The Morning After – Riders Drop Home Opener to Bombers
Published: Saturday, Jun 17th 2023, 10:06am
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
Well, the final score wasn’t what Rider fans had hoped for, but there is plenty to be excited about long term after the Riders 45-27 loss to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday night. The score doesn’t tell the tale of the game, as it really was a back and forth affair all night until the final few minutes. That said, there is plenty to work on if the team wants to finally beat their prairie rival later in the season.
Let’s get to some of the good things from last night:
- Trevor Harris. What a performance. We weren’t sure all week how much, if any, we’d see of Harris and from the opening kickoff, he balled out to the tune of 405 yards and 3 TDs. He’ll be the first to tell you that he needs to be better, but there really wasn’t much more you could have asked from him when it’s all said and done.
- I was wondering who would step up in the receiving group with #1 receiver Derel Walker on the 6-game injured list and the Riders had not one, not two, but THREE guys breakout. Tevin Jones looked every bit like a true #1 receiver in the first half, making play after play en route to a huge 121 yard game. Shawn Bane Jr. also filled the stat sheet and led the team in receiving yards. He had the type of game I was really hoping for when the team signed him in February.
- And how about Samuel Emilus? It’s been over a decade since we’ve seen a TD hat trick from a Rider receiver (Weston Dressler in 2012) and Emilus was not the one I had pegged to do it. WOW! What a game and I hope that his potential just got untapped last night.
With the good, also comes the not so good and there was plenty of that as well.
- I don’t think the O-Line as a whole had a bad game, but there were instances where all I saw was that awful 2022 line show up again. Quite a few times they got bullied by Winnipeg’s front four and in the third quarter, Harris was taking some big hits. Maybe with Colin Kelly coming back for next week’s game in Calgary we’ll see some improvements.
- I’m not sure what it is about this O-Line vs Winnipeg, but can they start to figure out how to get a single yard against them on 2nd or 3rd and 1? Since 2019, they just can’t do it. Against anyone else they can, but Winnipeg? Nope.
- It was a rough game for the defense… they just couldn’t make a stop to save their lives. I’m not going to be too picky here, but I was a bit disappointed in Jeremy Clark. Something just seemed off with him last night. I know he’ll bounce back, but it was a tough night all around for the defense. It wasn’t all on Clark, the D-Line got very little pressure and the zone that Jason Shivers was playing was picked apart by Zach Collaros. It was just one of those nights.
- I’ve never seen an illegal block get reviewed and overturned… Winnipeg benefited from an injury on the field to look at their iPad in front of the refs before they challenged it. Not sure I like that being a challengeable thing, but here we are (Janarion Grant is unreal, though, what a punt return).
- It’s time to bring in some legitimate competition for Brett Lauther. I love the guy, I truly do, but he just isn’t feeling it right now. I don’t mind the odd miss here or there, but going back to the 2nd preseason game, he’s quite iffy right now and the team needs better.
- Speaking of field goals, can someone PLEASE tell Craig Dickenson that field goals down 14 in the 4th quarter will NOT win you games against the top team in the league? Sure, you justified it with saying you were hoping the D would get a stop, but they didn’t all game… and you expected one then? I’m seeing a lot more Rider fans becoming unhappy with his game management (or lack thereof) and it’s hurting the team.
Overall, it was a fun, entertaining game and my mom made me Go For A Soda at halftime so she wouldn’t miss Kim Mitchell. It was a good night for football (and family) at the park.
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