I grew up in Hamilton but have now lived in Regina for many years - I attended the game yesterday - I also taped it and watched parts of it later - although the commentators tried to let viewers know that the wind was an obstacle you simply had to be there to know how bad it was - the wind was hellacious - that is why when the Ti-Cats were up 29 - 20 part way through the fourth quarter with the wind the game should have been in the bag.
The Riders are a resilient team that often finds ways to get back into games late but it should have been simply impossible yesterday - on the drives where the Riders made it 29 - 27 and then 30 - 29 in their favour the Ti-Cats defence basically gave them the touchdown and the field goal - the passes that were completed were the only kind possible as it was impossible to go down field against the wind - that the Ti-cats were fooled was incomprehensible - but it was the QB runs that really killed them - whatever defense was being called that left the entire center of the field open for QB runs was ridiculous - all the Ti-Cats had to do was keep the QB contained behind the line of scimmage preferably in the pocket - regarding the receivers the D needed to guard short and in the flats - on those drives it was as if they had no idea - it was infuriating.
Giving the "good college try" and being close is simply not good enough - the Ti-Cats need coaches who can call plays that will create big plays for the team when the game is on the line - the Ti-Cats need players who will make big plays when the game is on the line - the team needs to play with confidence - how do other teams time their blitzes and actually get through when it counts? - how do other teams when they have the lead keep that lead? - the Riders didn't beat the Ti-Cats the Ti-Cats beat themselves.
An atmoshpere of defeatism starts with the Head Coach - the other Coaches play a roll too - the Ti-Cats make just one big defensive play in the last two drives and the game is theirs - instead with the game on the line twice they roll over - for the Riders to score points off long drives twice in a row against the wind the defence had to simply fall apart.
The Ti-Cat offence needed to put points on the board in the fourth quarter especially when it was 29 - 27 and they had the ball and the wind - instead of running plays that would have guaranteed first downs they fall a yard short on a very weird placement - the reality is that teams who want to win can get one yard on third down when they would then be only a short distance from field goal range with a great shot at a touch-down - instead the Head Coach calls punt putting the defence, which has just been on the field for a long Riders' drive, back on the field in the wind and the cold - I noted that it took the Riders almost no effort to move to the spot the Ti-Cats would have turned over the ball if they had failed - but why would they have failed to gain one freakin' yard with the game on the line?
But even if they do fail they would have played to win and may have won anyway as they would have got the ball back the last time with way more time on the clock - the Head Coach did not coach to win - additionally he seems to not even know that the two point convert exists - you'd think that with the Ti-cats out of the play-offs with a terrible record he'd take some chances with the playbook, time management, everything - if you want to break the cycle of losing you have to give your team the chance to win - I don't think he is the guy for the job next year - KLZCat