Monday, August 12, 2013

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Perfect No More

Riders 27 – Stampeders 42

Friday’s game in Calgary marked the first loss of the season for the Riders and it was a game of frustrating contrasts. The first half was an embarrassment on both sides of the ball. It wasn’t even the same Rider team we had grown accustomed to seeing over the first 5 games. They were undisciplined racking up more penalties than offense to start the game, they got beat in the trenches, offense couldn’t get anything going, defense looked terrible… hell it looked for a while like Hall and Cortez had decided to switch jobs for the night. I was mentally getting ready to write a scathing post about an embarrassing performance.

But then came the third quarter, defense locked things down and offense started delivering strikes, Kory Sheets casually ripped the field up for almost 100 yards in that quarter alone. These were our Riders, fighting tooth and nail, dictating the play on both sides of the ball.

Unfortunately when the 4th quarter hit, the offense sputtered a bit and the defense just laid down and gave yardage to the Stamps whenever they wanted it. In the end, it was a matter of starting too late and running out of gas too early. But on the plus side that 3rd quarter showed that when we play our game even the mightiest of foes (as I consider the Stamps to be) are no match. The rest of the game however showed that we are not a super power capable of winning games without executing in all 3 phases. Hopefully lesson learned.

While the offense is far from blameless in the loss, I didn’t think they were terrible. They needed to get going earlier and I think got surprised by how well the Stamps dominated the line of scrimmage at times. But their struggles were minor compared to how bad the defense was. They let Jon Cornish single handedly beat us… despite knowing full well coming in that Cornish would be the focal point. A key reason was that the Stamps were able to make Rey Williams more invisible than Gainer’s pants. There were times I honestly wasn’t even sure he was out there. Unlike other games where our DL dominated the trenches and kept Rey free to wreak havoc, clearly the Stamps got blockers on Rey and made him a non-factor and also opened our run D wide open.

But as much as he was a non-factor, at least Rey wasn’t a negative factor. Butler had a bad game but by far the worst was Dwight Anderson. He was terrible. He got beat more often than Chris Brown’s women. The tipping point for me was when he was smiling and beaking at Cornish for getting a taunting call on his 4th TD. Yes Cornish is a classless asshat but it is hardly the time for beaking when a guy just scores for the 4th time and in all reality seals the game. Smile and chatter away Anderson you moron that 10 yards on the kickoff will really hurt them. I’m not a Cornish fan but really when a guy scores 4 TDs he should be allowed to taunt. You don’t like it, stop him.

Now I’m not all doom and gloom, thinking that our 5-0 start was just smoke and mirrors or anything like that. We got beat by our toughest competitor on the road and almost made a comeback despite a horrendous start. We need to clean up the penalties and shore things up on both sides of the ball but let that 3rd quarter show that we are still a force to be reckoned with.

5-1 is still a solid place to be after the first third of the season so let’s learn from this and comeback and take thing out on the Als next weekend.

Other random thoughts:
-       After Getzlaf’s shaky start I wonder if someone reminded him we were in Calgary because he quickly rediscovered his Stampeder killer persona.
-       The reffing was far from great but it wasn’t a factor in the loss and hasn’t been perfect in our previous games either.
-       The logic of sending Forde and Black to the both in the biggest regular season game so far (on Friday Night football no less) is baffling.
-       I love how it’s just assumed now that Sheets will get at least 100 in the second half. First half yards are just a bonus at this point.
-       Loved the design on the Sanders TD.
-       Jermaine McElveen was probably the person we least wanted to come up with the ball on that blocked convert. But kudos to him for trying him damnedest.
-       I wonder what time zone Brandon Smith thought he was in after getting his bell rung?
- That Chick sack was 100% pure spite and anger

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