Monday, September 25, 2017

Something To "Mitch" About

Brandon Bridge Sept. 24/17

--If you had told me Sunday morning the Saskatchewan Roughriders would hold the Calgary Stampeders out of the endzone and limit them to under 20 points, I would have told you the Riders would get a win.  As you know, that wasn't the case as the Stamps managed to grind out a 15-9 win in a playoff-type football game.  It was a defensive struggle in an offensive-minded CFL which tells you just  how difficult is was for both teams. 

   What put Calgary over the top on this afternoon was Jerome Messam. The Riders simply not could contain the big bull on this afternoon. When Calgary needed him to get yards, he did so most of the time getting well over 100.  He makes Bo Levi Mitchell better, he makes Calgary better. It's as plain as that. 

  Other thoughts on what transpired 

  • Penalties simply derailed Saskatchewan's chances. The biggest one could have been Caleb Holley going offside on what would have been a 34 yard gain on a well executed screen pass that put the Riders inside the Calgary 35. On the next play, Kevin Glenn was sacked and another drive was snuffed out. 
  • Despite the final outcome, the Riders showed everyone they can play with the CFL's best. The 3rd meeting will come in Calgary.
  • The Naaman Roosevelt hit was ferocious and was a definite head-shot. There have been too many of these in the CFL over the past few weeks. Does the CFL need to take a page from the NCAA and start ejecting guys for "targetting"?
  • Chris Jones said after the game, more emphasis is needed on the run game. No kidding!

At the end of the day, it was a game where maybe if you are playing one of the other teams in the CFL you win, but you were playing the best and you can't have the mistakes you had and expect to win. Calgary wasn't perfect, but they were better than the Riders on this day. 

--Give credit to 620 CKRM's Luc Mullinder.  He called the Hamilton win over BC in Vancouver.  Does that say more about the Lions or the Ti-Cats?

--How much longer does Darian Durant have in Montreal? He has lost all confidence he has.

--Saturday was a tough loss for the Regina Rams.  Give all the credit in the world to the Manitoba Bisons. One week after allowing 76 at home to Calgary, Manitoba came in with their back-up quarterback and shocked Steve Bryce's bunch.  The Rams had no luck whatsoever on this afternoon.  Kyle Moortgat had an easy TD reception slip through his fingers as he was 10 yds behind the closest Manitoba player. On the next play, Noah Picton throws a pick six.  14 point turnaround.

The Rams looked like they might do that themselves in the 3rd quarter when Danny Nesbitt intercepted a Bisons pass and took it back 70 yards deep into Manitoba territory, but that ended when Atlee Simon fumbled at the one.

The team then had not one, but two attempts to kick a game-tying field goal in the last 3 minutes, but both Daniel Scraper and Thomas Huber missed and Manitoba walked out with the improbable "W".

The Rams have not looked crisp in their last two outings offensively.  Something isn't clicking, and with games against the Huskies, T-Birds and Dinos in the 2nd half of the season, whatever isn't working needs to quickly.   It sets up what should be a ring-a-ding-dong dandy in Saskatoon Friday night.

--  It didn't take long for the buzz to start rolling through the Brandt Centre as the Pats unveiled 100th anniversary jerseys......and a very nice, and smart looking uni as well.   After coming out in their traditional blue for warm-up, I don't know how many were really paying attention when Tyler Brown came out in pre-game introductions with the new look, but it didn't take long.  There were a few who weren't in favour of it, but the majority were with one asking me as I was leaving the building when they could buy one.  I don't know the answer to that question.   

As for the game, it was certainly a different looking Pats team than the one who got blasted 8-1 in Brandon the night before.  Paddock's Proteges came out flying and with guys like Matt Bradley, Wyatt Sloboshan and Jeff De Wit leading the way, they looked fine.  I still would like to see a couple of more experienced blueliners on the squad, and I know Josh Mahura will log a lot of ice-time once he returns from Anaheim, but the forwards look solid with reinforcements on the way.  A couple of people asked me if there is a chance Connor Hobbs could return from Washington's camp.  I don't think so. 

There is a silent confidence oozing from this team though as they begin the journey to the Memorial Cup. I think everyone knows what John Paddock's game-plan is and in Paddock they trust.  They should!

--Week 3 of the NFL was a rather bizarre one.  Those who had Green Bay in their survivor pools (like me) had to sweat one out over Cincinnati while the Vikings found a way to win with Case Keenum,  Other thoughts

  • Cleveland can't even beat the Colts
  • Tom Brady doesn't amaze anymore. You just expect him to do what he did against Houston
  • Jay Cutler is not the answer in Miami.  DUHHH!
  • There are a lot of teams in the NFL who should have a better record after three weeks and a lot of teams who have a good record that shouldn't. There is a long ways to go to correct everything. Three weeks in, and there are only two unbeatens.  #parity
  • You can't say a lot when you are beaten by a 61 yd FG at game's end. That kick by Philly's kicker was amazing!
  • The unsportsmanlike conduct call on Von Miller in the Denver-Buffalo game was horrible. That official should not work again. 

--The last week of the baseball season is upon us and there are basically no races. Minnesota will win the 2nd wildcard spot in the American League, Colorado should win the 2nd wildcard spot in the National League and the Cubs will win the National League Central.   It still sets up what should be a great playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Arizona Diamondbacks popped champagne and jumped into the pool at Chase Field for having the right to host the NL wild-card. Yes, they did all that for possibly playing Game 163 and then calling it a season.  ????? #dumb.   I've said it once, I'll say it again. Celebrate when you win your division, your league or the World Series. The other things mean squat as far as I'm concerned.

That's all I got. Have a great week!


Anonymous said...

One or two plays away from beating the CFL's best. Disappointed with the loss, but encouraged with the improved play.

Anonymous said...

Without Messam, Calgary is such a different team. Remember when he was here. I guess if he were still here now, Jones wouldn't use him

Anonymous said...

Scruffy, the Riders won't play Calgary again until the Grey Cup, not the Western final. Think about it!!

Anonymous said...

What's happened to the Rams? They seem to have lost their focus against teams considered "inferior".

No Hec Crighton Trophy for Picton this year!


Anonymous said...

Nothing on the love-fest for your boy Bautista?

Anonymous said...

Rams aren't that good outside Noah Picton, no depth, dominated on the lines

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon #3 - Riders go to McMahon to play Stamps on October 20 in week 18 of the season....