Riders 24 – Alouettes 21
I was planning on calling Saturday’s game ugly but then I watched the last few minutes of the Eskimo game last night which suddenly made things no longer seem that bad by comparison.
A crowd of over 40,000 were treated to a great defensive performance, a barrage of injuries that got so bad I wasn’t sure there would be enough healthy players left to finish the game and a crap performance on offense that they totally redeemed themselves for with one play.
Durant played bad. I don’t think that makes him a bad QB but let’s be honest he struggled mightily against the Als. The good news is that “struggled mightily” led to 250 yards passing and 2 TDs… if he played in Winnipeg that performance alone would make him their nominee for MOP. The most important thing though is that he came through when it mattered most as a leader should. I’ll be perfectly honest and say I had no faith in our chances of doing that but at least I wasn’t stupid enough to leave the game early. I called in my pre-game write up… the Als are vulnerable to the pump fake. Perfect call, perfect execution.
Jock Sanders also had a terrible day. He has made 3 bad plays all season but his timing is not great as they have coincided with us signing a new returning prospect in Matt Brown. Sanders play this season definitely earns him a long leash but he’s gotta cut this crap out and get back to being the player we saw in the first 5 games. Its sure nice to be able to fall back on Dressler as a returner, despite continually needing to re-adjust his shoulder, he made some big plays none bigger than that last return.
After getting embarrassed last week, the D responded with an outstanding performance!! They kept us in a game we had no business being in, over and over. Brackenridge had a monster game and is starting to convince me that maybe he’s not so out of place at safety. Even Anderson turned in a decent performance. We still need to get way better at tackling (especially Craig Butler!) but hard to find fault with a unit that does not give up a TD and forces 3 turnovers. Only way they could have been better is if they had defended their offenses fumble.
It may have been uglier than a Hamilton Beauty pageant but we found a way to win despite loads of adversity and that’s the important piece. I think it’s great knowing this team can deliver when they absolutely have to make a play. The wins won’t always come easy or even how they are supposed to but as long as they come then the system works.
Other random thoughts:
- If seeing Rob Bagg clutching his knee does make you want to cry then you sir have no soul. Just feel awful for such a talented and hardworking guy.
- I actually thought Cortez called a decent game we just sucked at executing it between Durant`s struggles, Sheets` drops and so on
- For 40K the crowd was pretty quiet… until the end went it finally erupted.
- The award for worst streaker goes to… the fully clothed guy who slowly sauntered in a circle at the 20 yard line before falling down. That will definitely be worth the fines, jail and bans.
- Seriously people?… a standing ovation for a pass to Simon that forced a punting situation??? 1000 catches isn`t even a record, it’s a round number. I`ll save my cheering for plays that help the team and when he actually breaks a record.
- Pretty sure the only reason Calvillo didn`t retire on the spot was that his brain was so scrambled he thought he was someone and someplace else.