When the schedule makers drew this up I bet they were expecting a massive finish to the regular season with huge playoff implications. Instead they get 2 teams going through the motions, one eager to get to the next game and one eager to be done with the season. It’s kinda like preseason, except we don’t have 70 players in camp so its like 3 back-ups and our regular starters. So we aren’t even really evaluating anyone. So all of the bad football with none of the underlying purpose.
True to brand this season, the Riders found a way to mismanage a meaningless game. Simply put, there is no reason for Cody to dress in this one. It should be split with Fine getting a half and Dolegala getting a half. Hell give the practice roster QB Levi Lewis a quarter for all I care. But no. When asked Dickenson said he would “try” to get Dolegala on the roster (as if he’s not the guy making all the decisions) but that Cody would be there for sure. You'll try?There are 3 explanations for this:
1 – Dickenson is stupid and trying not to hurt Cody’s feeling rather than making the hard/right decision.
2 – We are so tight against the cap that swapping Fajardo for Dolegala would put us over. (Honest to god, exceeding the cap in a year this craptacular would just be the icing on the cake)
3 – Cody has some performance incentive in his contract that triggers if he plays and we are just trying to do right by him.
If it’s 3 then I can understand. Having a reputation as a team that does right by players is a good thing… but I highly doubt that is the case. If it's 2 then even more scrutiny needs to come to the job O’Day has done. Can’t rule out that possibility but 1 seems most likely. Things are so bad in Riderville we can’t even tank effectively.
There’s no point in doing my normal game preview. So here’s a few things that would be nice to see on Saturday:
· Baker get 1000 yards. I know 1000 is an arbitrarily pumped up number but he needs to 65 to hit it and as one of the few bright spots on this team, I feel he deserves it.
· Larry Dean is 3 tackles short of 100. Given that we can’t stop the run that feels like an easy mark to exceed but it would be a nice cap to an amazing comeback year for Dean.
· Charleston get a few more sacks. Not sure he has enough playing time left to hit first all-time in sacks but I would love to see him continue to climb the all-time list. He currently sits at 5th. Remember how happy we were when we thought he got a TD? It’s been a steady slide to misery from there.
· Its too little too late but seeing Lanier back out there will be nice. He is a force along that D-line that we sorely missed.
· Dare I ask for 2 offensive TDs?
· One more Alford return TD. His returns have giving us fleeting moments of pure joy in what is usually a painful 60 minutes. He touches the ball like 5 times a game usually deep in our own end and is still our best chance to score.
· Bo Levi Mitchell get picked off. Preferably by Nick Marshall. Bo picks are always good for what ails you.
· Bo Levi Mitchell retire from football some I’m not subjected to months of chatter about him becoming a Rider, or worse, us actually paying him a boatload of money mistakenly thinking he can enliven our offense.
· Rather than dumping Gatorade on the coach post-game, the players just hurl the whole jug at Jason Maas in the ultimate of ironies.
While I’m sure we are all more eager for the Monday press conference where the team hopefully announces the changes it will be making to try and avoid another trainwreck in 2023, we got one more chance to watch Rider football this season first.
I’d say enjoy the game but let’s more accurately go with tolerate the game.