I think I speak for all Rider fans when I say, Thanks for nothing BC!
It was highly unlikely that Calgary would lose when playing a team that did not care about the results (and if they had it would have been cause for major concern in Cowtown) but it was fun to dream. Many have correctly pointed out that if we had beat Montreal earlier in the season we'd have finished first but there's no point getting into the coulda, woulda, shouldas. There's no shame in finishing second. There is especially no shame in hosting a home playoff game. The first in 5 years... unlike the 11 year drought, we don't need to record a song about it but its still something worth celebrating.
I'll have my usual detailed pre-game analysis on Friday but for now let me just say that we beat the Bombers 2 out 3 times and there's a big difference between playing one the road on 4 days rest vs. playing at home with 2 full weeks rest. This will be damn good game.
I spent the bye week reminiscing about past West Semi Finals played here in Regina. So today I will share some of those memories with you. My trip down memory lane dates back only to 2007 because as we all known, home playoff games were outlawed by the government prior to that... at least that's what our parents told us.
2007 vs. Calgary - What I will remember most about this game was the noise. One of the loudest games I've ever been at. DJ Flick scoring at TD right off the bat only upped the volume. Good times.
2008 vs. BC - The opposite of good time. Defense played an unreal game but were unable to overcome the fact that Michael Bishop was their QB. I also distinctly remember when they mercifully pulled Bishop and put in Durant to a large cheer. Durant proceeded to trip and fall down on the way to the huddle. This was a game that made you thankful that alcohol is a thing. Bishop had a habit of that.
2010 vs. BC - A roller coaster of emotion. The game went to double OT and we were a play away from needing Warren Keane to hit a 42 yard FG to tie. Remember Warren Keane? No? That's why that was such a scary moment. 2 plays later Jason Clermont strolled into the endzone for the win. Clermont received a standing O anytime he touched the ball that season. This was one of the few ovations that Clermont actually deserved.
2013 vs. BC - By far the coldest game I have ever been at. I'm not a person who nurses my rye and cokes (you're shocked I'm sure) but that day you essentially had to pound your drink or it would freeze solid. I'm not sure that it would have been possible to go to the bathroom. For one I was wearing so many layers that I'm not sure I could have found my um... equipment. But even if I had gotten through all the layers, I'm pretty sure I had an inny by that point. There was also a football game played. Nervous start to the game but Durant eventually used his legs to carry us to victory en route to a home Grey Cup.
What does 2018 have in store? The first in the new stadium? Hopefully more memorable things than the temperature's effects on my bathroom visits or QBs tripping on the way to the huddle. I'm freaking pumped, nothing beats playoff football especially when its a home game.
Lastly I feel compelled to comment on the Drew Tate signing. Those are words I never imagined I'd be typing this year. Like most of you I'm confused. I honestly had to double check the date on the tweet to make sure it wasn't someone jokingly retweeting a headline from 2007. Like most of you I also hate Drew Tate. Like most of you I also immediately assumed that this could not mean good news for Collaros. Now Rob Vanstone has reported that Collaros is fine and expected to be at practice when it opens but I'm still not 100% confident.
I thought about it a lot and here's where I landed. Collaros will start the game (concussion or not he just will). But should he not be able to finish,do you really feel confident with Bridge? Personally I rank him slightly ahead an inanimate carbon rod in terms of chances of victory... possibly behind. All we trust Bridge to do is hand off (rightly so, have you seen him attempt other things?). Given that, is there really a difference if its Tate handing off or Bridge? Now you could rightly question the logic of waiting until this point in the season to address the fact that you don't trust your back-up QB but Chris Jones tends not to care much for the conventional approach. With any luck neither Bridge or Tate will see the field for the remainder of the season.
For those who lament the loss to Mtl, if we were being totally rational about the Rider season, we are incredibly lucky to have won 12 games. The game given away by Nichols, the late Interception by Jefferson in the Eskimo win which could have been called back for rougjing the QB if mot for contacting the head but for pile driving Reilly into the turf. It shouldn't have gone to the last week anyway. Calgary should have locked it up the previous week on the Rogers "non-TD" which was a disservice to both the Stamps & Eskimos. The Riders got an incredible # of bounces this year going their way. I still haven't bought into Jones. An incredible DC, yes but the offence stinks unlike last year. We obsess about whether or not Collaros starts, he of the 79% efficiency rating, 4 more interceptions than touchdowns which only looks good when compared to our other 2 QB's who have even worse efficiency ratings & likewise more interceptions than touchdowns. The sad truth is that only a record tieing performance on scoring by the defence obscured the fact that the Collaros led offence has been dreadful. Can the Riders win it all? Of course. Everyone is 0-0. After all the Argos won last year. I would celebrate a Rider Grey Cup win but not the predictable crowning of Jones as the greatest coach ever. The likelihood of this team being the foundation of a Rider dynasty under Jones is as likely as Bridge being the next big QB. Talk about stunting a QB's development. And how about Carter? Now that he isn't wearing green, is he still the most talented receiver in the CFL? Chris Jones brilliance to convert him to DB has done marvels for his career. Good luck Riders. Better win a Cup. There's no firing Jones this year if he doesn't. What happens if he doesn't win at least ONE Cup in his 1st 3 years? The Riders are by far the worst offence of the 6 remaining & if the defence doesn't score, look at the stats. All 5 Western clubs have the same amount of sacks. Getting past the DE's, Brooks & Evans have one sack between them. They have given up more points than either Wpg or Calgary. The other clubs don't take a back seat to the Riders in most of the major categories on defence. So count me among the non-believers when it comes to Jones.
