After a bad loss, I have a hard time getting around to writing a blog post about the game. I justify waiting by thinking it better not to write an angry post right after the game, but to reflect on it for a day or two. Well last week in Calgary, we lost badly 43 to 16 so here is a blog post after a lot of reflection.
I can't seem to track down the liveplay site of the game on www.cfl.com so I'll just have to go by memory and the game stats. Obviously one thing that jumps out at you this game is the bad start with multiple stupid mistakes. Smith juggling the ball, Printers having problems with the ball. Bad starts like this have hampered the Cats in other games, and if we were going to have any chance to win this game, we had to have a good start. Sometimes I wonder, why can't other teams have a bad start against the Cats every once in a while. We still have four games against Winnipeg, this year so maybe it will happen.
Lumsden not being in this game obviously didn't help matters. He hopefully would have been more sure handed then Smith and could have gained a few first downs in the half and slow the game down. Lumsden being in also allows the use of the import Cavka at guard in place of Dyakowski. That obviously helps for the run game, but it probably helps for the pass game too. Sometimes I wonder if Lumsden would be as effective if Dyakowski was in for him. I wonder too about keeping Dyakowski in at guard with Lumsden and substituting Mariuz for an import linebacker. We just picked up Cornelius Anthony who played linebacker for Calgary last year for Defensive Coordinator Denny Creehan, although I don't know how much of an upgrade he would be over Mariuz (although he did have 8 sacks last year).
Offensively, Smith at RB didn't do much, going 32 yards on 9 carries with two fumbles. That's not getting it done, and not the way to impress when you get the start. Printers only ran for 4 times for 12 yards (with a TD) which I don't think is good enough. I like how Printers would rather try and find a guy downfield than run, however a few more runs when there isn't much there for a first down or 7 or 8 yards on first down would help in my opinion. The threat to run also alters the defence, so I would like to see Printers run it approximately 8 times a game (although to be fair, Burris only ran once for one yard and that worked out OK for him). Of course, being down almost the entire game can screw up the game plan. Printers was 17 for 26 for 209 yards, for a 65.4 % completion percentage. Two fumbles and two interceptions don't help. Mitchell and Miles weren't bad receiving, which they should be considering they are imports. Bauman and Woodcock didn't do much this game unfortunately.
Defensively, the Cats couldn't get any pressure on Burris and he picked them apart. The offense in the first half didn't help, with almost no sustained drives. The Cats defence is by no means great, but the only way they are going to do anything is if the offense can win the time of possession battle. Not really much to say here. Hopefully more pressure, maybe some turnovers, in the future, along with a sack or two and some two and outs.
Setta punted magnificently, albeit in some cases wind aided, and he kept the score respectable in the first half. Seems a waste of a great effort, but if everyone else is sucking, what can you do? Hopefully down the line, Setta will contribute to a few wins.
Not much else to say about that game. They probably don't win with Lumsden, unless he has a truly monster game, but it certainly would have been more respectable.