Monday, July 4, 2022

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Le Redemption

Riders 41 – Alouettes 20

Full disclosure, I was not at the game. Family wedding in a different province. I actually watched the first quarter on my phone and then got so disgusted that I turned it off and focused on the wedding… more specifically ensuring my drink cup remained full. But as it turns out everything that followed me turning off the game was pretty good. So you’re welcome, because clearly me watching was the issue early.

My buddy who was there summed the game as follows for me: Lanier and Robertson are studs, Sankey is a freak, we can’t pass block worth shit but can somehow run block and happen to have 2 really good backs. Having seen things with my own eyes, that seems pretty spot on though I would add that Schaefer-Baker is star.

 As expected the D was back to their normal form. They allowed 13 points (through 3 quarters they held the Als to just 6 points!), they forced 5 turnovers, added 6 sacks and scored a touchdown themselves. So yeah, they are kinda good. I still find it insane that in one recruiting year we found Woodard (damn near lead the CFL in sacks last season), Robertson (is on pace to win the sack race this year, and just happens to have 12 sacks in 14 career games), Lanier (4 sacks this season) and Dan Marino (who when he is not taking penalties is a stud DT). That’s more D-line talent then we found in the previous decade and we did it all at once. Amari Henderson fared pretty well for his first career start. Nick Marshall sealed the game and set a Rider record with his fifth career pick six. Never, never, never throw cross body out of desperation (minor football QBs are taught that) and if you are stupid enough to do it, don’t do it against a DB notorious for biting on anything that looks like a potential pick. That little juke Marshall tossed in a the end of the run was sweet. There is an alternate universe where Marshall stays at QB and is simply electric to watch.

Offense was their usual slow starting, ugly selves… but hot damn did they explode after halftime. Turns out when you distill the playbook down to “find ways to get Morrow and Baker the ball” good things happen. That should be the basis of all offensive strategy going forward. Our good American receivers are getting hurt and we still couldn’t pass block an actual empty barrel in a football jersey. So just let Morrow and Hickson handle things and sprinkle in some Schaefer-Baker. Also, clearly Picton (aka the TD machine) can stay involved too. We are quickly losing healthy players and at the rate his body is taking damage Fajardo won’t make it to August but they stuck to our winning formula. Don’t screw up and let the defense win it for us. We didn’t turn the ball over and for once Jason Maas showed the ability to adapt.

Special teams remains just god awful (you know other than Lauther casually nailing 57 yarders) but fortunately the D carried us and the O decided to chip in eventually. Gotta fix that. Though, maybe, just maybe, Dickenson/O’Day are playing 3-D Chess. Hear me out. We spend 2 weeks playing just craptastic coverage and make Chandler Worthy look superhuman. Then we convince the Als to unload a no-longer needed Mario Alford for next to nothing and to bam suddenly play good on teams again. I mean that’s what happened right? Its not just that our cover team suck? Right? Right? A man can dream. 

In all seriousness Alford is a damn nice acquisition. His biggest flaw is health. He has trouble staying on the field. But when he is on the field, he’s electric. Over the past 3 seasons he played 8 games for the Als… and returned 3 punts for TDs. He has scored a TD on 10% of his career punt returns. Small sample size but for a 6th round pick the upside is massive. We need a competent returner to spell Morrow (who clearly needs to carry the load offensively for us).

The injuries and the bumps and bruises are piling up. I don’t know how long this is sustainable but we have a good enough defense to give any team in this league a challenge. Much like last season, if the offense happens to chip in we suddenly become very dangerous.

We have 3 more home games this month (which is questionable scheduling when people are struggling to afford 1 game per month let alone 4 but I digress). If we can limp through this with a decent record we could be dangerous down the stretch as our long term injuries heal up.

For now, just happy to be celebrating a win.


Anonymous said...

Garret Marino not Dan Marion LOL

Rider Prophet said...

Oh I know. I just insist on either calling him Dan or Dan's brother... Because I'm super mature like that

Bryce Taylor said...

Random tangent - is it too soon to call the East for the Argos?

Rider Prophet said...

East is sad... again. Toronto looks awful. Ottawa is better than the embarrassment of last year but still not good. Hamilton is on paper the most talented but playing the worst. Montreal may honestly take it. Through 4 weeks, 1 win is good enough for first place.

Bryce Taylor said...

They had a chance to beat Winnipeg, but they took a page out of the good old Roughrider playbook at the very end.