Riders 37 - Ti-Cats 20
Saturday night across the province enough pressure was released to put Tom Brady to shame (are Deflategate jokes still funny? well regardless I'm too lazy to come up with something better so you're stuck with it). Losing that game would sent the whole province into a spiral of negativity that would have had 2 full weeks to increase in severity. But instead we got our first win in our new home. Now that one win doesn't magically fix everything (as we are still a 1 win team) but damn it sure feels good to win.
I honestly had to check the sidelines to see if we'd replaced our coaching staff because the things we were doing stunned me. We consistently rushed 4 on D and dialed up the blitz more in that game than we have all season. While the stat sheet will show only one sack, it does not do justice to the pressure we applied and how much Collaros had to hurry or run to make plays. It was as if someone took Chris Jones' playbook and did a "replace all" of 3 man rush with 4. Hamilton has a weak O-line and we were actually able to take advantage. What I liked is how our D came out aggressive. We did not allow a first down until the second quarter and did not allow a major until late in the 3rd. We held Luke Tasker without a catch (I said pre-game that containing him was a key). All in all a great effort from the D. They allowed just 13 points (which by recent standards is only a few steps removed from an actual miracle.) Clearly Jonathan Newsome had been holding this unit back :)
The D was aided by a red hot offense. That was one of the best offensive game plans I've seen from McAdoo in a long time. They really attacked that weak Hamilton secondary (I mean that unit was awful... and this is coming from someone who has extensively watched our secondary). They played to Glenn's strength on the touch pass with a long of perfectly run timing routes (Glenn and Roosevelt were so in sync that there were probably finishing each others sentences on the sidelines). We balanced a solid passing attack with a committed run game Alleluia!!! Marshall finally got double digit touches and the bulk of them came early in the game and really helped set the tone offensively (damn he runs hard). Glenn has damn sure gotta stop telegraphing his weekly interceptions but otherwise you have to be elated with what he has done over the past 2 weeks. I especially love the drive he led after Hamilton made it 27-20. He moved the ball 77 yards in 6 minutes including a massive 2 and 17 conversion to Roosevelt. That drive really calmed everything back down and reestablished our momentum even though we only got a FG.
As good as this win was, let's remember that we went 1-2 through the easy portion of our schedule. We need to use this game as a building block to even better play (and coaching) when we get back from bye. But for now let's enjoy this winning feeling. It's pretty awesome.
Other random thoughts:
- We were treated to the best Kiss Cam moment since the dry humping incident of 2015. For those who were there, the camera panned to a girl and guy and she was immediately utter embarrassed and clearly said "He's my dad". Maybe that kiss cam guy should be re-assigned to Manitoba where that kind of thing is more socially acceptable.
- Also on the big screen, there was almost another tremendous moment. The camera had a hot chick on as it was panning through the crowd (nothing usual there) but she then smiled and began to pull out one of those 2 foot hot dogs. I would have paid to here the panicked sound of the camera director calling for them to switch to another camera. It was close, but alas,we never got to find out what that nice lady would have done with that hotdog.
- Duron Carter would have a passing TD if he trusted Duron's arm and didn't let up on his route. Between that play and the onside Bartel punt you could tell the coaches were feeling the pressure and making sure they pulled out all the stops to win.
- Kacy Rodgers was so close to a couple INTs. I don't mind him playing it safe and playing his man rather than the ball given the situation but a little bit more risk taking and he coulda had a couple.
- On the play after they took a Too Many Men penalty, Hamilton only had 11 guys on the field. Do you think they miss Orlando Steinhauer much?
- I would expect the punishment for grabbing and official by the shirt like Will Hill did will be a one game suspension (though I hope its 2) but maybe they will soften it like they did when Austin hit an official and say Hill is "suspended" but he'll still be allowed to be a part of the game.