Thursday, July 4, 2024

Riders vs. Argos: Thursday Night Patterson

Side note before I start this: Today marks the 17th Anniversary of this blog. Its a staggering milestone that I never would have imagined possible. My thanks to all you readers who for some reason still come here to hear biased football analysis, Simpsons references and super immature humour. 

And with that let's get on to discussing how I am hoping for a big showing from Cox.

Tonight the 2-1 Argos are in town to face the (still) undefeated Riders. Shea Patterson gets his first start with Harris out. Bane will also not play. And we finally have to play a team that has managed to win a game. So you know, everything is fine. 

After losing many of their top defensive players (and coach) to other teams and their starting QB to being an idiot and then having other idiots attempt to cover up his idiocy, many expected the Argos to struggle. They have not. Their only loss is to Montreal and Cameron Dukes looks like a capable QB. Turns out Ryan Dinwiddie may indeed be more than just a pair of soul sucking eyes. 

We will start on the defense this week because with our starting QB and best receiver out I think we all know that defense is going to need to step up and keep us in games. The good news is that I think they should be up to the challenge. It will be strength against strength. Toronto has by far the most potent rushing attack powered by Ka’deem Carey and Deonta McMahon (who I can only assume is the long lost son of Vince). They are averaging 136 yards per game. But they will face the #1 run D in the CFL. We have allowed 98 TOTAL rush yards. I expect Carey and McMahon to push those numbers higher but I don’t expect them to run wild. 

Cameron Dukes is an interesting guy to watch. He looks calm in the pocket, protects the football and makes good decisions. But he hasn’t had to do a whole lot. They have the second least pass yards and have attempted 20 less passes than the next closest team.  But Dukes is making the most of it when he does throw. 77% completion rate, 5 TDs to just 1 INT. Key to success will be limiting the run game to make them more one dimensional than they are used to and then disrupt Dukes. Toronto has allowed the 2nd most sacks (despite only playing 3 games) so opportunities should be there for the front 4 to make plays. Dukes has the lowest average depth of pass so taking away the quick easy ones will force him to stuff outside of his comfort zone and increase the chances for our D to force a turnover. 

Offensively we are accepting prayers to your preferred deity. I have Jebus handled so let’s focus on some of the other ones to cover our bases. If Harris had played I really think he would have had a monster game. Toronto is allowing 31 points per game (2nd worst) and are the worst at defending the pass (most yards allowed and a staggering 77% completion rate allowed). They really miss Jamal Peters and Quantez Stiggers. But Harris ain’t playing. Its Patterson and will all due respect to him, my expectations will be lowered despite facing a porous defense. 

I am hopeful that with the benefit of a bye week and full week of practice, Mueller will have a game plan in place that suits Patterson. Everyone is talking about getting his legs going and while I think that’s an important part of his game, he is going to need to pass the ball to win. Losing Bane hurts but Baker, Emilus and Sterns are capable. Even mix in a little Ajou squared. Frankie Hickson will dress for the first time this season and I can’t imagine they do that without plans for him. We need to keep Ouelette’s momentum from last game but Hickson can be an effective change of pace. He runs angry and that’s just what we need. I hope the O-line spent time working things out with Patterson. Very different blocking for Harris who hangs in the pocket and makes quick reads vs. Patterson who is not afraid to use his legs (to roll right). Also, while I think we all can agree the O-line is much improved over previous years when it comes to pass blocking, they still have allowed more sacks than any team despite having a bye week last week. Toronto has some quality pass rushers and I’d rather not leave it all up to Patterson’s legs to try and beat that. 

This is a test game for the Riders no doubt. We may be 3-0 but we have beat only teams with a philosophical opposition to winning. If we can hang with an actual good team then you'll start making believers our of people. I think our defense should be up to keeping us in the game. Offense will be a struggle but I don’t think has hapless as some as expecting.

 As I said, with Harris I think we win. With Patterson… I am not sold yet. I think we keep it close and go punch for punch with them (hopefully not literally). But in the end I think this will be just the start of a very rough July.   

Riders by a 4th quarter Coxie TD… most likely on Sayles.



Bryce Taylor said...

Full disclosure: came for the biased football analysis, stayed for the Simpsons references. Here's hoping for at least 17 more years.

Bryce Taylor said...

Also, to the doubters as to the true powers of Our Prophet:
Meant 'Argos by a 4th quarter TD'
Accidentally writes 'Riders by a 4th quarter TD'
Still predicted the involvement of Sayles on the play
Actual result: as foretold, and written, thus it shall be
All hail our most esteemed Prognosticator, be he Christian, Jew or...miscellaneous.

Rider Prophet said...

Haha what top quality posting you get from me. Definitely meant to pick the Argos but now that we won and Sayles scored I am going to pretend it was intentional.

"be he Christian, Jew or...miscellaneous." Hahahaha outstanding reference!

Dan said...

4-0 - crazy stuff!

Well done, sort of, maybe kinda, picking the Rider win……HAHA. Loved it!

Bryce Taylor said...

"Even when I'm wrong, I'm right" is quite the campaign slogan. Just saying.

Rider Prophet said...

Dan - You might say I pulled a Homer. Us being 4-0 and Winnipeg being 0-4 seems surreal.

Bryce - I will likely steal that.