Riders 19 – Stamps 22
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Defense sleeps through the opening of the game, has trouble tackling but otherwise plays good enough to win. The offense is so useless that you can’t fathom how most of them tie their shoes and it leads to a close game where we ultimately fall short. If it sounds familiar its because the exact thing just happened two weeks in a row. Two weeks ago it looked like we had a chance to bury the Stamps in the standings. Now we let them right back into the mix for second in the West.
Look, in the wake of that dreadful performance lots of criticism is being thrown and Fajardo and Maas. Most of it is warranted. But even the best OC’s and QB’s would struggle to field a competent offense with an O-line this bad. They offered Fajardo all the protection of a condom with holes in it. It wasn’t a matter of whether we let a defender through for most of the night, it was a matter of how many we let through. There were times that Fajardo didn’t have enough time for a 3 step drop and quick pass. Until the line gets better, there will be limits on what Maas and Fajardo can do.
Now I’m not absolving Maas of fault here. He does some really dumb things for a guy with a bad O-line. We routinely ran empty backfield sets. So we gave no illusion of running and had no extra blockers to help. When you know your line is garbage, why would you do that? We also have all this ridiculous pre-snap motion where Powell motions out to WR and Lenius motions to RB. Nobody is fooled by the this so the end result is we put the better blocker out to catch passes and the better pass catcher into block. Why? And somehow with an offense that can’t complete a deep pass we thought the answer to that problem was to target Powell deep? In what world does that seem like a good idea when we have all these big tall receivers on the roster?!? Why do we not run more slants? We have the big bodied guys to do it. It fits within our offensive capabilities and philosophy but we don’t use it. We had receivers dropping passes yet again. I hate to rag on Fajardo with all this crap working against him but he’s still not doing himself any favours. There was a play where Fajardo forced it to Schaefer-Baker on the sidelines. Had he looked just slightly to his right, we would have seen Lenius open on the seam for a massive gain. Bottom line is our offense is not even close to good enough to win us games. Unless Evans and Williams recently learned to play offensive tackle, they will not be the miracle cure for what ails us.
Defense is really difficult to peg down. They start slow. They struggle to cover and tackle. But game after game they get the job done despite not looking great in the process. They allowed a solitary TD. They got 3 sacks. They even avoided penalties for the most part (except for that time where Bo talked the refs into a ridiculous flag that came out 15 minutes after the play was over). They forced 3 turnovers and you know what our offense managed to do with that? 6 points! I cursed a lot at our D on Saturday but they consistently do enough to give us a good chance to win. Which more than I can say for other phases of our team.
This bye week might be well timed because we are in a mini-tailspin and some time to clear our heads might be helpful. I honestly assumed that we’d easily take 2 of 3 from Calgary and suddenly we are staring down a very good chance of being swept and starting to keenly watch the math on a crossover.
Other random thoughts:
· Was Campbell legit hurt? Or just really committed to the protecting his pride by claiming injury was the problem?
· Brett Lauther channeled his inner Jaime Boreham and unloaded on that special teams tackle. He is giving his all these last few weeks.
· Jon Ryan had a crap day punting.
· While we are speaking of people I used to notably hate on, Dan Clark also had a crap day.
I WAS WONDERRING ABOUT CAMPBELL TOO, WHEN HE HEADED FOR THE LOCKER ROOM... WAS HE ACTUALLY INJURED OR DID HE GET CUT?
IT DOESNT FEEL LIKE THE OFFENSE IS QUITE AS BAD AS THE JONES TEAMS WHERE WE NEEDED TO HAVE THE DEFENSE SCORE TO HAVE ANY CHANCE... BUT STILL YIKES. THE O LINE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE A PROBLEM AT THE START OF THE YEAR... LOOKING LIKE AFTER SNEAKING BY THE FIRST FEW GAMES, THE INEXPERIENCE THERE IS COMING TO BITE US.
HOW TF DO WE NOT GO FOR IT ON 3RD 1? DO WE JUST NOT HAVE INTEREST IN TRYING TO WIN THE GAME? COME ON MAN
Yeah, our entire offense is based around getting 2 yards and the one time it would come in handy, we chicken out. I don't get it
Here's the dilemma I commented on. We don't have a line that can hold up without getting some help. But if we go max protection I don't know if the receivers we have on the field right now are good enough to win matchups 4 vs 7 or 8 in coverage...or experienced enough to find those holes in the zone and sit down.
