Friday, June 29, 2018

Riders vs. Montreal: S’il vous plait

Saturday the Riders return home to face a winless Alouette team. In a short 2 week span the 2018 season has already been a rollercoaster ride of the wonderful highs of week 1 and the gut wrenching lows of pretty much everything that has followed. Still it could be worse… our opponents on Saturday has experienced nothing but lows. They have missed the playoffs for 3 straight seasons winning a total of 16 games (that’s an average of 4 per year for those that care about math). And they are well on their way to making it 4 straight. So yeah the Als are bad and my only thought all week has been… Please don’t F this up!

I don’t like getting overly dramatic (it’s a long season and a lot can happen) but if we don’t win this game, I think we can pretty safely say that we’re screwed. This is a home game; against a team with quite possibly the least qualified trio of GM, Coach and QB in recent memory; that is playing embarrassingly bad football (I wonder why?). This is a game we have to win if we consider ourselves contenders.

We will have to do so without our starting QB as Collaros is headed to the 6-game to recover from his concussion. An outcome that is not entirely unsurprising when you track how we assembled our O-line. That means Brandon Bridge will get the start. Bridge will be leading an offensive unit, whose recent performance can be called offensive. Just 2 TDs to show over 2 games. Hopefully he’s been working on his cardio condition because based on how our OL blocks he’s going to be on the move a fair bit. The good news is that he faces the worst defense (by far) in the CFL. The Als are averaging 39 points per game allowed and allowing more yards than anyone. They do have talented players in their ranks (Muamba, Westerman, Campbell, White) so they aren’t just going to lay down for us but they are a unit we should be able to move the ball on. Over the first 2 games no one has allowed more rushing yards so that would be a good place to start. I expect to see a heavy dose of Thigpen fresh off his suspension. We just need to be smart with the ball. Montreal’s offense is terrible (read more about that in the next paragraph) so if we limit turnovers even a mediocre offensive showing (mediocre offense? That’s where we’re a viking!) should be enough to win this for us.

Defensively, we need to show up first and foremost. Last week the D looked flat and slow. Need to feed off that home crowd and come out guns a blazin’. We are facing the only O-line more embarrassing than ours so our front four (including the newly acquired Brooks) should have a monster game. As much as it goes against Jones’ philosophy I would be sending pressure all night. Neither Willy nor his O-line can handle the pressure (Winnipeg used a lot of blitzes) and it has the added bonus of helping neutralize Terell Sutton (about the only good thing they have on O… though he gets used less than a McAdoo RB for some reason, most likely based in forensics). They have capable receivers and have proven they can hit the long bomb so we need to eliminate that. But half of Drew Willy’s pass attempts this season have been for 3 yards or less. Cover those quick outlets and send pressure and you eliminate 75% of the Als playbook. This is one Willy that does not perform well under pressure.   Let’s face it… Drew Willy, behind that line, with Sherman coaching should not outduel our defense. They have thus far averaged 10 points a game and I see no reason that should increase.

I think this game will start out closer and more stressful than it should be but it the end we will prevail in a decisive victory

Riders by a Thigpen TD. Gettin' Thiggy It! 

Also, going to predict another Duron pick 6 even though it will only further reinforce the misconceived notion that he is a good DB.

Please, please, please don't F this up!


Anonymous said...

Agree. These are the kind of games that are trap games. The Ottawa beating should have knocked any notion of how good we are out of the club. Expecting McAdoo to run is a wild dream. The only bad part, likely negated by the bad coaching, is that Westerman & Bowman could give our OL problems & they do have talent on defence. As bad as Willy is, his QB efficiency @ 90.4 is slightly better than Collaros & WAY better than Bridge @ 59.8. Still, can't see Riders losing this one @ home but the Als will beat somebody this year, even if only a game or 2. Has anyone ever lost all 18 games?

Rider Prophet said...

Worst I can recall is Ti-Cats going 1-17... the Riders were the 1 ugh

Bryce Taylor said...