Monday, October 30, 2017

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Ten!

Riders 37 - Als 12

How many wins do the Riders have this season? In the words of Billy Bob from the timeless classic Varsity Blues " Ten! A F*%#ing 10!" I feel the need to start on this point because there is a fair bit of negativity in the air following the Rider game on Friday, you know the one where we won by over 20 like some very astute prognosticator said we would. In the coming paragraphs I will join in said negativity but I feel compelled to remind people that a) we won and b) we have 10 wins and can clinch 3rd in the West with one more. (A year ago we would have killed for either of those to be true... we I personally wouldn't have killed just so we're clear but I'm sure some people would have).

The Riders have a habit of playing to the level of their competition. Beat some good West teams handily, almost lose to Ryan Lindley, beat the Stamps at home, etc... Friday was a continuation of this. If you had watched no other football than the first have you likely would have surmised that both teams were out of contention. Sloppy play, poor decisions, boneheaded mistakes on both sides. Fortunately things righted themselves in the second half when the Riders remembered they were good and the Als kept on being the Als. 

Defense continued their strong play. Turnovers, sacks, shutting down the run, keeping the score very low.  They did their job. We finally found out that Duron is not invincible as he was beating on a couple throws. He also has a clear habit of watching the ball looking for a big play rather than watching his receiver. With any luck we won't see him at CB when it matters most. Butler was fired up and made a ton of plays. Moncrief continues to impress me. And ho hum Ed Gainey got his tenth pick of the year by shear force. I still maintain that Jefferson is our Defensive MOP but 10 picks is still one hell of a feat. About the most entertaining thing that happened while we were on defense was when the announcer first called Matt Shiltz, Matt Schlitz. "Give me six schliztes. Ah F it whatever's free"

Offense was lucky they were playing a bad team. There wasn't a whole lot of good outside of Owens and Richardson. Glenn was shaky but that was one of the few times I would not have pulled him as he wasn't actually doing that bad. Especially considering that Bridge came in and forced it into triple coverage for a pick. Between Crapigna's two uncharacteristic misses and Grant's already much mocked hot dogging we left 13 points on the field. More when you consider that do due how terrible the Als are we routinely starting in their end (I mean one punt was so awful that it netted 11 yards). But as I said, Owens was good and it was nice to see us be able to close out a game by running it down their throats (20+ rushes is always a Prophet pleaser). Lots to clean up but It was nice to see Glenn not be completely useless. More importantly I actually like a lot of what we did offensively (at least conceptually). The sweeps to Owens, the actually emphasis on the run, getting Christion Jones involved on not a blind deep pass. Some actual creativity. If you add that to a healthy Roosevelt and an actually involved offensively Carter, good things could be in-store in the playoffs.

Overall while the game was sloppy, the outcome was a lopsided win over a team we were supposed to beat. Would I preferred we did it without the all the crap? You bet but a win is a win. And the bigger thing is we seemed to emerge mostly healthy (something the Bombers wish was the case). I am jacked for a meaningful November game at Mosaic!

Other random thoughts:
- Too bad the University section isn't a thing anymore. The malfunctioning mic during the anthem was their time to shine. 

- Off the 110 yards along the sidelines, I'll never understand why Cox decided to use the one containing a ref to enter the field. Stupid. By the way, the penalty call on that should clerly be "Illegal use of Cox"

- The first PI call on Montreal was BS in my opinion

- I love how the Riders have legit stopped even pretending to try for halftime entertainment. By this time next year they may either just turn the jumbo tron to TSN or actually do nothing at all.

- Christion Jones is legit (more quality analysis) that stat of him having 1000 return yards in 9 games was eye popping. There were times in Rider history where 1000 return yards would have taken us 1001 kicks. Blocking for him has been solid.

- I love Durant but personally I thought the video was a bit much. Show him on screen, cheer him but save the sappy video for when he retires.


Anonymous said...

As usual well thought out, balanced view. I would hope Jefferson gets the nod. Gainey has been good, yes, but when did a DB ever win Most O/S D player - oh yes, Jovon did in 2011. That's the one & only, I believe. If you want a chance for a Rider on the podium, the award is pretty much for LB's & DE's. Having said that, Eliminian & Singleton are the favourites & one of them will win IMO. I am conflicted about INTs in a way. If you look at the DB studs on Jones' previous teams -Watkins in TO who rarely saw a ball come his way in his prime, Grymes in Edm again, who has amazing closing speed & coverage skills but few INTs, I'll take one of those please, & you can have Gainey. No knock on Gainey - I'm happy for him BUT I have to say Gainey has lights out games & then a stretch where he becomes the guy Hamilton didn't want to sign. Dare I say it? If it came down to free agency & I could only sign two of Gainey, Butler & Rodgers, I'd let Gainey go. Feel free to call me crazy if you want. In other DB news, Carter isn't a DB full stop. Not a knock but let's play DB's who've been playing this since high school or college, not receivers who are very good at what they were born to do. Good game but real test coming up. I see some Rider fans are already tweeting about a blowout. However, I just read elsewhere that Esks were without Bowman, Walker, Hazelton, Waters on offence,Konar, Cummings & Hunt in front 7 (also playing wide-eyed rookie Mulumba in the middle), missing Grymes, Thompson, King & Colqhuon in the backfield when we last played them. Apparently robokicker Whyte due back as well. Plus 2 easy pick 6's from Reilly, 37 points off T/O's. Shouldn't we have beat them by 100? I think it will be a close game. Do Riders want 3rd? What's your thoughts on Riders winning?

Skot Kortje said...

What, no love for the O-Line? Even Richardson gave them kudos post game. Let's be real: this team will only go as far as the hogs take them. No push from them, no run game. No execution by them, and Glenn gets sacked or Bridge runs around looking to be a hero. Without a dominant O-line, the defense is in for a long night. The D is good, but also susceptible to touchdown scoring drives by second-string QBs. Always love your analysis, but the Prophet should point his staff at the generously girthed men in the trenches for every win, and every loss. The Red Sea parts for a reason - and it's not your stick. No innuendo meant, fine sir. ;)

Rider Prophet said...

Anon - For me Gainey's inconsistency is the biggest issue. For those 6 games he was playing at an elite level. For the other games not so much. If he could ever turn it on consistently, look out. Tough call but I really like Butler and would probably take him over Gainey. Rogers has always been a fav but maybe slight edge to Gainey as he plays the tougher HB spot. It will be a very different Esk team we play but it will also be on our turf. Throw out the previous results and get ready for what should be a damn good game.

Skot - Good point. You can't run that much without solid blocking by the big boys up front. Richardson had some big holes to run through. I will try and be more praising of the thankless work done in the trenches by the OL. You are right, we only go as far as they take us.

By the intended or not the line about my stick made me laugh out loud.

Anonymous said...

The INT gave Gainey the nomination but have to be proud as a whole on the improvement on the DSide. Like how they are now bringing more pressure !!!


As Owens speech summed it up, this could be special year just focus and get it done now.

Cant wait for the ESKS-RIDERS PREVIEW from the Prophet !!!


Dom in YEG