Monday, June 12, 2023

Monday Morning Sentimonies: Tequila!

Riders 17 – Elks 14

You’ll have to forgive me. Even at my best my grammar and cohesiveness are questionable. And usually I have a day or 2 to digest a Rider game before sitting down to write my sentimonies. A late Sunday game means you are pretty much getting the raw unfiltered thoughts coming out by brain. I’m sorry.

What I’m not sorry for is the good luck that my new ritual of a pregame shot of bad tequila is bringing. We are undefeated since I started doing it. At the rate the season is going I will need a sombrero and the Mexican hat dance on repeat if this continues.

That game was about exactly what you would expect from 2 teams who failed to make the playoffs last season. It’s kinda like a hobo fight. Not big on technical merit and you don’t feel super great watching it but its evenly matched and entertaining.

In what should come as no shock to anyone who has followed this team for the past 3 seasons, defense owned the day and was the reason we won. 5 sacks, 2 picks (even though one was purely for stats, still counts), 13 points allowed, a massive goal line stand and were it not for the best receiver in the CFL making a hell of a play on Jeremy Clark who was in perfect coverage, we would have held the Elks without a TD and under 150 yards. Jason Shivers just continues to deliver results. D-line was disruptive and everyone contributed. Tough to key on one guy when every single guy in that rotation is making plays. Milligan was a monster. An impressive pick and a game saving tackle on the goal line stand (even though Marshall was definitely offside on the play… but we’ll overlook that just like the ref did). Also, we were all shocked when the D-line lined up onside 3 times in a row right? Despite giving up that TD, Clark had a good game. That hit on the attempted screen was a hell of a pop. Speaking of pops, I have been hyping Jayden Dalke all preseason and he delivered in Game 1. Dude hits like a truck. He’s most likely going to take a couple 15 yarders the way he hits but gotta love a big physical presence making people think twice of coming over the middle. Were we playing a QB who didn’t suck as much as Cornelius, it may have been a different story but D did their job and continue to be the strength of this team. By the way we still get to add Moncrief to that D at some point.

Offense… looks like a work in progress. Some positive plays but 1 TD ain’t going to cut it and too many stalled drives. I love how after spending all season saying we plan on focusing on the run, we overtly refused to run for most of the first half. To be fair, our run blocking was non-existent and when we did run it was pretty much as waste of a play. Morrow had 22 rush yards going into that final drive where the run game finally showed up. O-line was not great but not an embarrassment. So that’s a positive. Jones seemed to consciously dial up the pressure against us. Harris was OK at adjusting to it. At least he didn’t pre-turtle or spin left. Bane and Emilus stepped up and contributed. I know people are hyping Walker and Wieneke but I still maintain we don’t have a bona fide #1 receiver so we will need multiple guys to step up and make plays to make this work. You can tell the offense has some good things going but they have a long way to go yet. Lots of different formations and looks so at least it wasn’t the boring screen-based Maas offense. 

On special teams, Mario Alford is still good and Adam Korsak has a weird delivery but damn were his punts effective.   

Putting it in perspective we barely beat the worst team in the west and only scored 1 TD in the process. It was an important win and you never apologize for how you win or who you beat but we will play better teams and will need to play better if we want to keep winning.

 For now though, enjoy the win!

 Other random thoughts:

-        I get the logic on that final throwing play from Harris but dear god you cannot let him take a hit like that on a meaningless play!! For how good the D was playing, kick the FG and trust your D to not give up a TD in under 10 seconds. Or let Patterson run around.

-        Speaking of Patterson he came into the game and I said “I wonder if Edmonton knows there is zero chance he throws this”… then he proceeded to throw it and prove why he should never be allowed to throw it in that scenario.

-        Definitely a more disciplined team. At least we didn’t called for cartwheeling into the ref.

-        Did not expect the term butt sniffer to be uttered during the broadcast.


Govind said...

I said the exact same thing when Patterson stayed in. BTW on the third down play, I decided to watch it frame by frame. Dunbar moved first and forward. Then Marshall reacted. So the call the ref missed was procedure.

Rider Prophet said...

Interesting. I withdraw my slander of Marshall then.