The 2-1 Ti-Cats are in town to face the 1-2 Riders for some Thursday Night football. The forecast calls for warm temperatures, sunny skies, and a high probability of us getting our ass kicked. I’m not going to try and BS here, the Riders are not a very good football team right now and they are playing a team that is. Given that we very recently lost to an awful that doesn’t bode well for our chances.
Any hope we have of winning hinges on our defense. They are like 95% really good and 5% praying that pass attempts are just far enough off target for Duron to intercept it. Hamilton leads the league in offensive yards and Jeremiah Masoli is playing at an unreal level right now. They present a unique challenge to our defense because they use max protection so much. According to TSN, they have 7 blockers on the line of scrimmage on over half their plays. The next closest team is under 20%. Given that our base D is rushing 3 that may pose a problem. For me the bigger issue is our secondary having to contend with Tasker, Tolliver, Saunders and Banks. That’s up there with the best receiving groups in the league. I will assume that in doing his film study for this game, June Jones was smart enough to notice that having a short, fast guy run streaks on Duron is a recipe for success. It just so happens he also has a short, fast guy who can run streaks. We need to give Duron some help there. Mix in some more zone coverage, give him safety help over top, something. Right now that’s the glaring weakness in an otherwise strong D. Hamilton has allowed as many sacks as us (surprising given their love of max protection) so our D-line should be able to get to Masoli. They just need to stay balanced in their pass rush as Hamilton has a good run game and with that many blockers it could cause issues if the D-line just pins its ears back and rushes. Realistically our D needs to keep Hamilton under 20 points for us to have a chance in this. Under 15 would be better.
Offensively my expectations have been so diminished that short of them forgetting their shoes in the locker room, there’s pretty much no way for them to disappoint me. I expect nothing of them and am pretty confident they will deliver that. If there was ever a time for McAdoo to earn his pay cheque its right now. All the garbage he has been doing over the past 2 games needs to go out the window and he needs game plan that will highlight the O’s strengths… or at least better hide their weaknesses. I realize that all the failures of last week aren’t on Bridge but he still looked like garbage and better come out with a better performance this week as leader of the O. Even though he was awful last week I would still look to give a big workload to Thigpen. I would also be willing to give Messam some love. He seems just pissed enough about not touching the ball last game to run angry. Clearly Roosevelt is the go to guy in the air but we need one of the other guys to step up and be a true #2. Last year our O worked good because we had a top tier 1-2 and then a guy like Grant could excel as the 3rd receiver. Right now we have Roosevelt and a whole lot of 3rd receivers. I mean we do have another elite receiver but let’s not bemoan that point. Holley or Williams-Lambert need to step up and take pressure of Roosevelt. Notice how Roosevelt gets killed on damn near ever catch he makes? Because the D currently doesn’t respect any other WRs and can focus solely on him. Be nice to throw less INTs than TDs and given that we only throw 1 TD per game that means we better no screw up.
Could we win this game? Sure. Stranger things have happened. People will point to the BC last year when we suddenly went from written off the relevant. I think we have the talent on D to keep the game close. And its not like Bridge hasn’t eked out games before. I just honestly don’t see Thursday being our night. Unlike last year where we were a talented team that just hadn’t hit its stride, we are currently a team with some glaring deficiencies in our roster.
Hamilton by 14
I'll try and help the Riders' cause by betting money against them. They tend to do things to me out of spite.