Great game…my ears are sore…
I have loved the Rider’s approach thus far this year:
Hamilton - Prolific O in the preseason…attack hard and build up points. The Cats O didn’t get going, but the Riders went all out offensive in preparation for a shootout.
Edmonton - Focus on ball management…the Esks have a top notch D…maintain possession, control the game.
BC - Concentrate practice on taking away the return game, just allow the underneath passes
All great strategies…all have worked. Their ability to execute a game plan ins impressive thus far!
3 games, NO turnovers!
The Riders have been content with taking what is being given…trusting that if they win field possession their D will keep the score low (even though they are allowing a pile of yards.
DD is making smart decisions…throwing it away, mixing it up, running a bit.
In this game:
- Loved that they mixed the Getzlaff play package up a bit
- their ST was the difference…containment was great, returns were superb. This was awesome to see. BC won their last game in large part to their return game.
- They got good pressure on Lulay, but couldn’t drag him down
- only 1 broken play in coverage. There was consistent weakness in that one spot all game, the only real concern on D.
- They had a couple near picks early…you just knew one was coming soon when Butler stepped up.
- They had a tough break with the “catch” that lead to the TD in the 4th. It was great to see that it did not shake them! I can not fault the refs call on the play…the ref right there could not see the ball at all because it was shielded by the body, and called upon another ref to pass judgement. The 2nd ref was like 35 yards down field, looking straight on at the ball…touch to see a bounce with no angle. I was happy to see them get together on it, even if they did get it wrong…again, great to see the Riders keep composure.
- with ~1-1/2 minutes left they ran the ball, but not with Sheets…I really question that call…Sheets was a force on the drive. I was in dismay when the sent the FG unit out…it was a long gamble, but a punt would have been more appropriate. You saw BC miss from from that range, and the wind was a slight bit stronger at this point. Great coverage, and lucky break.
- DD was just off on his timing on the deep ball…he came close a couple times. The one overthrown in the endzone was by like 1-1.5 yards… could have made this a bit of a lopsided affair early.
- 2 Beautiful returns by Jackson!
- Drops…the Riders had a couple bad drops…one inside the 30. Rob Bagg made a wonderful catch, but also dropped a really bad one, right in the numbers. There were a few bad drops. Sisco looked great! wonderful to see, and this showing could win him some game time over Rob.
- Again, DD looked really confident. I wasn’t sure with LaBatte out, but the line was fantastic. While he didn’t have huge numbers, he had no mistakes, and never really jeopardized the ball. Had a nice run called back, and a couple bad drops that would have easily put him over 200 yards, probably 250. There was also the big pass for PI in the endzone…so he played great despite the low yardage.
- penalties early
- inability to drop Lulay, despite great pressure
- one hole in secondary, but hey, the Lions are a formidable passing team, so fair enough
- The last drive towards the 40 (FG, Run)
All in all, great outing though and a great game. This was viewed as the big test, and they answered. Not saying the Riders are going to win the West, not saying they won’t, but they just showed they are capable of it.