I'll preface this post by saying that I just got back this afternoon from camping with the family all weekend. So not only will you be getting the standard Prophet stat-holiday half assed effort, it will be compounded by my "I just spent 4 days camping" half assed effort. You can at least take solace in the fact that what I lack in punctuality and writing quality, I make up for with brutal honesty.
Even though I think it was a miss for the CFL to not have a game on the Canada Day holiday Monday, I still thought it was great week of opening action... most important of which was the Riders stomping the Esks like we were Ndamukong Suh. I spent Saturday on a pontoon boat in the middle of a lake listening to the game on the radio (which was frickin' awesome by the way). So I have only heard how we played, I didn't actually see it (nor have I had the chance to re-watch the game). So if my thoughts are way off of what you saw just bear in mind that I was limited to an oral description (that may have been clouded by a few bevy's).
For me the offense lived up to a lot of the offseason hype I have been pumping since Cortez was hired. Just so many great things. We had a thunderously quick start, reminded my of how Montreal was under Trestman, just boom, scores right out of the gate. Good things happen when you jump on teams early like that. Solid, productive, turnover-free day for Durant. Also loved how we spread the ball around so much. Hell even Scott McHenry got in on the action. We limped along last year with Dressler as our only real threat but now we had a huge day and he was used pretty sparingly. The one play in particular I loved was the crosser to Smith for the TD. I have spent many years swearing profusely at Richie Hall for our inability to cover those so it was refreshing as hell for one of those to benefit us. Also kudos to George Cortez for returning Getzlaf to the the 3rd/4th receiving option which is the part he was born to play. He's been solid at all times in this young season.
I'm starting to think that this whole Kory Sheets saying he was out of shape last year might not just be him talking shit. He was a huge part of what we did on O. Really love how we can trust him enough to hand him the ball in the redzone and have faith that he will find paydirt (like on that 19 yd run). I wonder if he has a restraining order of 100 yards from whoever he got in that domestic with and we just keep telling him that she is getting close (oh like you expected anything but lowbrow humour from me). Hard to tell from radio but when out RB runs all over them and we allow just a solitary sack, I'll assume the O-line (which worried the hell out of me coming into the season) had a great game... against a pretty talented Esk front 4. I just assumed at this point in my Monday post I would be cursing Heenan and the decision to start him at tackle... guess I can hang onto that rant at least for a minute of 2.
Defense also had a very solid game, not allowing any real points until they'd stopped serving beer at Commonwealth. D-line had a big game (at least based on the stat lines and what I heard) though bear in mind that the Esks' O-line likely only ranks ahead of that of the REDBLACKS!!! at this point. That Rey Williams TD (off on of the more idiotic QB decisions I've seen... and I've watched Nealon Green, Michael Bishop AND Ryan Dinwiddie) was the knockout blow to the Esks, There was no coming back from that. The Esks leading rusher was the QB at just over 30 yards so run D must have been working.
Hell about the only I didn't like on D was that douchebag Anderson's show. Now I didn't see what happened (though that didn't stop me from cursing like a sailor.... which I figure was very fitting as I was actually on a boat) but quite frankly I don't give a crap. If you take objectionable penalties and hurt our team then you are an idiot... let alone a guy with a history of this crap longer than Aaron Hernandez's list of charges. If these are the sort of antics we can expect from Anderson in a blowout game, then what the hell is he going to do in a game that is actually closely contested and stress filled. The only way to justify his presence on our roster is if his play is at a high enough level that it outweighs his crap... at this point, the crap side of the scale in weighed pretty damn heavy.
But I guess if the only negative coming out of your season opener is that Dwight Anderson is a douchebag (which isn't even news at this point) then that's a good sign. Riders will have to play a lot better this Friday against a far more talented Stamps team but based on what I've seen (or heard) so far I'm pretty damn happy.