Riders 30 – Lions 27
I can honestly say I had just resigned myself to the fact that we would never win a preseason game again. For the early part of Saturday’s game there was a distinct chance of it ending in a scoreless tie. Even when the final whistle blew I still really didn’t believe it. We won? I know it was a meaningless game for after last season we are desperate for anything resembling good news and a win counts.
Quick story… as regular readers will know rye is my drink of choice. I’ve put many a Wiser’s executive’s kid through college over the years. Last week a buddy of mine suggested that it might be time to chance things up to try and help shake the team out of their funk. He suggested tequila. Now I despise tequila (even the good stuff) and he was specifically talking about a bottle of gold Cuervo, which is like the Big Bear of tequilas, that was sitting in my liquor cabinet. Long story short he said I should try taking a shot of tequila instead of my normal rye and coke before the game. I’m nothing if not a team player, so I did…. And low and behold we break a 9 year losing streak. So needless to say I am now bound to keep drinking bad tequila as long as we keep wining. Depending on how the season goes I may be trading my beard and robe for a poncho and sombrero. So you’re welcome. I am suffering for the good of the team.
Here are my random observations from the game itself.
- I sit on the second deck (presumably where all the recently reduced pricing seats are) and the $5 menu was almost non-existent.
- Jake Dolegala looked good. Most importantly to me he looked calm in the pocket and was going threw multiple reads. I think the back-up role is his to lose at this point.
- Patterson looked OK but nothing special which I think he needs to be if he wants to unseat the incumbents. Fine is a bit of roller coaster. Certainly not as polished as Dolegala but dammit if he doesn’t make things happen (albeit in the 4th quarter against 4th stringers).
- Speaking of QBs, I still don’t understand how Dominique Davis keeps getting jobs. He is terrible has been terrible for all but that one game where he torched us. Continuing that trend he completed 40% of his passes and threw a pick… in a preseason game. He is a 7 year vet, not a rookie. Who does he have blackmail material on that he keeps getting signed?
- Mitch Picton just quietly goes out there and does his job and does it well. He’ll never be a 1000 yard receiver but he’s the kind of guy you want on your team.
- I liked what Kendall Watson showed in terms of the new receivers.
- I also like what Javian Hawkins showed at RB. He may have the inside track on a practice roster spot.
- O-line was an area of focus coming into the game and honestly I can’t say I noticed them either in a positive or negative way… and that’s a good thing. Our QBs didn’t get killed. Obviously it will get harder when actual starting caliber DL dress but I would say they passed the first test.
- I have been very critical of Evan Johnson for a while now and honestly he seems to be doing his best to work himself out of a roster spot. He has already lost his starting role at this point and then he takes a 15 yard roughness penalty while playing with the second stringers… bold choice. He likely sticks on the roster just because you always need depth but his regression from priority free agent signing to now has been something to behold.
- Another veteran player I noticed a couple times in a negative way was Lokomobo. He hasn’t yet found his stride at the pro level. To be fair this is only his second real season so I’m not ready to write him off yet.
- Defensively I noticed Harvell-Peel, Williams and O’Neal Jr. in a positive way.
- One guy who won without even dressing was Brett Lauther. There was one missed FG and a complete inability to hit a convert. Needless to say Lauther’s job is quite safe.
- Shoutout to the guy who failed to win a prize because he thought the picture of the giant moose came from the town of Moosomin. Even the announcer was in shock that he got the question wrong. Preseason for the fans too I guess.
- It was also preseason for the in-stadium announcer who did not understand that we dressed two #35s and he kept crediting the defensive 35 (Kosi Oneyka) for a bunch of offensive plays that the offensive 35 (Rodney Smith) actually did.