Riders 13 – Als 37
Well what can you say about that game that hasn’t already been said about unclogging a toilet. It was unpleasant, stunk and we hope to never have to endure that again anytime soon. The game was essentially over on the opening kickoff the remaining 59 minutes and 48 seconds were really just rubbing our nose in it.
Not that people on the prairies are prone to overreaction but I do feel compelled to remind you that as much as that game sucked (as in suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked) the team had to play a road game on 5 days rest. What you saw in that game is not indicative of what you would have seen on a full week’s rest. I’m not saying that’s an excuse for not showing up in any way to a game, I’m just saying its not doom and gloom and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with how they bounce back next game after 9 days rest and the comforts of home.
It was so considerate of the other 4 members of our O-line to play like such utter garbage that no one would even notice whether Bandy struggled. Great show of solidarity to take pressure off the kid. I mean I’m sure Fajardo wasn’t a fan of that plan but screw that guy hey? That may have been the worst game I’ve ever seen Ferland play. He looked lost at times. And more and more I’m wondering what is up with Evan Johnson? I was pumped when we signed him because I thought we were getting a stud guard. I have yet to see him be anymore than adequate in 2 seasons here and adequate would have been an exponential improvement over his performance Thursday. Na’ty Rodgers remains firmly entrenched atop my hated list. Not only is he not good at his job, he also added another major penalty to the 4 penalties he took last week. Vaughn has not been great either but Rodgers is terrible. Makes me long for the days of Brett Boyko, or Charles Thomas or a cardboard cutout of Gene Makowsky. I can only assume that the only reason Jamal Campbell is not playing is because he’s our lone remaining Canadian OL and he needs to be our depth. Otherwise why is he not playing... no way he's worse than Rodgers. Yes folks we’ve been reduced to feeling impacts of Josiah St John not being available and looking fondly on the slightly less awful tackles we had least season. This is low.
So I have my criticisms about the play calling of Maas and Cody has his issues but there is a pretty limited playbook for zero blocking and few QBs that can be effective when the O-line plays like they hate him and want to see him suffer. Now our extended foray into terrible OL play has got me to wondering about the competence of Stephen Sorrels. I mean its his entire job to coach our O-line. In pretty much any other occupation sucking at the core purpose of your job would put your employment in jeopardy. I will also take this opportunity to note that for a team very reliant on wide receiver screens, we aren’t very good at blocking on said screens. Partly a product of being predictable and defenders beating the blocks because its so obvious what we are running but I really noticed in that game the contrast between Montreal who were effective at blocking on those plays and us that we not very good. Either coach them up to do it better or quick calling plays we suck at.
Super awful to lose Shaq again. He was looking in 2019 form and now will be gone for a while. Gotta feel for the guy. I hope he learns from last year and doesn’t rush back before he’s actually fully healed.
Defensively we did only allow 1 TD and was because Lokombo shaded inside when he should have shaded outside (rookie mistake). We allowed way too many yards and FGs but when the special teams and offense are actively working against you, 23 points is not a terrible outing. 6 penalties is still too much but I won’t harp too much on the D. I will note that Pete Robertson is quickly becoming a very good player.
For a team coached by a career special teams coach, I’m pretty disappointed about how our special teams have been. Aside from Lauther, not much has been going well. Vedvik is kicking like a guy intent on making Jon Ryan look not so bad by comparison. Blocking for our returns has been so-so and clearly our coverage teams need some work.
All in all it was a crappy night of football. Burn the tape, rest up and come out this weekend and prove it was an anomaly and not indicative of what were in store for in the rest of the season.