I was so disappointed to see such a small crowd - again - in Ottawa. Come on guys … put butts in the seat. You’ve got a decent team this year. You were on a two-game home winning streak, including a win over Montreal!!! The attendance for tonight, according to ottawarenegades.net, was only 17,606. Yikes … I’m not worried about the long-term viability too much, but I really want to see better numbers than that!
I know Ottawa had two turnovers in that game - one INT and one on downs. And the Esks gave up two big-yardage pass interference calls, which will help the average. I was surprised that there weren’t more penalties. I was at Ottawa’s game in BC, and I saw them kill absolutely any chance they had at a comeback - and they did have a chance - by taking stupid penalties. There was another really bad one today … Sutherland’s I think. Special teams also killed the Gades, although that improved a lot in the 2nd half. Ray frequently had good field position to work with, and of course there was the punt return.
As for the Eskimos “taking their foot off the gas”, a football team should NEVER be doing that. A good team should have more killer instinct than that. You don’t risk playing cat-and-mouse … I think Ottawa just showed up in the second half. Had a couple of bounces gone Ottawa’s way, they could’ve had an excellent chance at tying it up. I don’t think Edmonton could afford to sit back and toy with Ottawa. I think Ottawa started giving them some trouble … they should’ve put the game away.
Ray played well, but nothing spectacular IMO … but both QBs had some beauty passes. Too bad about a couple of things for the Gades - Ranek and Kellet going down. Ottawa had that first-and-goal from the 5 very late in the game (it ended up being their final TD) but Ranek would’ve had it very quickly - as opposed to waiting until 3rd down, when Joseph was scrambling all the way back to the 40 until finding Woodcock at the back of the endzone. And with Kellet, maybe they make those two early FGs, maybe they’re more confident when in FG range (to leave it up to their kicker), maybe they make that onside kick (I still don’t think I’ve ever seen one of those work, though).
Bottom line is, even though Edmonton is a better team, they didn’t destroy Ottawa like they “should have”. Ottawa doesn’t look too bad this year. One thing’s for sure, they’ve got heart … hopefully they can put it together and snag a playoff spot. The fact that they’re 2-3 after playing BC, Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton (twice!) is pretty damn good.