Riders 0 - Eskimos 24
In a league that awards points for punting too far and missing FGs we didn't manage to get a solitary point on Friday night... we didn't even come remotely close. It was among the painful things I've ever watched... and I've watched a lot of Michael Bishop games.
At the risk of stating the obvious, you can't win without any semblance of offense. Tino regressed to the version that didn't look like he belonged at the pro level (and Doege was far from a saviour). Slow reads, bad reads, bad throw... non-existence production. Harp on the run game all you want but when your opponent has no reason to worry about you throwing the ball even the best run games will struggle. Our O-line wasn't very impressive, our receivers didn't step up, our play calling was suspect but the bottom line is that you need a remotely credible QB to be successful and currently we don't have one. And until we get one, we can expect more offensive futility. I have been a big Tino guy but his time as a starter is causing me to rethink my faith. In 3 starts he has been awful against the 2 good defenses and managed only 2 good quarters against a bad defense. Given that we will only play good defenses from here on out, I'm not liking our chances with Tino as the guy.
If our O-line played as good as they are supposed to, that would help. If our receivers could get open and catch the ball consistently that would help. If we called plays that would help our struggling QB as opposed to playing to his weaknesses that would help. Why did we even bother dressing Ford? Why didn't we run more quick Taj crossers like the one that worked (or use Taj at all for that matter)? Why did it take until Doege came in for us to remember that Dressler existed? Why not run a receiver screen to take the pressure of the pass rush off? These are all questions I had (and possible yelled at the TV along with some curse words).
As for defense, well its an utter embarrassment when you get run on like that. Short of rolling out a carpet for the runner or physically carrying them I'm not sure we could have made it easier on them. The amazing thing is though that despite the insane amount of rush yards we allowed, we were actually close enough in that game until very late to have a chance had we had anything on O. It almost defies logic.
Chad Kilgore was complete and utter junk and is now firmly implanted on my hatred list. He can't cover a pass, he can seem to get within 2 gaps of the one the RB is actually running through, he can't spy a QB. Hell the only time that game, that he made a a play he took a facemask. It honestly looked like we had no MLB all game. Here is a list of options that I would prefer at MLB over Kilgore going forward: Hurl, Shomari (even he wasn't this bad), asking Rey Williams to unretire, asking McCullough to unretire, playing a cardboard cutout of someone who played Major League Baseball. On top of his inability to do anything I don't get how we used him. Clearly we were getting killed by Reilly's leg's and clearly Kilgore can't pass cover or pick up an RB so why not have him spy Reilly?
I'd like to be harder on our D for a bad performance but they kept the score pretty close all things considered (mind you Edmonton had no reason to call risky plays and were content playing it safe and letting our O hand it right back to them). That said if our D-line is really as good as we think it is they should have feasted on that Edmonton O-line... instead they got out worked in the trenches for the most part. Though the fact that Reilly could leave the pocket and run for 15 at will liekly didn't help their cause.
Normally I try not to get too down in the dumps but coming off a performance like that and having to face the best team in the CFL next, there's not a lot to be optimistic about that this point. We have until Friday to figure out how to get some kind of production out of our QB be it Doege (who I think you have to give starting reps to and pray for the best) or Sunseri (if they feel he is worth a 3rd chance).
Other random thoughts:
- The only thing that cheered my up on Friday was seeing how badly Hugh O'Neil missed that one FG attempt. I'm not even sure you can call that an attempt for how awful it was.
- For a guy with such a strong French accent, you'd think Proulx would look for the shortest way to explain a play on the microphone, yet he insists on giving the longest ones possible.
- Not that I'm sure he could have done worse, but bear in mind that Keith Price (the new most popular man in Saskatchewan) has been in Canada 3 weeks when calling for him to play.