Agreed that there are numerous games that we won but probably deserved to lose. QB does remain the one weakness in the team/depth that Jones has built.
There is also the notion that good football teams find ways to win even when they don't play well and bad football find ways to lose games even when they do play well. I am also not a huge Jones fan and the reason more than anything is his insistence on using (or dressing) 8 or 9 Dlineman leaving us with one back up O lineman ( sometimes no back up unless you count Eddie Steel) and maybe one back db. It nearly bit him in the ass a couple times but was able to dodge the bullet. Also using Carter as a db was dumb , dumb, DUMB! Maybe use him a few times as a 6th db in obvious passing situations or at critical points in the game but when you remove one of the better offensive weapons you have , on a an offence that wasn't very good , well ....DUMB! Also I think we all hate his 3 man pass rush , especially since that means we have 6 D lineman sitting on the sidelines. NEWS FUCKING FLASH you can drop 13 guys into coverage if you don't generate a pass rush every qb in the league (expect Bridge) will find someone!! Or you will get a PI call , either way when you have guys that can generate a pass rush then use them to fucking generate a pass rush!!! and trust your db's , which by the way are very good , trust that those fuckers can cover for 2.1 seconds!!! Pressuring the qb will lead to turnovers and you are forcing the offence to execute at a high level. Ok you cant always bring pressure but I would always have at least 4 down lineman , in fact ...why not I may as well spill the beans , guess what in the CFL the LB is the flaw. Its true . You need them in the NFL where they have the narrow field and a bunch of tight ends but in the CFL with the wide field , all the motion , only 3 downs you need db's and a pass rush! I would never , NEVER ! give the offence an advantage, if you have a 5 receiver package (which most teams run most of the time ) I would have 6 db's in the game at all times giving me the advantage. If you have 5 guys blocking I would have 5 guys lined up against them and I would beat the fuck out of them all game long and wear their asses down to the point they cant run block or pass protect! You need one LB (for most plays , not all , there are situations where you may have 2 and even a situation where I would have none) and he should be your best player on defence . He is there to stop the run , mirror the qb , pick up the RB or drop into coverage. You may even send him right up the fucking A gap once in a while to Knock Nicholls balls right up into his throat! Yes he should be a Cleveland Vann , Eddie Lowe , Reggie Hunt quality but you only need one because when Calgary has the ball with 17 fucking seconds left and I have 5 guys on the defensive line and 4 deep the ball better come out Bo Levi or your ass is gonna get knocked 16 rows up in the stands! Ok maybe dont do that because a penalty just extends it. Anyways thats my rant! Y're welcome.
If the game was in Wpg I would lay $$$ on the Bombers. However even with a so-so game from Collaros I still believe the Riders can win a squeaker here. However going into Calgary will be a tough task with a focused Stampeder team. We need to get Thigpen and Marshall going often and early. Those 2 are the key to the Riders playoff hopes
The Rider defence pretty much has to win the game. Collaros is what he is now. The same guy he was in Hamilton last year with slightly worse stats. Problem is the Bombers had the best turnover ratio in the league & converted them into more points than anyone. So no advantage here for the Riders. As for sacks, all 5 Western teams had 45. Another wash. The defences are pretty much even. As for offence, the Bombers have one, the Riders don't. Jones has built a nice little defence - he's the DC so that's important. I wish he would actually put as much time into some semblance of an offence.
I get questioning Jones' methods (some are legit crazy) but he's paid to win games and he's done his job. Back to back seasons of double digit wins. It's not like he's a bad coach... just super unorthodox. Quality rant by the way.
If we make it to Calgary, good things happen when the Riders play in Calgary in the playoffs.
Defense will be fine. Jones has had plenty of time to game plan.
Super unorthodox for sure, his defence is playing pretty much lights out , I just think we are a little undersized in some positions and a little thin depth wise in others. I have never liked when premier pass rushers are used to drop into coverage , unless its done VERY infrequently and I still think the Carter move was dumb.
Carter move was dumb. I actually like our depth, other than qb. We are down 2 Ol and still good. Brought on lavoie and b jones to shore up cdn wrs. Lots of depth at import wr. Geter, antigha, Steele at dl. Jovon at db if needed. Only real gaps are import LB and depth behind Edem.
Post a Comment