I knew they were going to blow that 23-0 lead. I just knew it.
And I was right.
How can I team that allows NO first downs and actually holds the opposition to MINUS 11 yards in the first half (weird that I’ve seen negative yardage stats two weeks in a row when I’d never seen it before) and scores 23 unanswered points come back after halftime and morph into a completely different team?
Special teams were horrible yet again. Another game, another blocked kick. Kavis Reed had better be pulling all-nighters this week to figure out what’s going on with his special teams.
However, the Riders showed a little resiliency this week.
I guess that counts for something.
OFFENSIVE STARS: #20 – WES CATES, RUNNING BACK AND #82 – JASON CLERMONT, SLOTBACK
117 yards on 19 carries
4 catches for 66 yards
This was a coming-out party for Clermont. It took long enough, but offensive coordinator Paul LaPolice FINALLY listened and gave Clermont the ball. Here’s hoping it happens more and more often. As for Cates, he had a great game after a not-so-great game last week. Now he needs to be more consistent from game-to-game
DEFENSIVE STARS: #90 – STEVIE BAGGS, DEFENSIVE END, AND #97 – JOHN CHICK, DEFENSIVE END
1 tackle, 1 sack
2 sacks, 1 forced fumble
Having these two back in action together was a thing of beauty! Chick was a monster, and Baggs was all over the place. Apparently Baggs separated his shoulder during a play. He went to the sidelines, they popped it back in and he played the rest of the game. WOW! The pass rush that had ‘gone south’ the past couple of games was back. It, too, needs to be more consistent. For that to happen, Chick needs to stay healthy – and so does Baggs. Careful with that shoulder, Stevie!
SPECIAL TEAMS STAR: NO ONE
For the second straight week, no one gets the special teams award. The punting was horrible, there was a blocked kick and a fumble. While the returns were better than last week, they weren’t better by a whole lot. In the third quarter, Hamilton started every drive around middle field. If the special teams don’t shape up, it’s going to be hard for the Riders to be better than they are now.
NEXT WEEK: @ MONTREAL It’s a very short week for the Riders. They have two days of practice and then they leave for a Friday evening game in Montreal. It’ll be a big test for the Riders, especially since they have little prep time. I expect the Riders to lose this one; they never play well in Montreal.