Riders 6 – BC 17
I’ll be honest with you guys, I plan on putting as much effort into this post as the Riders did in Saturday’s regular season finale... i.e. not very much. I mean, I knew going into a meaningless game devoid of most starters (or at least the good starters) that we weren’t in for a top quality game but I didn’t expect to be so bad that the game could double as a sleeping aid. As has been the pattern since we clinched a playoff berth, this team is content to just go through the motions until playoffs arrive (that span has now reached a month).
The only good that came of the game was that we finally ended Travis Lulay’s TD streak (even though we all thought it ended a couple weeks ago and they seemed to reinterpret the rules to try and extend the streak). I don’t really have anything against Lulay, I was just unbelievably sick of hearing the announcers go on about it.
To be fair the defense actually showed some effort which was nice to see. The offense was painful to watch and in my opinion we completely wasted a chance to evaluate our offensive talent. Granted, the play of our QBs probably limited this but regardless the play calls were junk. We had a full game to evaluate our talent and used the entire time to determine that yes we can check down to Brandon West. Sure that play will be useful next week but was there really a need to run it for half our passing plays? Why not test Bamba’s speed by sending him deep rather than making him drive 20 hours to catch one solitary emergency check down? Why not see if Greg Carr can actually run a route over 5 yards? Why not see if Willy can throw beyond a 1 yard route (which his first 3 passes were)? No let’s just keep running the same play to the guy who needs the least evaluation of all of them. Genius. In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t matter that our offense sucked but to me it’s just a wasted opportunity.
The results of the rest of the game were about as useful as Viagra to a eunuch so I won’t spend too much time on them. Just a few random observations:
- Even James Patrick looked fired up... maybe someone finally convinced him his employment is in jeopardy
- Macho Harris looked pumped up to play and get this... he can tackle! (oooohh ahhhh). Needs to work on his coverage but I’ll take it for only his 2nd game. Macho Madness!!!
- Kromah looked rusty but for his first game back from a broken leg and playing a new position I think he faired pretty good. He’ll be a welcome addition for the playoffs... he can replace Ferri who seems to be getting more useless by the week.
- Can someone tell Richie Hall that there are other blitzes in this world other than the safety blitz?
- A recurring weakness in our D is an inability to cover RBs leaking out of the backfield. If i’ve seen it you can be damn sure Dickenson and Hufnagel have.
- Patrick Neufeld is awful... maybe one day he will develop into a serviceable tackle (I don’t subscribe to that theory but it is possible) but as for now he just isn’t good. A clear weak link on the O-line that we spent big $$ upgrading this offseason. It’s like building a fortified maximum security prison and installing an old broken screen door on it.
- Damn Brooks Foster had to go and drop that easy pass. I think he needs to be in the line-up but drops like that won’t help convince the decision makers.
- Not sure what happened but Willy seems to have regressed. All that poise we raved about early in the season seems to have disappeared. The game plan he was given was weak, his line was shaky but he looked scared and panicky. I can tolerate rookie mistakes but we need to see that poise come back.
- O’Sullivan looked very confident... but not very good. We are in a world of trouble if Durant gets hurt.
I’m clinging to vain hope that all this BS short passing game by Dyce has just been a rouse and that he will unveil some stuff on Sunday that will surprise the Stamps and fans alike. For me that’s his last chance, if we go into the playoffs with the same god awful passing attack he’s been calling all year then that should be the final nail in his coffin.
They say you can throw the regular season results out the window because playoffs are a whole new ball game. I sincerely hope that is true for the Riders this year.