The Morning After – Ho Hum, Riders Blown Out in Montreal Again
Published: Saturday, Aug 12th 2023, 12:08pm
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
Well last night was an absolute disaster and an embarrassment if you’re a Saskatchewan Roughriders fan. Granted, the Riders seem to have a game like this in Montreal every 2 years, so I’m not putting much stock into it, despite my disappointment. That said, it’s a big loss in the standings and now the Riders will lose ground on either BC or Calgary later tonight. Here’s some of my thoughts on the Riders and last night’s 41-12 blowout loss in Montreal in The Morning After:
– Caleb Evans started at QB for the Alouettes… something I did NOT see happening at the beginning of the week. The Riders have had issues with running QBs this year and that continued this game. I think it threw the defense off and they weren’t ready to be playing the run game that much. But once they knew Evans was starting, why didn’t Jason Shivers change things up right away? They got run over on that first drive, but no adjustments were really made the rest of the game.
– I know it wasn’t originally his man, but watching Micah Teitz attempt to cover Austin Mack was embarrassing. Just another spot where the coaching staff put their team in a vulnerable position and got torched. I like Teitz, but he shouldn’t be covering one of the league’s top receivers. If you’re going to drop a linebacker into coverage there, it should be Larry Dean.
– On offense, it was offensive. It didn’t matter which QB played, the result was going to be the same, but it did suck to see Mason Fine get injured. Coach Craig Dickenson told media after the game that it’s a 2-3 week injury… and those 2-3 weeks are against BC and Winnipeg twice. Ouch. Fine was progressing well over the last few weeks and I was looking forward to see him continue his growth as a QB. Before his injury though, he just didn’t have it. Throws were way off and I hope that’s only due to a lack of practice time this week, but Fine was looking like he should have been benched anyway.
– Enter Jake Dolegala… well, he was awful. An interception on his first drive, a fumble returned for a TD on another drive, passes that were nowhere near his receivers. This team is in serious trouble if they have to lean on Dolegala for a long period of time. But why didn’t we see Shea Patterson? The game was a blowout, put him in the 4th quarter for a bit and see what he has. Especially when he is likely to be your #2 QB over the next bit, give him a couple of game reps to have some film work on.
– There is a positive though! It was sporadic, but the run game with Jamal Morrow finally showed up again. That was nice to see. They’ll need to lean on it a bit more going forward without Fine, so I hope the team enjoyed running the ball.
– Overall, this was a tired team that had 4 days between games with one of those being a travel day. They did not want to play this game, it was very clear. Awful scheduling from the CFL that sure didn’t help the cause. However, I’m seeing a lot of people (including many former players) say too bad and they don’t buy the whole travel thing. I used to blame it a bit, but there’s way more to it than that…
– This team was so unprepared… and that’s on coaching. I don’t mind the team losing, but to come out and be that woefully unprepared is maddening. Add another notch to my “Craig Dickenson is in way over his head” tally. Fans wanted him fired after the Ottawa WIN, just imagine how they’re feeling after this loss! I’ve never seen a head coach look so out of it than Craig Dickenson. Not just this game, but all of them. He ALWAYS looks confused when the TV shows him and when they do I just get irrationally angry (maybe it is rational…) He just looks like he has no idea what is going on and there is no command over the team. Last year he lost the locker room because the players didn’t respect him. He needs to start LEADING this group now or history is going to repeat itself this year and players just put in the motions.
Steve, Greg and I will go a bit deeper into this game on The Piffles Podcast (subscribe on YouTube!) next week and I’m curious to hear what they have to say about how the team was led into this game.
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