Riders 38 - Bombers 24
All is right in the world again, the Riders won on Labour Day! The win was the team's third straight. The mythical creature known as the winning streak has returned to Saskatchewan.
The game was essentially one of the greatest opening quarters of football you'll see (unless you are the Bombers, in which case it probably could not have gone worse), followed by a pretty good 2nd quarter, followed by a second half with far too much coasting for my liking. But I'm willing to forgive that part given the outcome.
As with all our wins, it started in the trenches where we continue to play well. Offensive line gave Glenn great protection. Defensive line faced a very good Bomber OL but did good work (at least before the second half when it was a whole lot of 3 man rush). The other thing that continued was the Riders seizing opportunity. Forget to cover Roosevelt? TD. Telegraph a pass so much that Ed Gainey doesn't even have to move? INT. Leave a crease on teams? Big return for Demksi.
It's nice to finally see the defense play consistently dominant. They allowed just one TD through 3 quarters and forced 3 turnovers. One of the big positives of landing Chris Jones was the extensive resume as a successful D Coordinator. But I think many were start to wonder if we hired the same guy because our defense has been pretty questionable during the Jones era up until now. Apparently Jones should have told Gainey he was playing like crap a long time ago because even since their talk Gainey has been on fire (and this is coming from a noted Gainey detractor). I also notice Henoc Muamba a lot this game than the rest of season.
Offense just continues to roll. They must have noticed something on tape because they really attacked those slant routes with a lot of success. We ran the ball 10+ times. Duron continues to do Duron things. Glenn avoided his token boneheaded pass. I don't like how ineffective they were in the second half. At no point did I feel much confidence despite our big lead. We allowed the Bombers to stick just close enough rather than keeping our foot on their throats. We were fortunate our defense held a very good offense at bay.
The biggest concern coming our of that game is injuries. The Cam Marshall one looked bad. I always worry about those non-contact injuries. Losing him long term would be a big hit. Also concern about Labatte. A) he's our best OL B) I don't want an opportunity for Clark to sneak back in with the starters. Hopefully Demski isn't too bad either.
We beat our third straight West team and probably the second best team in the league at this point. This is the happiest I've been since early 2014. Let's keep it rolling.
Other random thoughts:
- Hat tip to whoever thought up the card stunt with old bench colours. That was awesome!
- Winnipeg will be louder than we were. Yeah we were loud but nothing crazy. It would have been louder had security not taken my milk jug noise maker away. Who knows what kind of anarchy I would have unleashed with that milk jug.
- So we were blatantly faking injury to slow down Winnipeg's hurry up offense. It's very dirty pool and had it been done to us I would have lost my marbles. But Chris Jones will do everything in his power to win so I guess until someone stops him from doing it, he'll probably continue.
- Can some explain to me what the F we were doing on that last series in the first half. At first I was surprised that we were throwing and not just running out the clock but then it looked like we were trying to get it into Field Goal range. So that's good. But then we don't try the FG and throw it again instead. I was very confused.