Riders 27 - Stamps 40
Plain and simple this team has forgotten how to win. I don't mean that in the literal sense like they no longer know that the key to winning is scoring more points than the other team or something else equally as obvious that John Madden might say. I mean they have lost their killer instinct, their ability to close out games, their ability to do what is needed to hang onto a win. For the second week in a row, they went toe to toe with a top tier team and had them on the ropes and managed to screw it up. Last week, we outplayed Edmonton for the first half and blew it in the second. This week we were up 2 scores on the best team in the league entering the 4th quarter and blew it like they were a pornstar in a low budget film... or at least what I assume a pornstar in a low budget film would blow it like, having never actually seen one. There's no one person that you can pin that collapse on as everyone across the board shares some responsibility.
The game started with such promise. Joseph was slinging the ball like he was 10 years younger. He looked sharp, made good decisive reads, spread the ball around and put points on the board. Chris Geztlaf emerged from hibernation and turned in the first solid performance I've seen from him in a long time. Toston lived up to some of his hype with some massive runs. The defense had their issues but generally kept the Stamps in check. They even chipped in on the scoring effort thanks to a beauty pick 6 by Peters (who played a great game). Things were really looking up in Riderville.
Then came the 4th... I had to check the calendar to make sure I didn't space out on 2 months because I would have sworn it was Christmas by how we gifted that game to the Stamps. After having success spreading the ball around, Joseph completely forgot that we had any receivers not named Bagg or Getzlaf in the 2nd half. He locked into them so intently Korey Williams and Brett Swain could have swapped their helmets for rainbow coloured wigs and he wouldn't have notice. Who did notice was the Stampeder D and exploited that for 3 picks. We had the lead late in the game so naturally our coaches leaned on our 2 big bruising RBs to close out the game... oh wait, that's what an intelligent coach would have done. It was so painfully bad that even the offensive guru that is Glen Suitor pointed it out. Defense crumbled late when we needed a boost from them. Just everything that could have went wrong did.
This team is making strides in the right direction since the addition of Joseph but I'm sick of losing and would like to see us actually win a game. We had 2 golden chances to do so in the past 2 weeks and lacked the ability to capitalize. If we could rediscover that "never give up" attitude we had early in the year I think this team could be very dangerous in the playoffs even with Joseph at the helm. Until that happens though we will be stuck discussing the merits of moral victories. Personally I value moral victories like Sports Select does. Hopefully our coaches share that feeling and do what's needed over this bye week to right this ship... starting with themselves.
Other random thoughts:
- Dan Clark almost cost us another starting QB... we really need Best and Labatte to get healthy because he is just out of his league as a starting guard.
- I like Rod Williams but he had a terrible game . Seemed like all he could was interfere with his receiver.
- Jerome Messam seems to me like a guy who gets better the more you feed him the ball and the more he gets into a game. The minimal production we are getting out of him now versus the previous games where we unleashed him in the second show that. Either we need to feed him the rock more or not at all in my opinion.
- Seems that being relegated to back-up duty hasn't dampered Tate's douchebaggery or over inflated ego. You can celebrate like an idiot when you actually accomplish something in your career.
- We are really lacking a true middle linebacker. I think that would do so much to shore up our D much like adding Lobendahn did in '12. The failed Kilgore experiment really hurt us. We have been left plugging in guys who are better suited for other spots.