I sat down a few nights ago to try and put down some thoughts about the Riders/Eskimos game, but I couldn’t really figure out what to say.
Now I do.
See, the Riders/Eskimos and Riders/Stampeders games had a lot in common. The biggest commonality? Collapses by the defence in the second half.
Against the Eskimos, the Riders led going into the second half. Against the Stampeders, the Riders led going into the fourth quarter.
And then it was as if the Eskimos and Stampeders started actually trying and the Riders couldn’t stop their momentum. The result? Two more losses.
On the bright side, the Riders’ offence looked much less anemic. Yet the special teams continue to leave yards on the field and the Riders can’t seem to play a solid 60 minutes.
The Riders are now off until November 8, when they play their last game of the season at home against the Eskimos. They need the time left to fix what isn’t working and stop the free fall before heading into the playoffs.
Now for Things That Worked and Things That Didn’t…
Things That Worked
- 1st half running game – Keith Tosten made his season debut and didn’t look out of place. Too bad the Riders didn’t bother using him in the second half.
- Chris Getzlaf – Seems it took until Week 18 for Getzy to hit his stride. He scored his first TD of the season (!) and had 100+ yards.
- Brian Peters – Another monster game from the kid who keeps getting better and better each game out. Add another 10 tackles to his season tally.
- Ricky Foley – Hit 50 career sacks.
- Kerry Joseph in Quarters 1 to 3 – 300+ passing years, more than ANY Rider QB (including Darian) has thrown all year.
Things That Didn’t Work
- 4th Quarter defence – Yuck. When your offence scores 27 points, you should win. The Stamps drove the ball down the field at will in the 4th quarter.
- 4th Quarter Kerry Joseph – Three picks. Need I say more?
- Second half offence – Why go away from the running game when it was working?
Mis-plays of the Game:
I think most of the 4th quarter would qualify.
#89- Chris Getzlaf, Slotback
First 100 yard game of the year, and first TD of the year. The Riders need a healthy and productive Getz for the playoffs. Hopefully his performance against the Stamps is a catalyst for him and the rest of the receivers down the stretch.
#97 – John Chick, Defensive End
Got back in the sack column and had a couple of great tackles and hurries.
SPECIAL TEAMS STAR
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who has the worst special teams of them all?
The Riders, you say? I wish I could say I was surprised…
NEXT GAME: vs. EDMONTON: The Riders have a well-deserved break and a chance to really prepare for the last game of the season. Edmonton likely won’t play many starters in order to rest up for the playoffs. I expect the Riders to play most of their starters so that they can try and end the losing streak and build some momentum going into the playoffs the following week. If the team doesn’t come out hungry and determined on November 8, I predict a very early playoff exit.