Riders 20 – Bombers 54
Look, we were probably not going to win even if we were healthy. Add in a nasty stomach flu ripping through the team and that game was going to be about as pretty as those bathroom stalls in the visitor locker room must have been. We didn’t lose because of the flu… but the lopsided nature of the score can probably be blamed at least in large part on the sickness. I mean we had to start a DB who only arrived at the stadium because our team president was forced to be a glorified soccer mom and drive him to the stadium the day of the game.
So I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time analyzing this one. The best team in the CFL was healthy and beat the crap out of (or at least whatever was left in them) a .500 team that was anything but healthy. Burn the tape, cover everything in bleach and move on.
I will talk about a few notable things though…
Frankie Hickson averaged 7.1 yards per carry behind a line that had to get IVs to even be healthy enough to stand upright and be away from a bathroom for more than a few minutes. Stud is starting to seem like an understatement. The run game is the only thing that is remotely consistent in a positive way (at least when we acknowledge it exists). Run, run and when you think we’ve run too much, run again for good measure.
Mario Alford is another stud. You have to go back to the days of Corey Holmes to find a kick returner this dynamic in green and white. Down the stretch we are going to need a lot of help if we want to find the win column and he’s a guy that can offer that.
I will preface this by saying that reffing is not why we lost and I really hate to even go down this rabbit hole as I normally will defend the refs and not buy into any conspiracy theories (Fact: the refs hate all our teams equally… well except Tom Valesi). But for the second week in a row I watched numerous Winnipeg infractions go uncalled. There were 2 distinct holds on that Bailey TD that somehow escaped the refs view. That PI call on Moore was about the first marginal call in a while that I have seen go our way. And why is it that the command centre can only fix errors when they benefit our opponents? Over the course of this season we’ve had to challenge no yards, we had blatant holds missed, nothing. But Winnipeg gets a penalty for a hit on Fajardo and suddenly they wake up and start doing stuff. For the record I think they were right in that case. While the defender tried really hard to commit a penalty on Fajardo he missed. I will say though that if Marino had done that, there would have been an uproar across the league. I’m not asking for perfect reffing. It would just be nice if it was a consistent bar.
While it was hardly worth celebrating, nice to see Charleston Hughes get another sack and take over 5th all-time in CFL history. He’s only 4 more away from tying Jurasin for 3rd all-time. Not sure how much more he has left but after an utter disappointment in Toronto last year, its nice to see him have some success.
That’s it. Nothing else in that game is worth discussing. Hopefully when we go back to Winnipeg in 3 weeks time, we are healthy and can see how we actually stack up. Between the Covid outbreak ahead of the Toronto game and now this, we have had shit luck this season… literally.