Riders VS Eskimos (July 3, 2011)

I admit to being surprised to open the season with a loss.  With Montreal coming to town next week, there’s little time to make some significant improvements, with 0-2 a possibly surprising start to this young season.  But before jumping to next week, let’s assess what happened today:

Offense: We’re missing the Canadian Air Force, and we continue struggles from last year at establishing our running game.  Darian looked fine for most of the game.  His stats (3 INTs and a fumble) aren’t flattering, though one pick was late when he was forcing things and another was a goofy deflection.  But despite our issues WITH the ball, this game wasn’t lost on offense.

Defense: Coach Hall and his boys will have some film to dissect this week.  Young CB Eubanks experienced the fire today, as Ricky Ray burned him multiple times.  Our D spent way too much time on the field.  Part of that was them getting shredded; part of it goes back to struggles to sustain drives when we did have the ball.

Special Teams: Eddie Johnson was strong on his field goal, and his punting was solid, aside from one shank.  Stu Foord is not the answer on returns, though I understand that Tristan Jackson got pressed into defensive action with a Kornegay injury.

Opponent: Call me surprised to see Edmonton look so impressive.  Ricky Ray ate us up, as he has on some past occasions.  Fred Stamps was more quiet than usual, but that was more than covered by Adarius Bowman, and even moreso by Jason Barnes.  The Esks may prove to be more “in the hunt” than I was expecting this season.

Overall: One game in, that’s all.  A win would have been better, but the season is young, and there are miles to go.  We need a big week of practice with the champs visiting next weekend.

What was  your take on today’s game?

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