Riders 26 – Lions 33
The Riders are settling into a nice late season routine. Start slow but decent, go to complete hell with minutes remaining in the half, only start playing again when there is so little time on the clock that the comeback is nothing more than a pipe dream, score, onside kick, score, fail the second onside kick. They have now followed that script in back to back weeks. So while a cursory glance at the score might give illusion that we are a competitive team we are not. I think the most recent Grey Cup halftime announcement (which is freakin’ awesome by the way) is the perfect metaphor for the current Riders. We are living in a word of Hedley’s and half of Florida Georgia Line while the rest of the league is trotting out Green Day.
I actually thought the defense started the game pretty well. It was the first sign of life I’d seen from them in many weeks. They were holding the Lions to FGs and generally not getting stomped. Hell, they managed to stop the run. That lasted less than a half and then we were treated to a D that couldn’t cover a receiver if said receiver offered to give them a piggy back while running their route. We looked about 3 steps slower than the Lions on every play. I will say that Christian Albright looks like a keep and that at 35 years old, Micah Johnson in unquestionably our defensive MVP. Despite his age, he’s is about the only guy still giving top level effort on every play. The reality is, if you can’t keep a team under 30 points, winning is going to be tough. And we damn sure can't.
Offensively, we were treated to road Jake. Stats will show that he threw for 400 yards but that masks a lackluster performance. Through 58 minutes of play he produced 11 points. Sure there were some good throws mixed in there and one nice drive. But on the road he displays no level of consistency. I lesser man would make a joke about his performance on the road and his DUI charge… but clearly I’m above such sophomoric, low brown attempts at humour. For all the talk of Jake’s big arm, the reality is he’s not that good at the long ball. His completion percentage on passes over 20 yards is the worst among pretty much all QBs in the league. He can launch it, but he ain’t completing it when he does. In fairness to him, one pick was completely on Tevin Jones being lazy. This is a recurring theme with Jones. He’ll make some damn impressive plays but has a tendency to check out mentally and hurt us. I’m not saying Wieneke is a saviour but if I were coaching, Jones and his inconsistency would sit and see if we can get someone who can give full effort every play in there. Speaking of full effort, Frankie Hickson runs angry and I love it. Unfortunately, Kelly Jeffery does not love it for some reason. Also love me some Bertrand-Hudon. Not saying he should be starting but I’d be trying to find a way to get him a handful of touches each game. I think I’m officially an old man now that I’m calling for a Canadian RB to get more carries. I’m this generation’s Szarka enthusiast. I’ve become everything I hate.
The outcome surprised no one. We aren’t good enough to beat bad teams and suck on the road. There was no chance of us beating a good team on the road. Sadly, because Calgary is equally as awful and gave us a slight head start, we currently have an edge in the “try and out suck each other” contest we are in for the final playoff spot. An out-sucking competition sounds like a bad premise for a porno… its an even worse reality for a pro football team.
At least next game, we are guaranteed to see a competent Rider football team on the field. Unfortunately it will be the 2013 team.
Other random thoughts:
- It made no difference in the grand scheme of things but why on earth did we not go for 2 after our first TD to tie? That seemed like just another entry in our growing encyclopedia of questionable coaching decisions.
- That OPI on Baker was weird. Normally OPI means a push-off. KSB actually pulled the DB in closer. Regardless of the validity of the penalty, challenge with 13 seconds left in blowout is a douche bag move that should result in a kick to the nuts.