I agree with what you said about Cody not seeing an open guy. My fear right now is the pressure is coming so fast he's going one read and throw, or rushing the throw leading to them being off-target. I see him rushing things on the rare occasion where he has more than 2 seconds in the pocket.
I feel ilke this line, although not great to start the year is regressing. I worry about our first year starters (3 of them) starting to wear down.
Rod Pedersen (Out Of The Tunnel Oct 11) said it - the product isn't entertaining. Ditto Jamie Nye on Rider Rumblings. CFL product league-wide is not very good. The # of players who retired, or gone for other reasons, left a void. Take Winnipeg - please. That "unstoppable force"? A decent team - yes. But I'm hard pressed to recall a team with worse kicking. The latest guy is 4 for 10 with none over 29 yds. The guy before him made 3 of 5 with a longest of 22 yds. Punt returns? Barely better than hapless Elks. That's 1/3 of the game. This week Paredes nailed a 44 yarder to beat the Riders, Bede a 51 pressure kick to beat the TiCats. The Bombers have a kicker who missed 3 meaningless tries in that range in a blowout. Better than the 8 other teams - yes. But great? Look at the competition.
Elks - described by one reporter as a "clown car on fire driving into a fireworks factory". Oh, deer.
Redblacks - Averaging 1 Off TD per game.
Lions - no run game or pretence of one. If only they could pass block.
Stamps - If DB's could only catch, Bo's 5:10 TD To INT ratio is flattering.
TiCats - horrible OL, no run game. B-O-R-I-N-G.
Als - Adams had MOP hype, then the season started. Good one day, lost the next. Now out for awhile.
Riders - When the receivers aren't catching balls, the QB is missing them wide open. OL is bad, rinky dink offence. The D? Well, as you said.
Argos - Arbuckle who? A fumble & INT machine. Actually some hope here with Jones coaching D. B-T @ QB actually pretty good, to be fair.
Tackling & blocking seems to be a lost art. How bad are most of the OL's? The Ottawa game this weekend we had multiple comments on all the easy picks dropped on both sides.
I'm just not tuning into the games as much as I used to. Hopefully it improves or many, like myself, may start turning away. It's quite depressing actually.
The good news for the Riders is 2 games with the Elks. Harris is officially on the trading block as reported today. It will be very interesting to see where he goes. I would not be surprised to see a trade with the Argos - Harris for Arbuckle, who is also being shopped. With a $300K bonus already paid, Harris costs them little after switching salaries. Also a possibility but I have my doubts - Harris for Masoli. Two big QB contracts in Hamilton & Evans, I believe, is now the clear #1. Harris would be good backup for either of those clubs in the home stretch. Harris obviously is done in Edmonton. They have to drop him even if they get nothing in return. The Elks will definitely ship him East IMO. As for that game with the Riders? The Elks have a bye week so, should they pick up a new QB in a trade, lots of time to get him up & running. In the meantime, with 2 weeks off & a loss tonight, this may be the 1st of a bunch of moves in Elkland. Interesting times.
Well that's a shocker. I thought Harris might go for another QB, namely Arbuckle, but that means they're all in on going with Cornelius. Interesting comment from my best buddy in Elktown, a die hard fan who clued me in on the "Eskimo curse" I had mentioned to you a long while ago. His take on why Harris was let go.
-well documented Red Zone problems in 2019 despite good receiving corps, RB, OL which gave up least sacks in the league.
-2021 - Harris had 6 majors in 82 drives in his 6 starts. Cornelius had 5 majors in 32 possessions in 2 starts before replacing Harris vs Winnipeg.
-fan apathy. Would not be unhappy to see the end of Sunderland & Elizondo either.
Rider angle. Does it matter in the 2 game set with Elks? Riders need wins down the stretch. With away games in Calgary & the Als with Harris on board, the doubleheader may be very important. I think Riders still finish 3rd. BC is bad & has been exposed.
Curiously, Harris' stats re: creating TD's very similar to Fajardo. Last 3 games - 4 TD's in 40 drives. An earlier stretch - games 3, 4, 5 when the Riders had 1 TD in 39 drives. That's 5 TD's in 79 drives over 6 of last 7 games. Offence has to pick it up. Where's McAdoo when we need him.
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