Riders 24 - Esks 17
I don't care that it was in a relatively meaningless game. I don't care that it was against a team that was resting most of their best players. I don't care that it wasn't even that great of a game. We won! Finally. And the least the team could do for those of use who braved the cold was send us home happy.
I won't get too much into breaking down the game as it was a glorified preseason game and has has next to no bearing on next week's match-up. Both teams knew it and played accordingly. That said I will give the Riders credit because you could tell they wanted it. They had that care factor and that was good to see. It started right in the pregame when we went nose to nose with some of the Esks. If they could get amped up for this game then odds are good we will see that intensity 10 fold next week.
Here are my random thoughts on the game:
- That certainly wasn't Joseph's best performance. But while he wasn't lighting it up in the passing game as the past couple weeks, he did protect the football and even showed he could use his legs. On that run I think we all had that momentary hope that we were seeing LDC '07 being replayed... before remembering that was 7 years ago and not happening now.
- We balanced off a weak passing game by rediscovering a powerful run game. Allen was in vintage form (he even fumbled). The Space Cowboy also added another dimension to our ground attack (if you don't get that reference for goodness sake Google Steve Miller). I wonder if he did enough to earn a roster spot next week?
- Tino Sunseri reinforced his reputation as a completely different QB coming off the bench. Too bad he got hurt because I wanted to see how he would do with a chance to play again. That pass to Bagg looked good (especially Bagg's effort to secure it)
- I think we were all shocked when Doege didn't throw a pick when he entered the game.
- O-line looked good especially in the run game. Adding back Best should even further improve that.
- If we can continue getting Korey Williams involved in our O, it will add production and open things up for the others.
- I'm not sure how much truth there is to the rumour that Mike Reilly has a broken bone in his leg but they sure kept Nichols for a ton of reps. Maybe it was just precautionary but either way concern has to be growing.
- Our pass D was soft but remember that Maze and Brown were out and Brack didn't play the whole game. Marshay Green is nowhere close to Maze in terms of covergae ability
- For F^%& sakes Milo! What the hell!?!? I still don't get how he missed that! Headed into the playoffs I have as much confidence in our kicker as I did in '10 when Warren Keane was thrust into action.
And thus concludes another regular season. We are now off to Edmonton for the WSF. I'll be back Friday to preview that match-up