“Yeah, Moe, that team sure did suck last night. They just plain sucked. I’ve seen teams suck before but they were the suckiest bunch of sucks that ever sucked.”
Ok, quoting Homer Simpson is a little extreme but it’s still somewhat fitting as the Riders looked pretty bad in a blowout pre-season loss to the Calgary Stampeders at Mosaic Stadium.
Insert the usual, “it’s just the pre-season, so there’s no need to panic just yet,” here and now we can get into the meat of this piece and what we learned this week.
If it’s an open competition…
Riders head coach Chris Jones has remained steadfast in saying that the race to his team’s starting quarterback is very much on. If true, this game was likely going to go along way in determining who would win that job with Zach Collaros and Brandon Bridge both expected to see playing time.
Well, the so-called competition must be going into overtime as neither guy looked particularly good (and they had no protection, but we’ll get into that later) and that should be of some concern to Rider Nation. Neither guy even produced one drive that made you feel a little better about their play. Combined, Collaros and Bridge completed just eight passes for 62 yards. That’s less than ideal.
If this is truly an open competition in the truest sense, then I look forward to David Watford starting next week against the Argos.
Ok, maybe not.
Protection, or lack thereof
A big reason the Riders pivots looked as poor as they did was the big men up front.
There’s been a lot of discussion about the Riders offensive line, most notably their lack of depth. The starting five guys have potential to be a decent unit but if what we saw on Friday night is any indication, any injury is going to be bad news for this team.
Collaros and Bridge were under siege most of the night and that should be noted when looking at their numbers and performance.
Safe to assume that Emmanuel Adusei won’t be on the roster much longer.
We’ll see if playing with the starters longer and the addition of Spencer Moore can make a difference when the games start to matter.
This was an issue in the Riders first pre-season game and it was again against Calgary. In total, the Riders were flagged 10 times for 139 yards, most of those yards coming on defence.
A few penalties stand out, including a couple by Duron Carter, that led directly to touchdowns.
If the Riders are going to give themselves a chance, this can’t continue. Jones tried up-downs after the first game, wonder what his approach will be this week?
Random thoughts that don’t deserve a section
– We know that Josh Bartel is ready for the season. Could easily vote him for #POG. Bartel had eight punts with a 42.6 yard average.
– Naaman Roosevelt is still Naaman Roosevelt. That’s good. Can he stay healthy?
– Derrick Moncrief made his presence felt early at the SAM linebacker spot making what seemed like a bunch of plays in a row in the first quarter.
– With the starters that were dressed playing, the defence looked like it could be the bedrock for this team once again. It got out of hand when third stringers were in.
– The Riders still haven’t won a pre-season game since 2014.
– It’s probably a good thing this game wasn’t on TV.