Riders 27 - Ti-Cats 19
The good news is we won! The other good news is that unlike some sports, there are not points awarded for style or artistic merit... because that was an ugly, ugly win. But it was a win. Given the lack of those around these parts over the past few years we probably should be less picky about the ways in which we achieve victory. I rode a roller coaster of emotions during that game that was along the lines of yay, expletive, yay, expletive, stressed pacing of my living room, yay, expletive, we're not going to lose to expletive Hamilton are we?, expletive, massive sigh of relief, conflicting emotions that settled into happiness.
Offensively we started slow, played pretty good up until the Roosevelt TD... and then went to complete hell. Just god awful for the duration of that game. Zero first downs for the remaining 24 minutes of the game and the 6 drives we had netted us the following yards: -9, 0, 6, 8, 0, -6. For the mathematically challenged that works out to -1 net offensive yards over 24 minutes of game play. Bridge was about what you expect from a back-up. Took him a while to get into the game but when he did he threw the ball well. For how much people talk about his athleticism he is an awkward and ineffective scrambler but his arm was good.The bulk of my issue was with our idiotic play calling. From the comically inept Vernon Adams series (even the hotdog vendors know it will be a QB run), to running LaFrance 3 times while protecting the lead and trying to milk to clock, to not running once with the lead and 2:52 on the clock (we took a whole 16 seconds off the clock on that drive). With the exception of Carter, you can't really blame injuries. When the back-up plays that's when your OC needs to be at his best to build a game plan to play to his strengths. McAdoo choose instead to regress to his old habits.
The Night at the Roxbury celebration was pretty awesome. My favourite part was ROb Bagg's reluctant participation. Duron has now gotten Glenn to conga and Bagg to head bob... that's impressive.
Defense deserves huge credit for a very gutsy effort. Not only did they have to step up and bail out an offense that disappeared in the second half, they had to do it with a line-up that was duct taped together. When Radford showed up at safety, you knew things were getting dicey. But despite the adversity they battled through forced 5 turnovers, allowed 1 TD and were the primary reason we emerged with the win. Given how awful they were to start the year I never that I would be typing that but Jones is finally fielding a Defense befitting his reputation.
Our returners are cursed. Christion Jones, Demski, now Thigpen. Can't keep the good ones healthy... and yet I still don't see a scenario where Owens plays. Too bad because Thigpen was looking real good.
It may have been ugly but not all wins are going to be pretty or pummelings. Good teams overcome adversity and we did that on Friday. Sure it was against a bad team (I mean the only way that last play could have been worse is if they sent in the 3rd stringer to be QB) but a win is a win and winning is always a good thing (even if that 4th quarter took my blood pressure to dangerously high levels). Now we play the waiting game to see how serious our myriad of injuries are. With Calgary up next we're going to need all the healthy bodies we can get because if we play like this next week then we are screwed.
Other random thought:
- We found out why a 6'7 350 pound DT was available to sign with us mid-season... he's not very good. The few plays I saw him, TJ Barnes was doing a whole lot of nothing.
- Brandon Banks is one heck of a diver. Yeah that Hecht hit was a hair late but Banks played it up like he was up for an Emmy. That PI call was embarrassing. You'd think Rogers had shot poor Banks the way he flailed.
- I still can't get over what a stupid call that was by the Ti-Cats.