You know it’s a sad state of affairs in Riderville when the best news of the week is our QB uttering profanity on Twitter towards idiots. Good for Durant I say, given all the crap he takes he should be allowed to call out the most idiotic of his detractors. But if he was going to drop and F bomb and incur a fine he should have at least made it worth his while and swore at a few more while he was at it.
Alas, the action on the field is nowhere near as entertaining as the action off. We are mired in a depressing 4 game losing streak that has the fans questioning everything from the players to whether we should be getting better production from our water boys. We haven’t won since Labour Day, forgive us for being a bit cranky (or in my case drunk). The initial outlook is not good this week either as we have to travel to BC Place (a stadium we have no won in since July of 2010) to play the Lions. Be forewarned neighbours: Friday night football plus rye plus Rider losses in BC tend lead to rage filled tirades emanating from the Prophet household.
I really shouldn’t feel this down on our team. A solitary TD more in each of our previous 3 games and we would be 11-2. It’s not like we are getting blown out. Our injury ravaged defense is still playing some solid ball. It’s just our offense that blows. You’d have a better chance of scoring by calling Quest than with our offense of late. The one glimmer of hope is that Kory Sheets is back (cue choir singing Alleluia!). In case you forgot just how good this guys is, he still leads the league in rushing despite not playing in close to 3 games. While I don’t expect him to single handedly win us the game in his first action in close to a month, hopefully his presence will at least encourage Cortez to consider running occasionally. Since he went down teams have been able to ignore the RB and focus purely and pass coverage and pass rush… a leading factor in why our OL and subsequently Durant are struggling. Sheets will at least force some defensive attention upon himself which should open things up in the passing game. As much as I’m excited to see him running again I hope we get creative in using him add in some dump passes, some screens etc… using him in a lot of ways will lead to yards for him and focus more defensive attention on him. Stubler will force us to be patient and take yards in small chunks. Using the run and the quick/short passing game will make for sustained drives. There will be opportunities for long bombs but we need to be patient and selective as this veteran group will make you pay if you start forcing passes.
Defensively things will be shook up a bit with newly acquired Rod Williams and Tristan Jackson penciled in on corner. I can only assume this is a direct result of Miller displaying a tackling style that would convince you he thinks he may contract SARS from the receiver if he gets too close and Russ just plain struggling. Williams is a quality DB so hopefully he helps secure that secondary. D played well last time just came up short late. Given how much the O is struggling we really need a big defensive play like a pick 6 to help give them a boost. It’s asking a lot from a unit that is already pulling their weight but this is a team game and one unit needs to support the other when they are struggling. We did a tremendous job containing Harris last game so I’m hopeful we can do it again. This will allow the D-line to tea of on that chach DeMarco. Much is being made of this young QB but he’s only beaten us (which requires minimal offensive output) and Winnipeg (which requires being able to get to the field in time for kickoff). He hasn’t shown anything special yet.
Were this game at home given the addition of Sheets I’d be tempted to take us in an upset. With the game in BC though, I’m just not feeling confident. Our D will do fine but our O does not instill confidence in me. In true Rider form I bet they make it close enough to get me really emotionally invested and then break my heart but I just don’t see the slump ending this week.
BC by 7
PS – You should know that by me picking against the Riders their odds just went way up. They frequently do things to spite me.