Riders 1 - Stamps 37
I've just gotten used to the fact that the Riders are awful in the preseason. I decided to look into how awful after Friday's game. The results: since 2009 we have won just 3 times (and tied once) and since 2016 our average margin of defeat has been 26 points. So yeah, preseason it not really our thing.
Preseason is usually ugly ball but the Riders started 2019 with a particularly ugly performance even by preseason standards. We scored just one point and there should really be an asterisks beside it because it seems wrong that we were rewarded with a point for a field goal "attempt" that was so wide it almost didn't cross the goal line before going out of bounds.
But before we get all doom and gloom about it. Let's remember that this is preseason and the results are about as valuable as Alouette stock. If you want to extol the wonders of Bo Levi Mitchell and his starting receivers for carving up a defense featuring only 3 projected starters be my guest. If you want to bemoan the fact that our offense couldn't do sweet diddly despite the best players being rested then go ahead. But it will make you look silly.
Sure I would have liked to have seen more positive things but I'm not ready to go in full panic mode. Though given that the Green and White scrimmage sent some people into a panic maybe me telling people to calm down is futile.
There was some good, so let's look at that:
Cody Fajardo looked good. What I liked was that he was quick and decisive with his reads, got the ball out quick and placed the ball well. Now the caveat is that its hard to give too much praise to a guy who produced 0 points and never attempted a pass over 10 yards. But he did his job (exactly what McAdoo wants from his O) and wasn't helped out by his WRs.
Both RBs showed nice flashes. Butler seems to be the faster more explosive player but he really pissed me off on that one run where he has a sure first down and channeled his inner Josh Stanford and geared down and got tackled short. Still like his potential. Morrow was not as speedy as Butler but still looked fast and seemed to make better decisions and cuts.
The O-line only really allowed 1 jail break and it was late in the game so the group that started did a decent job. It was good to see Shepley go back in after getting hurt.
Defensively Dyshawn Davis stood out. I thought our edge rushers got close on a number of plays. Give them our starting DTs and it would have been a very different story. I maintain that Geter will have a good year. Mak Henry had a good push resulting in a goal line stuff... that was promptly erased by at least 3 people lining up offside including Bouka casually sauntering around well offside.
Brock McCoin was about the only WR who stood out but he looked like he broke something in his arm so that's unfortunately probably it for him. (Also remember that he only stood out in an offense that didn't throw over 10 yards).
That was about it for the good.
Watford looked OK but he was noticeably slower on his reads and way more erratic in his ball placement. He remains a faster Michael Bishop. I don't really see him progressing much beyond what we've seen. Did Harker show enough to unseat him at #3? Not decisively but he didn't look out of place on the field so I'd almost be inclined to keep him over Watford and see if he can progress.
Our starting secondary seems pretty safe because there was not a lot of good in terms of back-end coverage.
The game was a whole lot of awful but most people involved will soon be unemployed or glued to the bench so take it for what it's worth and just enjoy the fact that football is back.
Other random thoughts:
- That shanked Ryan punt would have resulted in a standing ovation at Mosaic.
- I strongly believe that if you attempt to challenge in the preseason you should be kicked in the nuts. Punishment should be tripled if you lose... that said I think the booth got the call on the challenge wrong (go figure)