Redblacks get dumped on (& 10 other thoughts)

The fact that the Ottawa Redblacks were soundly beaten 29-9 by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers isn’t surprising. Rain came down in buckets, their third string QB started and they were coming off a short week to face one of the CFL’s best teams. Not exactly a recipe for success.

All that being said, the Redblacks did themselves no favours with sloppy arm tackles, drops from usually dependable receivers, turnovers and undisciplined flags.

Here are all my thoughts on the loss:

1) Ryan Lindley won’t have fond memories of his first CFL start. The weather was ugly and so were his numbers. Lindley completed 44% of his passes (16/36) for 151 yards and an interception. For nearly the entire game, Lindley looked uncomfortable, even when not under pressure. To be fair, many of his high, off-target throws can be chalked up to a lack of playing time and unfamiliarity with his receiving corps. At the same time, on more than one occasion he rushed his reads. Even when Lindley was on target, a catch was no sure thing, as his receivers dropped a total of six passes. All in all, Lindley deserves credit for not being afraid to try and push the ball downfield, but if Ottawa wants to get back into the win column, it looks like they’ll need Drew Tate or Trevor Harris back under centre.

2) For the second consecutive week, William Powell crossed the 100 yard mark. Powell averaged 7.6 yards per carry and finished the game with 107 rushing yards. On a night when offensive coordinator Jamie Elizondo leaned on the run, Powell rose to the occasion, running hard and showing agility on cutbacks and strength in running through arm tackles.

3) Given how consistent and reliable he’s been the past three seasons, it came as a shock to see Greg Ellingson drop four passes in a single game. To be fair, the rain was certainly a factor, as was having a new QB throw the ball, but still, it’s weird not seeing #82 catch everything he gets a hand on. Ellingson wasn’t the only receiver to record a drop, as both Diontae Spencer and Kevin Elliot couldn’t hang on to passes that hit them in the numbers. All that said, Ellingson still finished the night with a team-high six catches for 63 yards. The only other receiver who showed any kind of “chemistry” with Lindley was Canadian Jake Harty, who finished the night with three catches for 27 yards.

4) I’d never argue that Jon Gott isn’t missed, but after another game without giving up a sack (and conceding just two QB pressures), it’s safe to say that the Redblacks patchwork offensive line is getting the job done. Jake Silas displayed no rust in his return to the right tackle position while Alex Mateas and Evan Johnson both played well in their second career starts at centre and left guard respectively. Just like last week, the offensive line held their own in pass protection and on the ground, paving the way for another big day for Powell. It’ll be interesting to see who winds up on the bench when Jon Gott and Nolan MacMillan are healthy enough to return.

5) After initially holding the Bombers to field goals, Mark Nelson’s defence fell apart, done in by lazy tackling and blown coverages. The Bombers averaged a stunning 8 yards per 1st down play as they racked up 27 first downs and 513 yards of total offence. Ottawa’s defence was torched both in the air (giving up 361 passing yards) and on the ground (being gnashed for 192 yards). Poor tackling form was on full display from a number of defenders, but especially from DBs Nick Taylor, Corey Tindal and Jonathan Rose. The unit as a whole also seemed caught off guard by Winnipeg’s up-tempo pace on 2nd down.

6) If you’re looking for small defensive positives, the Redblacks held Winnipeg to a single touchdown on four red zone trips and also only allowed the Bombers to convert 50% of the time on 2nd down (13/26). I also have to mention MLB Taylor Reed for making a game-high 11 tackles. He was everywhere on the field.

7) The game would’ve been a much different one if a few Ottawa defenders could’ve hung onto the ball. Sherrod Baltimore, Adrian James, Kevin Brown and Nick Taylor all got their hands on passes, yet all failed to make an interception. On a night when the offence was struggling to get anything going, a turnover could’ve flipped field position and provided some much needed momentum. Maybe said linebackers and defensive backs need to take catching notes from defensive end Jonathan Newsome.

8) With the game being out of reach, it really didn’t matter, but it was still nice to see Brett Maher’s excellent onside kick recovered by Sinopoli. That, combined with his 53.4 yard punting average, makes up for his missed 46 yard field goal.

9) Speaking of special teams, who decided to have Quincy McDuffie replace Spencer as the punt returner? Even though Spencer returned two missed field goals for touchdowns in the last four games, it was McDuffie who was back returning kicks early on. I don’t get that logic. Following two muffed McDuffie punts, Spencer was eventually inserted back to the punt returner role. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

10) With the loss, the Redblacks season record falls to 5-8-1. While it isn’t time to panic, especially given the state of the East Division, Ottawa desperately needs to get back into the win column to keep pace with the Argos. Realistically, the Redblacks need to win two of their four remaining regular season games to guarantee themselves a playoff spot. That, in theory, would ensure they finish ahead of Montreal and Hamilton and worst case, host the East Semi-Final against a Western crossover team. But before the team can start looking that far ahead, they’ll welcome Saskatchewan to TD Place next Friday night. If head coach Rick Campbell’s post game comments can be taken at face value, it seems Ottawa’s offence (and odds of winning) will get a big boost with a healthy Drew Tate likely to start.

Santino Filoso

Santino Filoso

Born and raised in the 613, Santino has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know.)
Santino Filoso
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Santino Filoso
About Santino Filoso (209 Articles)
Born and raised in the 613, Santino has written about the Redblacks since 2013. He is the only CFL writer currently living in Brazil (as far as we know.)

5 Comments on Redblacks get dumped on (& 10 other thoughts)

  1. Bill deHoog // September 23, 2017 at 11:51 am //

    I was afraid that kind of a game might result last night. Thought the defence hung in there until the fumble late in first half.
    I thought Lindley was awful, not sure if he will ever be starter material.We definitely need either Tate or Trevor back. Secondary was poor…and we didn’t want White back?
    I thought they might give Collins a chance since he has a strong arm
    On the positive side, Powell and offensive line was good
    I think the dropped passes may of been a result of frustration with Ryan.
    Agree with returner comment
    Need to win at home next weekend.Hamilton might be pushing for a playoff spot, time to move ahead

  2. Like I’ve said before the game, Lindley is not a CFL QB, his record in the NFL shows a low % completion average and too many picks. He proved my point yesterday, throwing simple, short passes behind open receivers or over their heads. Those passes behind receivers are very dangerous to the receiver because they tend to jerk backwards in an effort to catch the poorly thrown ball, and leave themselves in an off balance position to take a massive hit. Injuries are very common in these situations. The guy has NO future in the CFL or anywhere else for that matter. I wouldn’t let throw another football in a game situation if I were his coach.

  3. I thought they’d throw Tate in for the 2nd half, as he said in an interview that he could play…would have given some life to the offence..I guess the coaches didn’t want to take a chance on further injury, especially if Harris is still not ready next game.

  4. Paul Bomber // September 23, 2017 at 2:12 pm //

    I’ve seen a few dropped passes this year where you almost thought the receiver heard footsteps, worried about getting hit by Loffler. For sure the weather was an issue for all receivers, but I wonder if there was a bit of that Loffler-effect last night. Bombers deserved the win, but Ottawa had lots going against them before the game even started… coulda’ been closer.

  5. Nothing to worry about Ottawa fans your still undeservingly in a position to host a playoff game

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