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Thursday, September 27, 2018

10 THINGS FOR CAPITAL GMC

1 - LUCK?: Five days after the fact, the Rider Nation is still buzzing about Saturday's 30-29 victory at Toronto. Many have said the Riders were "lucky" to win that one since Argos kicker Zachary Medeiros missed a potentially game-winning 51-yard field with 2 seconds left. Personally I no longer believe in "luck", but still enjoy the debate. In the final analysis, the Riders made fewer mistakes than the Argos did and remember they don't ask "How?", they ask "How many?" And it's 8 wins and counting with 5 games to go.

2 - ONTO MONTREAL: On paper, this week's game looks like a mismatch. It's the 8-5 Saskatchewan Roughriders at the 3-10 Montreal Alouettes this Sunday at 11:00 AM Sask Time on TSN and the CKRM Rider Radio Network. The Riders are favoured by 6.5-points and, perhaps surprisingly, many Rider players say they haven't forgotten their embarrassing 23-17 loss to Montreal in Week 3. Normally they'd say "That's in the past". Sunday's forecast calls for sunshine and 14 degrees Celsius (57 degrees Fahrenheit) at Percival Molson Stadium.

3 - HOUSE OF HORRORS: The Riders have only won once in their past 6 visits to La Belle Province and that victory came in 2015 when Saskatchewan prevailed 30-24 in OT. Brandon Bridge started for Montreal while Keith Price (remember him?) started for Saskatchewan. However it was Brett Smith (remember him?) who came off the bench to rally the Riders to victory in Week 20, capping their record at 3-15 that season.

4 - COMING HOME: The Riders flew home from Toronto immediately after Saturday's game, rather than stay in Eastern Canada for back-to-back games like they've done - with success - the past two seasons. The reason? 8 days between games seemed like too many for the Rider braintrust and, truthfully, packing for a long trip like that is a logistical nightmare. Here's hoping this strategy pays the same dividends as staying out East has in the past.

5 - ZACH ATTACK: It feels like the critics are waiting to pounce on Zach Collaros for any little glitch in his game, yet he's 6-2 as the Riders starter. And consider this stat: Of pass attempts 20+ yards, Collaros's 40.4% completion percentage is better than Bo Levi Mitchell, Trevor Harris, Matt Nichols and Travis Lulay. In fact the only CFL QBs more accurate on "deep passes" are Mike Reilly and Jeremiah Masoli.

6 - JOHNNY FOOTBALL: The allure of the Riders facing Johnny Manziel for the first time doesn't have the same chutzpah as it might've in the past. Manziel's tenure in Montreal has been unremarkable and there still seems to be some sort of internal power struggle with the Alouettes over who should be starting at QB. However we're all still waiting for Johnny's "Coming Out Party". Will it be this week? And what exactly is a Coming Out Party in the first place?

7 - MANZIEL VS FLUTIE: Since Manziel signed in the CFL on May 19 there's been some odd comparison between he and CFL great Doug Flutie. But why? When comparing the careers of the two players, I'm reminded of Lou Holtz's famed commencement speech at Trine University in 2011. "I often wonder," Holtz said. "Why some people born with so much end up accomplishing so little? And why some people born with so little, end up accomplishing so much."

8 - TORONTO, A CITY LOST: 3 days spent in Toronto last week were a lot of fun but it left me with more questions than answers. It seems they feel like they're better than the CFL, yet they know they're not good enough for the NFL. They feel they're a world class city (which they are), yet they can't understand why big name players don't want to sign there? It feels like a city still struggling to find its identity.

9 - TOP 10: The CHL released its first national Top 10 rankings on Wednesday and #1 are the Memorial Cup host Halifax Mooseheads. WHL teams in the Top 10 are Lethbridge (#3), Spokane (#7), Vancouver (#8) and Saskatoon (#10). An honourable mention went to the P.A. Raiders. ... Meanwhile I read that the Regina Pats are beginning a "difficult rebuild". Umm ... shouldn't it be up to the Pats to say that rather than a local reporter? I've never heard them say that.

10 - RANDOM THOUGHTS: Is John Gibbons worthy of the Blue Jays’ Ring of Honour? Please convince me why or not. ...  If you're not supposed to stick Q-Tips in your ears, then WTH are you supposed to use them for? ... The best sitcom on TV right now: Mom ... At the movies: 2 thumbs up from the Monday Morning Goalie for Peppermint starring Jennifer Garner. It's a tad farfetched and makes you uncomfortable, but perhaps that's the idea. ... The 2-2 UofR Rams football team got thumped at the Saskatchewan Huskies last weekend and visits the 2-2 Manitoba Bisons on Saturday. ... The PFC's 2-3 Regina Thunder got thumped at the Saskatoon Hilltops last weekend and hosts the 2-3 Edmonton Wildcats Sunday at 1:00 pm at Mosaic Stadium.

Y'er welcome,
RP
@rodpedersen

9 comments:

SWC said...

5 and 6 combined;

When is Zach Collaros going to have his 'Coming Out Party'?
So far, he's thrown for more interceptions than touchdowns!
Since you're pulling out his stats, how's his QB rating? You'd be stretching the truth if you called it 'moderately successful'.

3RD and 1 said...

