Views from the Couch - Week 2 Edition
Published: Friday, Jun 21st 2019, 8:06am
By Sheldon Jones (@sheldonjones83)
On Thursday the Riders rolled into Ottawa with uncertainty at their QB situation. With starter Zach Collaros on the 6 game injury list, Cody Fajardo and Isaac Harker split reps at practice all week. HC Craig Dickenson named Fajardo the starter but insisted that both would see action in the first half and they would then ride the hot hand in the second. A lot of chatter on line this week was leaving very little confidence in Fajardo and hope that Harker would come in and light it up. Of course our defence is one of the best in the league so if only we could muster a tiny amount of points on offence our defence would win us the game. Oh how wrong we were...
- As expected both offenses sputtered out of the gate. Both teams went two and out on their first possession but on the second drive of the game Fajardo marched down the field (albeit aided by a 41-yard PI penalty) and found Marcus Thigpen in the endzone to take the lead. Ottawa answered right back on their next possession equaling with a TD strike of their own and adding a 2 point convert to take the lead. This was just the beginning of a very unlikely offensive shootout.
- The over / under for the game was set at 44. With the uncertainty of both offenses going in I'm not sure anyone in their right mind would have picked over, but boy did that happen tonight. At halftime Ottawa was leading 31 - 24. It was one of only 17 games in CFL history to have over 55 points scored in the first half. By the end of the game 85 points were scored combined and the game came right down to the wire.
- Isaac Harker did not get into the game as Cody Fajardo had a very impressive first career start going 27/34 for 360 yard with 2 TD's and no turnovers. His play has given Rider Nation hope that maybe, just maybe we will be ok offensively.
- On the other hand our defence had a terrible night giving up almost 450 yards offense while not forcing any turnovers. The defence was supposed to be our saving grace after Zach went down and there is cause for concern. Special teams did not help either as Jon Ryan did not have his best day punting and coverage was spotty at best. Kicked Brett Lauther did hit a career long 57 yard field goal but missed a convert in the 2nd consecutive game. He needs to be better at the automatic kicks.
- Monster truck was a great half time act. More of this in the future please.
- Craig Dickenson is a rookie Head Coach and it showed. He seemed to not have his head set on when he should have challenged an Ottawa completion that was clearly incomplete and also led to a REDBLACKS field goal. He made some questionable calls, but one I LOVED was that he decided to try to go for a TD in the dying seconds of the first half when past Roughrider teams would just take a knee and go in to the locker room to regroup.
- Mack Henry deserves to be fined for his shoulder check to Dom Davis as he was pushed out of bounds. There is no place in the game for stuff like that and it added 15 yards to Ottawa's drive and lead to Lewis Ward's 56th consecutive field goal. With the riders losing by only 3 points this penalty and the missed challenge opportunity could have changed the outcome of the game.
- John Gott is a better beer chugger than that Boot Guy. Nasty.
The Riders have a lot of work to do if they can look to end this losing skid to the "weaker" eastern teams as they have Toronto visiting Mosaic on Monday July 1st. These games against the east were supposed to be almost automatic and even though we are only 2 games into the season the green machine can not afford to go down 0 - 3 to start the year.