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September 27, 2021

Landry’s 5 takeaways from Week 8

The Canadian Press

Hello, Ottawa REDBLACKS. Too bad quarterback Devlin Hodges wasn’t available for the Hamilton game. Surely that was the perfect kind of night for a “Duck” to thrive.

Here are this week’s takeaways.

MAYBE YOU SHOULD STOP CUTTING THAT GUY

 

Can we safely assume that the Toronto Argonauts are done with cutting Chandler Worthy, finally?

Released by the team in 2017. Re-signed for 2018 but cut in training camp. Re-signed for 2019 and re-upped for the 2020 season which, of course, never happened. Psych! Re-signed for 2021 and then released, again, early in August. Then the Argos brought him back at the beginning of September.

Worthy was about as bright a star as Toronto had in their win over the Montreal Alouettes, hauling in four passes for 85 yards, including a 45-yard touchdown beauty. Averaged 25.3 yards on three kick-off returns, a fumble on one of them the only blemish on his night. And, really, he probably owed the Boatmen that one for all the releasing and such. Just a passive-aggressive turnover, really.

“His mind is too beautiful, his body’s too fast,” said quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson of Worthy, shortly after the game.

McBeth sees it. Do you now see it, too, Toronto Argonauts? Do you? Chandler Worthy is just a man, standing in front of a football team, asking it to play him.

And then not cut him.

THE ROUGHRIDERS: HOW DO WE LIKE THEM NOW?

Look. It wasn’t unfair, really. The Saskatchewan Roughriders hopped out to a 3-0 record, but how good were they really, many of us thought.

They built a huge lead on a mostly Michael Reilly-less BC Lions in Week 1, then hung on for dear life to win a close one. They beat a head-scratchingly dull Hamilton Ticats team in Week 2. Then took down the Ottawa REDBLACKS in Week 3, all at home.

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After losing two straight to Winnipeg, the “a-ha!” crowd took over. A win against a mistake-laden Toronto Argonauts followed and did not do a heck of a lot to suggest the ‘Riders were, indeed, on the rise.

But boy-howdy did Saturday night’s, last-second, victory in Vancouver impress, against a Lions team that was looking pretty good going in.

The Roughriders D looked fairly formidable in holding Reilly to 259 yards passing and only gave up the fourth quarter lead after a pass interference call on Ed Gainey (he might still be complaining about it to teammate Nick Marshall who might now be tapping “DUDE STOP TEXTING ME” on his phone) gave the Lions a first-and-goal from the one. And the offence? If not a masterpiece it wasn’t exactly just hotel art either. They cashed in when they needed to, in order to secure the victory.

Back on the bandwagon.

But… uh… ask me again after the Calgary game.

MATH AIN’T HARD. KICKING, HOWEVER, CAN SOMETIMES BE

There was some talk about BC coach Rick Campbell not going for two when the Lions scored a touchdown to go up five on the Roughriders, with over nine minutes left in the fourth quarter. “Shoulda done that,” I saw from more than just a few as I scrolled through Twitter.

Nah.

Sure, in hindsight, losing by a point on a convert when you could have been tied had you gone for and gotten two seems like simple math, but that’s only if you can see the disasters of the future in your mind’s eye. And if you can, congratulations on using that foresight to know ahead of time that 2020 would suck as much as it did. Ya coulda warned us.

A missed field goal (43 yards) from what had been – until then – a perfect placekicker and then a sad trombone punt of 26 yards – from a punter who was leading the league in average – are the disasters of which I speak.

The math didn’t fail Rick Campbell. His previously dependable kickers did.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: Rough times don’t have to last forever, Jimmy Camacho and Stefan Flintoft. See the next takeaway for more information.

BRETT LAUTHER IS UNBROKEN

 

Saskatchewan’s placekicker wasn’t having the kind of season he’d been accustomed to. At least not in the three games that preceded Saturday night’s.

After starting the season on a 10 for 10 field-goaling tear over the first three-plus games – and being named the Roughriders’ Player of the Week when he went 5 for 5 against Ottawa – Lauther had fallen on hard times, getting a case of the yips and hitting only 6 of his next 11 attempts. The guy had been money from the tee blocks, middle of the fairway every time. And then all of a sudden, he was sending half his blasts into the woods.

Not to worry, you worriers, if you are prone to the state of worrisome worrying. A 4-4 night with shots from 28, 30, 39 and 49 suggest that Brett Lauther’s just fine, thank you, and striping ‘em once again.

WATCH YOUR BACKSIDE, REST OF THE LEAGUE

I’m a fan of seeing Patrick Levels’ intensity meter getting pinned to the right.

After the Als went down in Toronto, falling to a record of 2 and 4, Levels signalled it’s about to get a whole lot more real with his team, if he has his way.

“Everybody’s this freakin’ close to us whoopin’ their ass,” growled Levels, holding his thumb and index finger about a centimetre apart.

“Nobody’s in trouble,” he added, “but the teams that we’re playing, once we get this thing going.”

“I promise y’all gonna be talkin’ to me totally different come a couple weeks from now. I promise you.”

I’m a fan of seeing Patrick Levels on a mission. Because when that happens, the Montreal Alouettes’ SAM starts to hit harder and get more and more vocal on the field, looking to become Mr. Contagious Energy. And Mr. Contagious Energy is a force to be reckoned with. Just ask him.

Show’s about to start.

AND FINALLY… {McBeth enters} “Is this a starter’s job which I see before me? Come, let me clutch thee.” {Exeunt}

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