It’s a known fact that the more 20+ yard passes a QB throws the lower his percentage becomes.
Given the fact that Collaros hasn’t even thrown 50% as many long throws as Mike Reilly. It only makes sense that Xacks percentage is better. Reilly is the king of the long ball.
Mathematics are subjective. I can play with all kinds of numbers. Eventually you can find something that looks good on paper. As is the case here with the long pass.

Rod Pedersen said...

^^^^^ See!?

RP

joe bunyawk said...

You called it Roddy lol...some prefer having the rain clouds to sunshine over their heads

Geo said...

3RD and 1 makes a good point that you can spin any stat to your liking though (remember Durant's famed "playoff win/loss ratio" you used to like to crow about), although he missed the part where Reilly does have a higher completion % over 20 than Zach does.
Even your own stat is pretty misleading - the top QBs in the league are all ranging between 35 and 45 completion percentage on passes over 20 yards. The only difference is that the elite QBs (Reilly, Mitchell, Masoli) have all attempted 20+ throws more than 80 times this season, and Collaros is sitting at barely 50. Well of course he'll complete a higher percentage of those throws - none of their opponents' secondaries are expecting those long throws, leaving guys open.
For all QBs with at least 160 pass attempts (the CFL's standard for QB ratings), Collaros is dead-last in Pass Efficiency, Quar, TD/Int Ratio, and Completion %. His total yards only surpasses Lulay, Bethel-Thompson, and Jennings, all of whom have had fewer starts than him. He is tied with three of those guys in total touchdowns, and leads the last guy by only one (and that guy started fewer than half as many games as Collaros).
This ain't just being negative. It is actually reading a stat sheet to get the real information those stats provide, not just cherry picking the one stat that supports your narrative.
Zach ain't winning the Riders any football games. The Riders defense and special teams are winning those games. Zach is just along for the ride.

Shayne said...

@SWC, when is Zach Collaros going to have his 'Coming Out Party'? When the offensive coordinator is either shown the door, or he becomes more creative.

Joe said...

Marcus Thigpen had a 24 yard avg/carry against TO. He must've had the greatest game of all time! *looks closer* Oh, he had 82 yards on one of those carries.
Yes, you can find something that looks good on paper but isn't exactly showing you the big picture. Fake news!

The Pats haven't come out and said they're in a difficult rebuild because that would be the worst marketing strategy of all time. Try selling tickets when the team themselves say that it's going to be a rough year.

Reider said...

Rod,

You've never heard the Pats say that it will be a difficult rebuild, nor will you ever hear them say that, which is why I think it's okay for a local reporter to say it. I've broken the rebuild process down into 4 asset categories. If you look at the Pats' rebuild based on those categories, I would have to agree with the local reporter that it will be a (long) difficult rebuild.

1. Draft Picks - Cupboards are empty in the short term
2. High end veteran talent - Most of the high end veterans have moved on, so there is not much left for the Pats to trade away. Henry, Leschyshyn and there's an outside chance that Fleury is returned to the Pats this year. Max Paddock is an asset, which the Pats should be able to cash in on in 2020, when he is 19 and a WHL team hosts the Memorial Cup again. Until then, the Pats will need him in goal.
3. Prospects - There are no high end, Sam Steel caliber, prospects in sight. No high end prospects means no high end players to develop and move for more assets.
4. American Talent pool - If the Pats could recruit 4-6 good American players like some other teams in the CHL, the rebuild could be done quicker and better, but unfortunately the Pats have struggled to recruit high end American players. Hopefully that's a market that they can capitalize on in the future as it would go a long way in ensuring that the Pats have a strong team year in and year out.

Of course, things can change. The Pats could find the next Adam Brooks and Nick Henry and / or start recruiting high end American players, but until then, the rebuild looks like it will not be easy or quick. I think that publicly questioning a local reporter for telling the truth based on the known facts, is unfair and a bit out of line.

Football Fan said...

3rd and 1 and Geo, good discussion but I'm going to take issue with some of your numbers and assertions now. The reason Collaros hasn't thrown as many deep balls as the top QBs, and has a much lower total yardage number, is because he's missed almost 5 games this year with his concussion. The other top guys have played a lot more football, hence the higher deep throw and total yards numbers. On a per game or per minute basis Collaros would still be a bit behind in the total yardage category, but not nearly as much as he is now.

The other thing that can't be overlooked is that a QB is not solely responsible for his passing stats. We have a lot of young receivers this year and undoubtedly a number of the incompletions and interceptions were our receivers' fault for not being in the right place. Also remember that this is his first year with the team, so not only is the offence new to him but even the veteran receivers like Roosevelt are new as well. All of the other top guys have been with their teams for a long time and have receivers they've built chemistry with over a number of years. All of these factors are going to add up and could easily mean one or two more misses in a game, and that's going to be reflected in the stats.

I agree that our offence is not firing on all cylinders yet, but I don't seen any evidence that says that Collaros is to blame, or McAdoo for that matter. I think we've likely been running a more conservative offence on purpose to this point, in part to protect Collaros, but I suspect that most of our statistical shortcomings are a mixture of breakdowns in many areas due to us having to fit so many new parts together.

We're winning, of course, 8-5 and in position to host a home playoff game, so only the poopy diapers crybaby element is complaining, but I think we'll need more from our offence to go far in the playoffs, so it will be interesting to see if we can work out the kinks and ramp things up as we approach the playoffs.