Monday, June 13, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Starting on the Right Foot

Riders 30 – Ti-Cats 13

For the first half of the game I think we were all having déjà vu. Defense was locking it down, offense was so useless you could scarcely understand how they managed to tie their own cleats. But on the second offensive play of the 3rd quarter, things changed. Fajardo connected with Shaq on a picture perfect pass for 41 yards. That seemed to awaken the offense and allay some of the mounting concerns that we were in for another season of the least amount of offense humanly possible.

 As much as the talk of that game is the fact that we remembered that passes of greater than 10 yards against the rules, what we really should be talking about is the defense. Hamilton is not the top offense but they aren’t terrible… and we made them look terrible. 8 sacks, 5 turnovers and were it not for Nick Marshall doing Nick Marshall things, we would have kept them completely out of the endzone completely. Speaking of Marshall that game is the perfect summary of what you get with him. His INT was insanely good coverage and a great play on the ball. Top notch stuff. That TD was lazily biting a short route because he values stats over playing his assignment. His good is so good. His bad is so frustrating. Pete Robertson was a force out there. Mike Edem was all over the field. I’m not sure I saw it correctly but I believe it was Edem who put that O-line on his butt resulting in him getting injured. Man is it nice to Moncrief back! Charbel Dabire had a good game. Maybe hyping him for the past three seasons will finally pay off for me. Our front 7 controlled that game. Secondary held their own. Other than Marshall’s brain fart they allowed nothing over 26 yards. I wonder how long before Jason Shivers starts getting the credit he deserves as one of the top D Coordinators in the league. He fields a consistently good defenses no matter what personnel he has to work with.

I was pleasantly surprised by our OL. We played a damn good front 4 and I barely noticed or had to swear about our line. No sacks and for the most part Cody had time to do what he needed. By no means are they dominant but after last season, I think we will all gladly take “not awful”. Not a lot of running room but I’ll defer judgement there because, again, that Hamilton front 7 is talented. Even when we weren’t moving the ball at all, Cody at least wasn’t making bad decisions. No turnovers and honestly our issues were more with play calling (i.e. 4 yards passes on second and 10) than execution. You can tell Shaq is Cody’s guy. Everything works better when that connection is going. That game showed that even if we can start consistently hitting passes of just 20 yards then our O will work. I just genuinely enjoy watching Schafer-Baker play. With the attention Shaq and Duke will draw he’s going to have plenty of one on one opportunities and has the talent to make opponents pay (as he did on that TD). Now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves and appoint our offense fixed. They still slept through the first half. They still relied far too much on Lauther. Of the 2 TD’s we scored, one was gifted to them by Moncrief. There is still work to do. But they showed us enough against a good opponent to be hopeful.

Nice to start the season on a positive note. Nice to have something to cheer about in the stands again after a season of mostly just enduring really boring games. Next up is Edmonton and I don’t ever like underestimating an opponent but my god, did you see how awful they were? If that's the level of play he gets, he will break his record of dressing 100 different players here in 2016 because he will cut them all and demand a new team each week.


Anonymous said...

Insightful analysis, thank you for doing this! #BEL13VE

Anonymous said...

100 percent, can't wait till next week 😊

Dan said...