Beware. Another football post.
Here’s what Jim Lang had to say about the Riders on his Power Rankings last week…
“When the defending Grey Cup champions open the season with a new head coach, new starting quarterback, new rush end and new outside linebacker, and still win, they definitely deserve to be number one. Eric Tillman and the Riders should be extremely proud of themselves. This football team is so huge in the province of Saskatchewan that it’s difficult to explain the true meaning of Rider Pride until you’ve experienced first hand at a sold-out Taylor Field. All those people in this great country that would like to see the CFL go away should take the time to see a Riders home game this season. If they ever bothered to get off their butts and get a ticket, they might find it a life altering experience.”
He placed the Riders first overall.
Now here’s what Perry Lefko had to say about the Riders this week…
“What a gritty effort by the Roughriders. Starting quarterback Marcus Crandell goes down with a hamstring injury in the first half and the Riders are forced to go with their second- and third-string pivots, Steven Jyles and Darian Durant. Both of them did a decent enough job, but it was really the play of running back Wes Cates, combined with arguably the best offensive line in the league, that made the difference. After losing receiver D.J. Flick for a minimum of nine weeks with a broken ankle and possible for the entire regular season, the Riders have lost a key offensive weapon. But Matt Dominguez is back and rookie Adarius Bowman is a fine complementary weapon who will now become more prominent in Flick’s absence. The defence really stymied the Lions, particularly in the back end. When Ricky Frazier picked off a pass and then rambled down the field and was tackled, all I could think of was Howard Cosell saying, “And down goes Frazier.” Okay, I just had to use that. But seriously, the Roughriders are playing like defending Grey Cup champions and are displaying character and grit. Head coach Ken Miller is making the right calls, such as going for field goals instead of gambling for touchdowns.”
The Riders are ranked #1 on Sportsnet.ca for the 2nd week in a row. The Lions and Bombers are 7th and 8th – where they should be. Both teams are 0-2.
Now look at the TSN.ca Power Rankings. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?!?!?!?!!?
Of course I’m ticked the Riders aren’t 1st overall – especially since we won with our 3rd string QB. If that doesn’t show power, I don’t know what does. TSN is a central Canada organization (hello – all the Leafs coverage), so I’m not really surprised the Riders aren’t first overall. Jock Climie probably changed the order before they were posted; such an Alouette homer. But what REALLY pisses me off if the fact BC is listed as 4th. FOURTH?!?!?!?! They’re 0 and 2, morons!! I swear – Wally Buono must do these rankings. I’m sorry – but the Lions and Bombers should be BELOW the Tiger Cats. The Tabbies have actually WON a game, unlike the Bombers and Lions. I really dislike TSN these days. I’m thisclose to wanting Mark Lee and Chris Walby back.
And then there’s the league itself. It’s Players of the Week for week one were ALL from the East Division. I don’t understand how the Riders put up more points than anybody and still didn’t have a player of the week – not even an honourable mention. WTF?!?! Two guys who should have been mentioned for offensive stars were Wes Cates (+150 yards receiving/rushing, 2 TDs, monster block on Flick TD) and Adarius Bowman (1st CFL game, 112 yards receiving, 1 TD, outstanding 73 yard catch/run TD). How they do not get mentioned is beyond me. Who wins the award? Anthony Calvillo of the Alouettes. Surprise, surprise. All TSN and the CFL do is shine sunshine up his ass. Calvillo already has his own Brian Williams interview this reason and is being heralded as the ‘renaissance man’ by TSN.ca. Give. Me. A. Break.
Here are my 3 Stars of Friday night’s game.
OFFENSIVE STAR: #20 – WES CATES, RUNNING BACK
He was really the only positive for the Riders on Friday night. Besides Andy Fantuz. But Andy’s ALWAYS a positive for me. Just looking at him makes me happy. But, uh, yeah – Wes Cates!! He took the team on his shoulders in the 4th quarter, finishing with 83 yards rushing, 55 yards receiving and 1 TD. He put it in gear when the team needed him most. He would totally be Pierre McGuire’s ‘Monster’ of the game.
Honourable mention: #4 – Darian Durant, quarterback. For protecting the football and not getting hurt.
DEFENSIVE STAR: #29 – EDDIE DAVIS, DEFENSIVE BACK
You’re going to dispute this – I know you are. Davis didn’t register one tackle during the game, but he didn’t have to. He was ALL OVER Jason Clermont and Geroy Simon. I’ve rarely seen either receiver as frustrated as they were Friday night. Eddie is the “Minister of Defence”; hat tip to Darrell Davis of the Leader Post for that catchphrase.
Honourable mentions: #15 – Lance Frazier, defensive back. HUGE RIDICULOUS interception in the 4th quarter off of a long-ball attempt to Geroy Simon put the nail in the Lions’ coffin; still don’t know how that ball didn’t hit the ground… #51 – Marcus Adams, defensive lineman. For recovering the Lions’ fumble in the 2nd quarter that led to the Andy Fantuz TD and kept the Riders in the game when they were down and out. And the rest of the defence gets an honourable mention for being so freaking awesome and helping out the sputtering (and that’s putting it nicely) offense.
SPECIAL TEAMS STAR: Three-way tie between #10 – Luca Congi, place kicker, #30 – Jamie Boreham – punter, and #7 – Weston Dressler, punt/kick returner.
Why the tie? Luca didn’t leave any points on the field in a game where the Riders needed every single one of them. Jamie for another excellent punting game. His placement is dead on these days, his leg seems to be stronger, and he doesn’t get nervous when he sees the other team rushing at him. And Weston for great instincts. He’s going to break one for the house very, very soon. He’s definitely a keeper.
Honourable mention: The special teams tacklers for keeping Ian Smart on his ass. Thank you.
There are two things the Riders need to work on, though.
1. Allowing 6 sacks is not cool in any game. I don’t care if the Lions have the most formidable front four in the league (though this may be disputed by Bomber fans, and rightfully so). Six sacks is unacceptable. We’re going to be out of QBs by next week if that continues.
2. Our defensive line had no pressure on Jarious Jackson/Buck Pierce all night. Need to fix that.