didn’t run the exact same play every time defense might not have us figured out.
- Remember when people were legitimately calling for Willy to start over Durant? Wonder if those people are convinced they were wrong yet?
- Pass interference and roughing the passer have been ridiculously inconsistently applied this year. We’ve been on both sides but either way this needs to stop. The applications can’t change from game to game and play to play.
- Both passes that were picked were intended for Getzlaf... hence why I have been saying all season “Bad things happen when you throw to Getzlaf”
- Of the 5 times we had the Esks in 2nd and longer than 10 we only managed to stop them from getting a first down twice. I mean you actually need to try to fail that miserably in that situation. If I were a business looking to get value out of an advertising opportunity I would sponsor 2nd and long conversions by opposing teams as long as Richie Hall is DC.
- The only good news to come out of this week was the credit we will all be getting on our Rider ticket account... though I’m we would all gladly forgo double the credit for a home playoff game.