Ok, boys and girls. Let's talk FOOTBALL.
It all comes down to 60 minutes this Sunday. We are one game away from capping a spectacular regular season with the ultimate victory.
So what do our Als have to do to win this one? What are your keys to the game?
Establish the run. In our first game against the Riders this season, we were completely ineffective on offense until we went back to the run and got Cobourne going on the ground. Saskatchewan's pass defense is much tougher than B.C's and I guarantee you we won't be able to cherry-pick TDs on blown coverage time after time as we did to the Lions. Without balance to our game, Chick and Baggs can pin their ears back and come after Anthony with evil intent. With Cobourne running the ball effectively, we can increase our chances of keeping Calvillo clean, force defenders into the box and away from our receivers, open up the wide world of play action, and control the clock.
Eliminate special-teams blunders. No fumbles, Larry. I'm looking at you. Duval has to be note-perfect on makeable field goals. Coverage teams can't let Armstead get outside contain. We don't have to dominate on teams, or make insane big plays. We just have to play solid football and avoid huge mistakes that let the other team back in the game.
Stay in your gaps, and play assignment-sharp defense. Gadget plays like the fake Armstead handoff only work if the other team bites on the fake. DBs have to trust in the ability of the linebackers and D-line to make plays at the line. Cheating away from your assignment against receivers like Fantuz, Getzlaf, and Bagg will get you burned for big gains and/or TDs.
Get Cahoon more involved. After watching film of the B.C. spanking, the Riders are undoubtedly going to be focused on taking Richardson and Watkins away from us to eliminate the big play and force us into underneath throws. And this is where Mr. Cahoon traditionally shines. If Calvillo can get Ben involved in the game early, we'll draw defenders into the slot and into tighter press coverage, which opens up the deep ball for everyone else.
Most importantly, we cannot beat ourselves. That means no dropping catchable passes (Watkins, Richardson), proper hot read recognition and execution (Calvillo), countering Etcheverry's wacky fronts by blocking the look and the look only (O-line), and avoiding controllable penalties (procedure, offside, UR, roughing the passer, objectionable conduct, face-masking).
I think we have the horses, the coaches, and the schemes to get it done. Barring Hawkins, we have no significant injuries heading into the big game, and given time and preparation, nobody attacks film like Marc Trestman. We can do this, we can win it all, but the Riders are not going to give us an inch.
Go get 'em, boys! :rockin: :rockin: :rockin: :rockin: :rockin: