Down in Distance – REDBLACKS Week 2

Down in Distance – REDBLACKS Week 2

New Head Coach, same results at home for the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Falling 26-15 to the Calgary Stampeders at their Home Opener, they have lost 14 straight at home with their last home win being a 34-24 win vs Edmonton Elks on September 28th 2021.

There is plenty of options for this weeks Down in Distance so lets get started.

FIRST DOWN: Special teams delivers

After a disappointing outing in week 1, the Specials teams came out running on Thursday. Alonzo Addae stripped Peyton Logan in the 2nd quarter to set up the offense on Calgary 11 yard line. Later in the quarter, Brandon Dandridge returned a Calgary Punt 79 yards for the Touchdown.

Richie Leone rebound in week two, the American punter averaged 54.5 yards per punt while the cover team held Peyton Logan to an average return of 3.6 yards.


SECOND DOWN: Turnover Machine?

Two games, 10 total turnovers. After putting up 3 interceptions and 2 turnover on downs in week one vs the Alouettes, you’d think that protecting the ball would be a point of emphases during the short week.

Ottawa Redblacks quarterback Nick Arbuckle attempts a pass during CFL action against the Calgary Stampeders, Thursday, June 15, 2023 in Ottawa. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Ottawa had two fumbles, two interceptions & one turn over on downs vs Calgary, one fumble led directly to a scoop & score TD for the Stampeders and one Interception was the first offensive play after Adam Auclair came away with an interception on Jake Maier.

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THIRD DOWN: Offensive Struggles continue

Oh man, where to start? Nick Arbuckle went 12/21 for 109 yards & 1 INT was benched late in the second quarter for Tyrie Adams who promptly went 9/17 for 129 yards & 1 INT but honestly, QBs have been left on an island.

Ottawa Redblacks wide receiver Justin Hardy (2) is tackled by Calgary Stampeders linebacker Micah Awe (57) and defensive back Titus Wall (32) during first half CFL football action in Ottawa on Thursday, June 15, 2023. (Adrian Wyld/THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Khari Jones offence has yet to score an offensive touchdown through two weeks and have been running a lot of Run/Pass Options which have resulted in only 25 credited rush plays for a total of 96 rush yards. The lack of specific run plays has put the QBs in an unfavorable situation as Defensive Coordinators can allow their secondary to sit back while the defensive front can pin their ears back and rush after the quarterback.

REDBLACKS had 3 trips to the Redzone and came away with only 6 points off two Lewis Ward Field Goals. Among all the play calling issues, their inability to capitalize on prime opportunities has put a larger light on their offensive woes.

Masoli is expected to make his return Week 4 but unless the play calling changes, the frustration around the offence will continue to grow.

Ottawa REDBLACKS are on a week three bye but return to the field on Friday June 30th when they host the Edmonton Elks at TD Place at 7:30pm.

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