Riders 10 – Lions 28
(Note: I wrote this all before finding out about the injuries to Morrow and Duke)
In case you just assumed that the title of this post was a series of spelling errors on my part (a fairly reasonable assumption), its actually quite witty. What’s missing from the title? The O is. Get it? Having to explain jokes is a sign that it’s a very good one I hear.
What was not good was that game on Friday. I’m fairly certain I could just blindly copy and paste the same 4 bullet points and they would cover 90% of Rider games played between 2021 and the end of this season:
· Defense tried their best but couldn’t do it on their own
· O-line sucked
· Abandoned the run
· No semblance of a passing game
That’s it. That’s the Riders week in and week out. I would say our offense is a joke but we certainly aren’t laughing and even opposing team’s laughs are turning to sad pity. There have been very times over the past 2 decades that I can recall an offense this terrible. Tino Sunseri comes to mind. The Greg Marshall/Doug Berry half season perhaps. I may have repressed others. For all of Michael Bishop’s fault (of which there were many) he at least was a threat to score at some point. For all of Brandon Bridge’s sucktitude (of which there was much) I would take that in a heart beat over whatever the hell the have going on now.
I am an ardent Fajardo supporter but he’s useless right now. He’s so visibly broken both physically and more troublingly mentally. Its not his fault. Two years of being offered zero protection and taking more hits then a punching bag at a boxing club have him looking like he has PTSD in the pocket. I don’t blame him but the call to bench him was correct and should probably extend for a while. Honestly never thought Dickenson would do it. Let alone, mid game. I can see a future where Fajardo goes to a different team and revitalizes his career behind a line that can actually block.
But let’s not go anointing Fine the saviour of Riderville just yet. He produced one touchdown followed by 30 minutes of futility and the proceeded to narrow his vision on the field such that McInnis and Harty were the only receivers visible to him. With due respect to both those players, if they are your go to guys, then the odds of our offensive production picking up are slim. I like Fine in that he’s still too young and stupid to be scared about all the defenders his line doesn’t block so he stands in there. You gotta roll with him for now and see if he can develop but be in his ear to maybe look for some of our actual good receivers.
Remember when I said that Morrow needed 20 touches in this game? Well he average 5.9 yards per run… exactly the reason I wanted him to have a massive workload. But we ran him just 6 times (and added 4 passes). How can you ignore what is clearly the only good thing we have going on offense week in and week out?!? It honestly looks like Maas bet heavy on the under on Morrow’s season long rushing totals.
Let’s call it like it is. Our offense is pure shit. And with an offense this bad there are only maybe 2 games left on our schedule that are winnable.
Defense didn’t dominate but lord they tried and at least looked like professional level football players. They kept us in the game for the better part of the first half. They offered up turnovers. Hell they held BC under 30 points, which is only the 3rd time all season anyone has done that. My only criticism of the D was the stupid 3 man rush we tried early. We didn’t rush 3 even when we barely had 3 healthy d-linemen to dress. So why on earth once we had our stud 4 back did we rush 3? Give Rourke time and he will carve you up. Plus we aren’t that great in zone at the best of times.
As much as I’m tired of him tearing us apart, it was still a shame to see Rourke get hurt. You always want the best players in the league (of which he clearly is) to be on the field.
Does Rourke’s absence give us a chance next week? Possibly. Certainly helps our D… but unless they can keep the BC O under 10 points, I still don’t have any confidence our O can score enough to win.
We simply are who we are at this point. A very good team in 2 out of 3 phases being pulled to the bottom by a ginormous anchor that is our offense. We can have all the optimism we want about the upcoming returns of Moore, Evans and Picton but unless one of those 3 recently put on 100 pounds and converted to tackles or get promoted to playcaller, it may not be enough to salvage things based on their current state.
Random bonus thoughts:
- Was surprised to learn that attempted horse collar is a penalty. I’m glad that does not apply to all penalties because if attempted holding was a thing, lord help Na’ty Rogers.
- When Wesley Lewis has as many targets as Kian-Schaefer Baker that may be a sign that you have issues.
- Noticed Clark bump into half and Henderson moved out to corner. Wonder is that was a game specific thing or a more permanent one?
- Hope the injury to Milligan is nothing to serious.