Friday, October 13, 2023

Riders vs. Stampeders: Dickenson Sucking Contest

My how this once great rivalry has changed. Back in the early 2000s Calgary/Saskatchewan was a heated affair. Tons of fans would travel. The atmosphere would be electric. Henry Burris was wearing a bra for reasons no one quite understood. It was awesome. Today the rivalry is still there but its now just fans arguing over who sucks more. “We suck more”, “No we suck more”.

Its quite the matchup. They are 2-5 at home; we are 2-6 on the road. They have the 7th ranked O; we have the 8th. They have the 6th ranked D; we don’t seem to have any interest in even fielding a D. Sadly one of these two terrible teams will make the playoffs and Friday’s game goes a long way to deciding who. Riders win and they are in. Stamps win and they are a win away from the playoffs. Personally if I’m either of these teams and I make the playoffs, I would just save the embarrassment and travel costs and forfeit.

Calgary/Jake Maier are a tough thing to figure out. The Stamps allow the 2nd least sacks. They allow the second least turnovers. Maier is 3rd in passing yards. There is no reason they should be as bad as they are. But they couldn’t find the endzone even if they were placed on the one yard line and pushed in the right direction. The only QBs who produce TDs less often than Maier are Fine, Cornelius and Dane Evans (i.e. guys not capable of holding a starting job). Maier has the lowest average depth of pass. He loves him some short stuff. He will be without he best receiver in Reggie Begelton. The good news for Maier is that the Riders D is the cure for a struggling. 

If we want a chance, we need pressure up front. Our coverage isn’t great at the best of times. Give a QB time to go through his reads and he will find the one of many open receivers. Cox is back from injury and Christmas is back on the roster. We have the depth for a strong rotation. Moncrief is sitting. While this would normally be big news, its probably for the best at this point. I feel like our D’s chances of getting out of this funk rely on Marshall picking off Maier to rejuvenate things. The way Maier plays, that’s very possible. 

Offensively the main key is to avoid Micah Awe’s blatant headshots that will once again go unsuspended by the league. Calgary has the #2 pass D but the 2nd worst run D. Let’s reward Jamal Morrow for being the only Rider that cared last game by feeding him once again. I will also repeat my calls for a couple runs by Hudon to set the physical tone. Lord knows our passing game isn’t going to help. Jake Dolegala has not been great in a while. Even worse, we get Road Jake. Road Jake is regular Jake's much crappier alter ego. On the road he has produced exactly 2 passing TDs and 5 INTs. I think his bread and butter should be crossers and seams. Our OC seems to be content with checkdowns to the outside and a deep ball that gets completed once in a blue moon. I think Baker and Bane should be the focal point of what we do. If we can get them going, we have a chance.

I expect special teams to play a role in this. Calgary has the second highest punt return average and we are about due for a breakdown in that department leading to a TD. Maybe Mario can offset it with one of his own.

Look, Calgary sucks. They have just 4 wins: Ottawa, Us, Toronto without Chad Kelly and Edmonton.  Despite our struggles this is a winnable game. But I damn sure don’t believe in us. Here’s the telling stat for me. In the last 10 games, we have held our opponents under 29 points once. Once! Over that same period we are averaging 22 points offensively. Until our defense proves they can keep us in a game, I don’t see us winning.

Stamps by a FG. Riders will make it close build up hope only to shatter it in the dying minutes of the game.



Anonymous said...

Micah Johnson is the only stud on that entire defence. The rest are all overpaid

Anonymous said...

If Calgary wins, the suspense goes on? What suspense? Only if you believe the Stamps can beat one of BC or Winnipeg to tie the Riders. Even if the Riders lose all 3, chances are extremely good they're in.

Rider Prophet said...

Micah is unquestionably our defensive MOP even though he won't get nominated because voters only look at stats

Rider Prophet said...

Only potential issue is that second bc loses or Winnipeg wins, those 2 teams stop caring. Still unlikely calgary wins out but it's not a sure thing