Other thoughts on the Sask game (besides the last play)

Ten random thoughts.

  1. Kind of sad to think that, after starting the game minus their #1 QB, Sask also lost their best receiver, primary return guy, starting safety, and a key O-lineman for at least part of the game, and we still couldn't take advantage.

  2. Games holding opponents to less than 30 points: Under Austin, 0 for 8. Under Jones, 3 for 3. Defence coming along nicely. (Games in which we have scored 30 or more points: zero)

  3. I like Gable, but he never has and never will be reliable on screen passes unless the ball is absolutely perfectly thrown.

  4. Masoli has not reached 60% completions in any game this year, in a league where 5 starters are above 70%, and no starter on another team is below 65%. That said, it was clear last night that a lot of Masoli's incompletions are due to throwing the ball away to avoid a sack, which is of course preferable. He took no sacks last night.

  5. One reason for zero sacks was that Sask was rushing three guys much of the night and dropping more guys back in coverage. Seems like that is an effective defence against Masoli, who excels at evading a rush and then finding an open man.

  6. TSN keeps calling this the "year of the catch". I'm pretty sure that no Ticat receiver would make the highlight reel of the top 25 most spectacular catches of 2017 so far. It would be nice to see them help out the QB a bit more with the unexpected catch, like you see on literally every other team.

  7. Can't imagine it's good for a guy's career to (1) get flagged for multiple illegal contact or interference penalties; (2) get thrown out for spitting; and then (3) watch the D play better without you than with you. Especially when you've only really played in 5 games since joining the team, after being injured for the first 25 or so.

  1. Interesting call to put Banks in on the last two punt returns after Aultman was having a decent game. Worked on the first one, mainly because of the late hit penalty and lucky bounce on his own fumble. On the second, Banks did the usual sideways dance for no gain (actually a loss of two), but more importantly, burned valuable seconds which would have come in handy a little later.
  1. Second-last play, I thought we were a bit lucky to get the PI call in the end zone. It's consistent with the way the league calls it, but still a bit cheesy given that Banks seemed to initiate the contact. Nevertheless, I agree that "hoping for PI" was the highest-percentage play we had available to us at the time.

  2. I was making fun of the team for only kicking field goals all night. As it turns out, we could have tried 3 more in the fourth quarter and potentially won the game. Instead we had three drives ending in no points: the Gainey interception, the turnover on downs, and the game-ender.

Enjoyed reading your thoughts here, ExPat. On #9, I thought Banks did a great job positioning himself to get the P.I. call, on a pass that I believe was a bit under-thrown. I had a brief moment of concern, before the flag came out, that his being "knocked to the turf" might have been just a touch over-acted, but I think he planned it, before the ball got there, and performed it just about perfectly.

Some positives from the game if I am allowed

  1. Castillo, perfect for the night with 4 FG’s(one 50yarder) and a huge punting avg.

  2. Defense, The Riders had three first downs in the second half and they all came on the same drive. The Riders went two-and-out on eight of their last nine drives including on their final six drives.

Simoni + Dean were in beast mode last night(2 sacks each)
The “D” should have had 2 INT’s last night but dropped them. :-[

  1. Jalen Saunders, 10 rec./138yrds/1TD

Command Centre missing the illegal contact on Saunders and the resulting Gainey intercept was absurd ! On the Thigpen long punt return, McGough was pushed down from behind and yet he got up and chased Thigpen down . Again, no call from the Bradbury crew .

All the teams want from the officials is consistent calls . It seemed to me that Sask was getting the benefit of the doubt while the Cats were guilty as charged.

After watching the game a second time, the Cats deserved to at least go into overtime or a win in regulation . There is no quit in this team. Now if we could just get Command Centre to take off the blinders, we might have a chance at some wins down the stretch .

Pat Lynch (the old guy)

I was at a bar and had to beg and plead with the waitresses to switch over one of the ten TVs with the jays game to the cats game... needless to say, no audio.

what was the ruling on that one?

My two random thoughts (to add to PL's):

  1. The lack of zip on the ball when JM makes a sideline pass (as opposed to to a pass downfield) and the frequency with which that play was called).

  2. The wasting of time on the drive before the three minute warning. They chewed up 90 seconds on two plays that went nowhere. There was zero urgency to get to the line once the play was whistled in.

ExPat: Excellent random thoughts!

I would like to add some of mine now that we have had three games under June Jones's direction:

  • I think his shake up of the offence when he took over was much-needed. It got us two wins but it has also shown that more change is required. I think the Masoli experiment has worked but this past game has shown some flaws as you pointed out. Now we are out of the play-off picture I wonder if Zach will return as starting QB. I suspect there is a reason Zach has been wearing his helmet on the sidelines for the past three games..... June Jones needs to know how Zack handles his offence.

  • making Banks a receiver was a good move. It took some attention away from Tasker and Saunders but Banks is not always a reliable pass catcher. Once Fantuz returns I wonder what Banks' role will be because he had ceased to be effective as a punt returner.

  • I became a fan of Aultman when he first arrived but I was puzzled as to why he rarely got the ball under Austin. He has done well as a punt returner but I would love to see him and Gable in the backfield. Aultman runs the ball well and is also a ferocious runner on short passing plays.

  • in other areas: the defence has improved a lot since Lolley took over. Jones' play calling has been generally very good. I am still not sure about that last play against Saskatchewan but other than that he has shown a lot of wisdom in his approach as HC.

I would certainly like to know where we go from here. Will Jones stay as HC? Is a massive re-build on the horizon? I'm not sure that is needed though because Jones has shown what a difference coaching can make to how players perform.

And one final thought: Sergio!!!!!!!! Is there a medal somewhere that we can give to this guy? Through thick and thin he has excelled. We have had a ton of problems to deal with this season but kicking is not one of them. We can't let this guy go.

Not only do I agree with all of the comments in this post, I have enjoyed reading the these replies to the original post. Finally, some level headed comments with some reasoned criticisms. Best of all, no personal cheap shots at any of the other posters. A real treat!

As much as I enjoy watching Gable play, he has difficulty catching bubble and swing passes. If Jones is experimenting why not try Green or Shuermann (spelling). The run is working why not mix it up.

Finally re-watched the game on my PVR, a couple of things I noticed....

On the illegal contact against Washington in the 2nd quarter, where the pass was thrown to the sideline but the contact was at the hashmarks, Bridge had thrown the ball just before contact was made. That shouldn't be illegal contact. Sask scored a TD on the next play, when they should have been trying a field goal. So that cost us 4 points.

From the rule book:
Prior to a forward pass being thrown, a Team B player may not:
(a) Beyond the five yard zone, create or initiate contact that redirects, restricts,
or impedes the Team A receiver in any way. Such contact is “Illegal Contact On
A Receiver?.

I'm surprisingly ok with this call. I don't think there was really any contact, more that Saunders stumbled on his own trying to make his move.

Lastly, on Bakari Grant's TD, I don't understand Emanuel Davis' coverage. He bails out way deep in the end zone and covers Grant to the inside, even though he had help from Stephen to the inside, leaving Leonard to have to choose between covering Rob Bagg and helping out on Grant.
I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure a veteran DB should have had closer coverage than that.