Riders 14 – Alouettes 16
You can tell by the return of curse words echoing through my house, that football season is upon us once again. It’s a good thing my neighbours know me otherwise on most game days they might surmise a domestic is going on at my house and call the cops. Alas, the only ones getting beaten we the Riders (well I mean technically that’s a very good thing that no one else was getting beaten but that doesn’t make for quite the same calibre of segue).
Since the season opening loss on Thursday I have heard many people focusing on the positive things from the game. Yes our O-line looked pretty good, yes Nic Demksi had himself a game (save for that one boneheaded decision), yes our special teams coverage looked good. God bless all you optimists but honestly, screw all that. We lost, again, and losing sucks. Not only did we lose but we lost a very winnable game against a bottom tier team that didn’t play particularly well. It’s not like our schedule is going to get any easier.
I think what bugs me the most about the loss is that the loss was due in large part to a lot of the same dumb coaching mistakes that plagued us last season. The big 4 for me: Coaching errors, a refusal to run; overuse of the 3 man rush and McDoo’s complete and utter idiocy when it comes to randomly inserting the back-up QB:
Errors – Kevin Glenn plunged for a first down with 28 seconds left in the game. We did not run another play until calling a timeout with 8 seconds left. I don’t want to go full Glen Suitor on you here but we should have ran a minimum of 1 play in that time (possibly 2). The abysmal clock management cost us a few precious yards closer to the endzone and an easier kick. I am not absolving Crapigna of wrongdoing. That was a very makeable kick and I bet 9 times out of 10 he makes it. But it was well within our power to make life easier for him and our coaches dropped the ball (I guess in a show of solidarity with Duron).
Refusal to run – Pop quiz, how many carries did Marshall get in the first half? 2… 2!!! It still amazes me how one dimensional McAdoo makes our offense… particularly when we have a good O-line and a power runner. Marshall had a 7 yard per carry average and we ran him just twice in the first quarter… against a defense fielding a rookie MLB to boot. Old man Glenn had more rushing attempts in the first quarter.
3 Man Rush – Here’s a wrestling analogy for the fans among you. Every time we run the 3 man rush it reminds me of Ric Flair climbing to the top rope. The only thing that ever happened when he climbed the rope was he got knocked off. The infamous words of JR ring in my head every time only 3 defenders rush “Oh that never works!”
Back-Up QB – So in the McAdoo school of offensive strategery, it makes sense to keep the big tall athletic back-up QB on the sideline while a borderline senior citizen runs the sneak but he absolutely must be inserted when your starter has driven the field is in scoring position. Rather than have the guy who is known for touch passes and who is in a rhythm throw a touch pass, let’s randomly bring a guy cold off the bench to do it. In what universe does that sound like a good idea?!? I am starting a petition that every time McAdoo randomly inserts a the back-up QB for a non-sneak play a season ticket holder gets to kick him in the nuts.
Look I know the players have some responsibility in this there were too many drops, way too many penalties and countless more mistakes. But if our coaches keep making such glaring and frequent errors then it won’t matter how few mistakes the players make. We simply do not have a talented enough roster to overcome our own coaches’ self inflicted wounds.
Did I mention I the losing?