Riders 10 – Eskimos 18
Apologies for the lateness of this post, there was no way I could bring myself to write about that game in time for Monday morning… at least not without the text being over 75% profanity.
Sunday the dreams of a Rider repeat (no matter how remote the chances) game to an end in miserable fashion as the Riders lost the Eskimos. I think that whatever deal we cut with the football gods to get us the Grey Cup at home with unseasonably warm weather, the cost was losing Durant and being forced to endure this playoff game. I just hope our debt in now paid.
The parallels between that game and the playoff game of 2008 were uncanny. Defense doing everything in their power to keep us in the game. Offense doing everything in their power to lose it. Only difference is we could have reasonably expected Bishop to be terrible. While I was under no illusions that we would be getting the ’07 Joseph, I incorrectly assumed he would be at least mildly competent. In time, my views of Kerry Joseph will return to the beloved fellow who had an MOP season and won us our 3rd Cup. For now though, he is that bumbling idiot who picked the worst possible time to play his worst football. Honestly, that was beyond awful. I mean I know pressure and unlucky bounces contributed a bit but most of those INTs were Joseph just making terrible reads, terrible decisions and terrible throws. I haven’t completely ruled out the possibility that Joseph has early stage Alzheimer’s and thought he was still playing for Edmonton? He made Seth Doege look conservative with the ball by comparison. Simply put with a decent QB we win that game. Problem is, we don’t have a decent QB not named Durant.
As bad as he was, Joseph was not the entire issue in that game. In fact, all the issues that plagued us all season were summed up nicely in that loss… with the possible exception of Milo bouncing one off the uprights. In addition to terrible QB play we also saw our old friends:
- Special teams meltdown resulting in a TD
- Inconsistent play from our receivers such as Korey Williams and Getzlaf (who could not figure out motion to save his soul)
- Terrible play calling. I was calling out our plays from the couch and I am just and a borderline drunk that watches a lot of football. It’s no wonder that Chris Jones (who channeled his inner Corey Hart win those sunglasses) was read us like a book. We refused to adjust to the blitz. We passed on 3rd and short. We didn’t find ways to get production our of our RBs… we just kept assuming the run up the middle would eventually pay off.
- Inconsistent O-line play
- We also got the added bonus of embarrassingly bad officiating. Good lord receivers were practically in the endzone before the ball was snapped and no one saw the offside?!?!
There was a lot of talk about how good the Eskimo D was and admittedly they are a damn good unit but how about our defense? We threw 5 INTs and if we factor out the kick return TD they allowed just 11 points. 11!!! And only 1 second half point (though by that point the Esks had figured out that they had no need to try anything risky on O because we weren’t about to score). They gave up a lot of yards to John White but you should win any game where your defense allows just 11 points.
I realize that Durant’s injury killed any legitimate shot at a repeat but dammit we could have won that game. We needed just one play offensively and didn’t even come close. I’ll likely stay bitter about this for a few weeks… unless of course my Vikings decide to go on a Super Bowl run… stop laughing…. it could happen… you’re right, looks like I’m stuck with bitterness.
Welcome to the offseason. Don’t worry though as always I will be here all along the way to get you through this. The fun starts later this week when we open the voting for Fans Choice Douchebag of the Year.