Riders 13 – Ti-Cats 38
About the only thing Rider fans are thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend is that there are only 2 more regular season games left in this godawful season. On legends night, where the Riders were honouring George Reed and the 2013 team, the current Riders boldly chose to honour the Riders of the early 80s. The end result was a predictable and painful lopsided loss.
Since Labour Day of last year, Craig Dickenson’s record as a head coach is 6-17. And I don’t know if you recall some of those 6 but they weren’t exactly convincing victories. He’s in “prove it” mode in the final year of his contract and about the only thing he’s proving is that inanimate cardboard cutout of Gainer would do a better job of getting the team prepared to play. Offense couldn’t produce a point if their life depended on it. Defense looks completely and utterly lost. The players aren’t showing a shred of “give a damn” in their play. But don’t worry, I’m sure Craig will just tell us they need to try harder.
There was exactly one guy who seemed to care out there: Jamal Morrow. As a running back who attended the same college as George Reed he displayed some pride and put in a performance that I think Reed would have been proud of. He was the lone bright spot. It was a terrible play call on his TD run but he managed to make it work.
Dolegala is very much following the Dustin Crum career arc. Burst onto the scene and then quickly plateau as teams find out you’re a one trick pony. And Dolegala’s only trick is short passes to the outside. I actually think the reason our defense routinely leaves the middle of the field open is because they constantly practice against Dolegala and he wouldn’t look to the middle even if there was a giant bullseye in the middle of the field. He may yet still have long term prospects if we keep developing him but he ain’t got it right now. I know Fine may not be the answer either but at some point you gotta sit Jake back down for a bit.
I honestly don’t recall the last time our defense was this bad. Even in bad years we usually had competent D. We try running zone but it looks like no one on the team knows how to run zone or that they each running a different zone. Our coverage has more holes than a Regina road in springtime. I love Moncrief. One of my favourite players ever. I’m not sure if he’s hurt or just losing a step but we keep asking him to lock up in coverage and he can’t stay within 3 yards of his receiver. D-line couldn’t generate a push. Team struggled to tackle those rare times when they were actually in a position to do so.
This is one of the worst teams I’ve seen and sadly they still have a good shot at making the playoffs. Not because they deserve to, but because Edmonton dug a hole too deep to get out of and Dave Dickenson seems to be a competition with his brother to see who can suck the most. I hate hoping for loses and the idea that Trevor Harris could maybe deliver us an upset playoff win is enticing. But honestly, the best thing that could happen to us at this point is missing the playoffs. We have a week 21 bye and that would give us a head start on firing Dickenson and looking for his replacement.
If I was the Riders I would definitely hold off on sending out season ticket renewals until you fire the coach. At the jacked up prices I’m expecting, its going to be tough to convince even the most faithful of Rider fans to pay to endure another season of football that just isn’t enjoyable to watch.