Riders 30 – Argos 16
Full disclosure on today’s analysis… I was at an out of town wedding this weekend and wasn’t actually at the game. So my analysis is based on watching the game on my phone on super patchy wifi. I mean, I got the gist of what wen down put I probably missed a few things.
What I did not miss was us scoring 3 TDs. 3! That means that 30% of our offensive TDs this season came in that game. It was much needed and certainly reassured a lot of fears. Almost as shocking as finding the enzone repeatedly was the massive workload for Powell. We fed him over 20 times and he delivered with 5.8 yards per carry. It’s probably not coincidence that when we ran a more balanced offense, we scored more points. Fajardo also used his legs effectively. He is still taking way too many hits for my liking but unfortunately I think we are just going to have to endure that. If you ignore the part of my pre-game write up where I said we wouldn’t run, I was actually spot on (I realize that’s like a doctor saying, other than missing the cancer diagnosis I was pretty spot on with your physical). Dupuis got a pass, LaFrance got a carry. Lots of short accurate stuff. The story of the offense is of course Kian Schaefer-Baker. On a team featuring 4 Canadian receivers drafted in the top 17, this 4th round draft pick is becoming THE Canadian threat in our offense. He has been gaining steam ever since working his way off the practice roster and this was his coming out party. 9 catches and one of the most hard fought TDs you will ever see. The play I like is when we have him run the slant. Shaq was lethal on those and Baker is now using all 6’4 of his frame to bring that play back to our O in Shaq’s absence. Consider that was Baker’s 4th career game. We may only be starting to scratch the surface of what he can do.
Defense did their job for the most part. Considering the number of starters we are missing I continue to be impressed with what they are doing. They forced a number of turnovers. The nicest of those was that huge goal line stand. Honestly I was just impressed we lined up onside. I mean partial blame goes to the Argos for going shotgun on the goal line but props to the D for getting it done there. That was the turning point in the game. Could have easily let them back in the game there but stood strong. We really clamped down on the run and forced Arbuckle to beat us in the air. As a I said pregame, he has flashes but is not nearly consistent enough yet. Keion Adams had probably the most impactful game I’ve seen out of him. Argos put up yards but made too many mistakes and too few endzone trips. Argos also took a play out of our playbook and racked up a ton of penalty yards.
I’m happy we won. It was much needed. But it was an ugly win and it covered up some issues that continue to plague us. 8- yards in penalty is well below our average put still too high. We are comically bad at clock management at the of the half. Lauther is struggling something awful. No way Cody lasts a full season with the wear and tear he’s taking. Marshall is frustrating. Yes he’s good in coverage but he can’t play half because he can’t open field tackle and he continues to take stupid penalties. Gladly take the win but this doesn’t undo all the struggles of the last 2 weeks. We need to keep improving if we want be beat BC next week.