Post game reflections

After a day to digest the results, I have a few points to make.

First, I question a couple of coaching decisions:

  1. Conceding the point on the punt into the endzone - considering Duvals struggles and the fact that they made the decision to push the Als back on the play before, it made no sense to me at the time and still doesn't. Why if they were going to give up a single, wouldn't they have done so on the first punt?

  2. Using their time-out on the third down play prior to the game winning march. If the Riders had hung onto their time-out the could have used it to ice Duval before the final kick and likely would have caught the 13th man.

Finally, it is ironic that the non-call on the pass interference on the 2 point conversion attempt would come back to haunt the Riders. Had the correct(in my view) call been made and the Als scored the 2 pointer, the game woul likely have gone to overtime as I doubt the Als would have gamble on third down in a tie game.

Kavis Reed is accepting responsibility for the 13th man, in my opinion he shouldn't be saddled with goat horns. It is admirable that he is taking the heat. It is of little consolation, I'm sure, but in my books, Kavis Reed is a man of great character and I am now officially a fan of him.

Never should have come to a field goal attempt. The Riders defence played way too soft in the 4th quarter.
The Riders linebackers, with the exception of Rey Williams who had 11 tackles, played poorly.
In particular I thought LB Sean Lucas and DB Lance Frazier really struggled on defence.

icing the kicker is a myth, it makes no real difference, to think the coaches were dumb for not icing duval is an idiot (sorry) especially in hindsight seeing as how he missed anyways, the reason a timeout would have been helpful was they could have called it if someone noticed the 13 guys on the field, but icing the kicker is a joke, it only makes them try harder to make the kick.

We had an argument in the stands over conceding the point, and I think they should have done it on the first punt, and I was happy they finally did it on the second. I truly believe that Duval would of hemmed in deep with a coffin corner punt if given a third try. The second punt was dangerously close to going out at the one and would have with an Alouettes bounce. Moving them back five yards would not have made a difference since he still had plenty of leg to get it to the five. Also the Riders were still up by 2 scores after giving up the point.

I think the refs missed the call on the interference too, and although the Alouettes still would have to execute the play from the one for two points I think it could have changed the Riders philosphy at the end and they would have came out passing. Armstead also would have had a better return as the Riders were set-up for the onside kick.

I think the biggest problem, imo, is the Riders took their foot off the pedal. They seemed to lay back in the fourth quarter and play a prevent game. This allowed Montreal to get in a rhythm and back in the game.

If you don't burry Montreal, they will find a way to get back into the game. They've proven this for years.

It was sorta the classic Rider theme of all season with the way they played with the lead in the 2nd half. I mean Durant had 156 yards passing at half, and yet barely broke 200 for the entire game. Pretty much every game this year once the Riders go up about 10 points they don't play with the same aggression. Against almost any other team they were good enough to win playing this style, but not against Montreal.

I think giving up the point was the right call, as each time they moved Duval back he got closer to a coffin corner kick. I also think the timeout was the right call. With only 1 timeout per half you can't save it for a possible scenario to ice the kicker, taking the extra 20 seconds off the clock was a much smarter play.

If you think that icing the kicker is a myth, then you are going against what most coaches in the CFL, NFL and College believe. The practice of icing the kicker was successful earlier this year by the Eskimos. But that was not my point, the point was that had they not used the time out earlier, they likely would have used it to ice the kicker. Nor did I say the coaches were dumb, I said the decision was questionable. But obviously you know more that most professional coaches so who am I to argue.

At the end of the game when the Al's kicked the ball to Armstead, he fielded it at the goal line. In hind sight, the riders being up by two with their short yardage kickoff team on should have let the ball bounce into the end zone for a single or through the end zone. I made the remark to my brother that it could come back to haunt us and it did. The riders would have had the ball at the 35 yd line with more room to manuver. Even if they didn't get the 1st down with the kick they got off the Al's would have be another 20 yards deeper on their last drive.
I was also unset that the riders went away with putting the pressure on Calvillo (like in the first half) and decided to have only a 4 man rush and sometimes a 3 man rush. You cannot gice a Qb like Calvillo 10 seconds to find an open reciever. Montreal has great recievers too.
Also when Baggs was interferred with and their was no penalty call. If I am correct, when the pass is touched at the line of scrimage its fair game for any team to go after, but If the offensive team, or defensive team for that matter impedes the progress of the oppostion player from obtaining the ball, it is a penalty and automatically turned over to the team that the offence was comminted against. That means the the riders would have taken over and would have been in field goal postion. I have seen such happen at a rider game about 10 years ago with a fumble recovery. Please can anyone verify this for me.
The game is over however, we lost, but our team looks good going into next year. The only problem is that its many snow storms and months away. Great game to watch.

I don't think not giving up a point on that punt would have changed anything. Neglecting the possible field position change, one less point for Montreal would mean that on the last touchdown they would be down by 9, not 8 and would probably kick for 1... then it's a 2 point game again and we're in the same position.

A team that is up 27 11 with 8 minutes left, has only their defence to blame. Especially allowing MTL to move the ball 40 yards in the dying seconds.

I believe because the ball was in the air it is pass interference as opposed to a loose ball. If called it would have been a 10 yard penalty, I believe.

Conventional wisdom isn't always correct.

I think icing the kicker is a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy (after this therefore because of this) which means that just because you called a timeout, it doesn't mean the FG was missed because of the timeout. High pressure, potentially game winning FG's are missed sometimes anyway (just like Duval missed the first attempt)

Having said that, I am going to (partially) contradict myself... I think the value of retaining a timeout in a "freeze the kicker" situation is that there is a little part of the kicker's mind that will wonder whether a timeout will be called and if this kick is really the one that matters.

If you freeze the kicker every time, I believe it is less effective than if you ice the kicker some of the time.

Except when it works. Just ask Mike Vanderjagt.

I have to agree! this isn't the first time they have gone with the "Prevent" defence near the end of a game. When will they learn that all it does is "prevent" them from winning?! It certainly seemed like, after the last TD, they totally took the foot off the gas!