Riders 24 - Stamps 31
Figured I'd start on a happy note this morning...
I would have paid money to hear the 911 call when the Maxtron lit on fire.
Operator: 911 what's your emergency?
Caller: The Maxtron is on fire!
Operator: That just a video sir. We've been through this before.
Caller: No I swear its on fire for real this time!
Operator: Its a god damn video of a fire place!! Quit tying up the emergency lines!
Now onto the game...
I've resigned myself to the fact that my love of this team will lead to frustration, false hope, adrenalin pumping highs, curse filled lows and a higher than expected alcohol intake. Friday hit for the cycle. The game started out so bad (at least offensively) that I had pretty much given up on the rest of the season and started pondering just how much worse things we would if we brought back Michael Bishop. We of course proceeded to mount of the more impressive comebacks I have ever seen. Only to crush our hope with an agonizingly painful end.
Well, we now know what we have in Seth Doege... the ultimate wing man for Tino Sunseri... because man does he make him look good by comparison. Evidently no one told Seth that he was no longer at Texas Tech and that he should avoid throwing to the red jerseys. He completed as many passes to Stampeders as he did Riders. About the time we were reduced to re-inserting Sunseri I was convinced it would be a long time before I witnessed an offensive point again. But evidently Sunseri is only wired to work in the 2nd half (and on 2 pt conversions). Its like he's bipolar. There are times when he looks like he doesn't belong at this level and there are times when he shows the skill of the pro QB we all thought he would be. His performance gave me hope where there previously was none but if he can't start showing up in the first half his career win total is unlikely to increase. I liked that Brett Swain actually made himself useful. I like that Getzlaf actually made a big catch. I like that DePalma continued his streak of turning short passes into massive gains. I did not particularly like our pass protection. O-line needs to play better. I guess we are all praying for Best's return to have the same impact it did last year. Certainly some positives that can be taken away (like Sunseri putting together drives against a legitimate defense). But like I said, if we can't find a way to do that in the first half then there isn't much reason for hope.
Defense was un-freaking believable early in that game!! To be only down 9-0 despite Doege's best efforts to literally hand the game the Stamps is a credit to abilities of our D. I thought we did a decent job of limiting Cornish while he was still in... we contained him as best as I've seen anyone do this year (excluding teams that tried to knock his head off). I hate to be mad at them for the late game failures because they really carried the team for the bulk of that game but man did we ever need a stop from them late and I know they were likely tired as hell but we really needed them there. And dammit Brian Peters!!! That was a costly mistake. I won't harp on the D because like I said, if they didn't play as well as they did we would have gotten destroyed.
The positive is that for half he game, we went toe to toe with the best team in the CFL... now of course the caveat is that they were without their starting QB, reigning MOP RB and best defensive player. The negative is the League awards as many points for moral victories as Seth Doege scores. Luckily the East did us a massive favour and kept all our competitors from gaining ground on us. Hopefully the second half success can carry over into a Thanksgiving showdown with the Als.
Other random thoughts:
- Early in that game I was reminded of a Mo Lloyd quote that I will never forget "You can play against the deaf, blind and the homeless and you will never win a game with (seven) turnovers"... at least Doege didn't make it to 7.
- I don't mind the decision to punt on 3rd and 2... you should be able to count on your D for a stop and Chamblin probably thoughts those odds were higher than counting on our offense.
- I don't care if it counted, the goal line handoff to Messam from shotgun was a terrible pay call.
- That hit on Charboneau-Campeau was something. Not sure I've seen someone get hit that hard when the DB was legitimately playing the ball and not headhunting.