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The Morning After – Watermelon Smashed in BC

Published: Sunday, Jul 23rd 2023, 10:07am

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)


On ‘Watermelon Smash’ night in BC, it was a lot of Rider fans smashing their heads in their palms after watching the Riders look inept for most of the game. I hope you like defense as much as I do… if not, you must have hated that game last night… though there’s really not much to like in a 19-9 game where the Riders drop to 3-3 on the season. Here’s some quick thoughts on last night’s game in BC on The Morning After:


– First, I hope Vernon Adams Jr. is okay and his knee injury isn’t anything serious. He was likely the MOP so far this season and the league can’t afford ANOTHER starting QB to be lost long term. 


– Adams got hurt on a sack by Pete Robertson and that seemed to be the theme for the Riders D in the first half… get after the QB. And they did, to the tune of 4 first half sacks from Robertson, Micah Johnson, Larry Dean and Miles Brown. Jason Shivers drew up quite a few blitzes and different looks and it clearly caught the Lions off guard. The Riders have BADLY needed this type of game from their pass rushers and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come as the season rolls on.


– Speaking of sacks… what did you think of Craig Dickenson challenging the Roughing the Passer penalty against Demarcus Christmas on what should have been a safety for the Riders? I get why it was called and by rule, it WAS RTP… but that was pretty weak. Not only was it a tough challenge to win by Coach Dickey, but it completely changed the game and helped give BC their 101 yard TD drive. I wouldn’t have challenged it and would have saved it (and the timeout) for later in the game.


– Can someone teach Deontai Williams how to tackle? Shoulders to receivers aren’t going to get the job done. Tackling is a lost art in football as guys want to make the big hit… MAKE THE TACKLE!


– Flipping over to the Riders offensive side of the ball, obviously all eyes were on new starting QB Mason Fine. I’m not sure if it was super conservative play calling, or Fine wanting to become Captain Checkdown, but he refused to push the ball down the field. In the first half, he averaged 7.2 yards per completion. In the CFL, that isn’t going to cut it. I hope it was Kelly Jeffrey calling short plays to help a young QB out and not Fine not wanting to take a chance, but it was frustrating to watch. His interceptions are growing pains that I expect to see from time to time, but you have to push the ball a little bit.


– The Riders just can’t stop getting injured… this game, Brian Cox Jr. went down with a leg injury. Is Shawn Lemon on speed dial now??


– Weeks ago, I wrote about Craig Dickenson being aggressive and how it might start to bite the team in the behind… going for it with a run on 3rd and 2 from your own 42 was just silly. In a low scoring game, flip the field and don’t give BC instant points. I like Dickey being aggressive more this year, but he has to be smarter about when he does it. The Riders are now losing games because of Craig Dickenson and it’s becoming very apparent.


Be sure to check out this week’s episode of The Piffles Podcast where Steve, Greg and myself will chat more about this game and look ahead to next week’s Touchdown Atlantic game against the Toronto Argonauts. Listen anywhere you get your podcasts, or subscribe on YouTube to watch the show!


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