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Underappreciated Plays


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I'm thinking of these as non-scoring or turnover plays that don't get talked about much but could have been huge momentum swings in games.

The thread idea came to me watching the West Final highlights (and the 10 Plays That Make a Champion articles).

Late in the 1st half the Riders force a fumble, Collaros has no idea where it is, spins around and by sheer luck it's right underneath him and he drops on it. When that football starts bouncing around on the turf it's very unpredictable. The Bombers ended up with a punt single on a bad decision by Thigpen on the drive, if the Riders took over things could have played out much differently.

Also fairly well known around here, but still in the same game had Shayne Gauthier not run down the misdirection punt return there's a very good chance the Blue Bombers don't get a chance to win the Grey Cup last year.

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Without going to any video to refresh my memory:

Against Calgary-

1)although a scoring play, Medlock’s 52 yard FG at the end of the half. Ice cold ball, brought us to within 6 points in a half we were outplayed in  

2) LaPo letting Streveler stay in for a series. On Demski’s TD run, Streveler held the ball a long time on the handoff and the defender bit on the QB sneak, allowing Nic to get through the hole untouched, then it was a foot race  

3) The physicality Of the defensive backs. Those first half hits made the receivers skittish and it showed in the 3rd when they did not commit to route running and dropped a few passes. No Levi had zero yards passing in that quarter and you could see his receivers were rattled  

4)Mike Jones’ “simultaneous catch” INT when Calgary could have gone up 14-0 early  

5) On Streveler’s nail in the coffin TD, Hardrick pulls from his right tackle spot to left tackle. Kenny Lawlor takes his spot and seals off the right side with a great block, Hardrick absolutely crushes his block and Strev is able to bounce outside and go all the way.  Brilliant blocking scheme  

Against Sask-

aside from the ones you mentioned, the goal line stand play, specifically 

1) the dumb play calling from the Sask o-coordinator. If William Powell was fed the ball I think Sask just might score when they kept imploding inside the Bomber 5. 
2) The defensive poise after Fajardo threw an illegal pass after running past the line of scrimmage. Obvious blown call even after the review (and I don’t but the whole”back foot still behind the line” - it was not) gives them a gift first down, but the D buckled down and held to a FG. 
3) Winston Rose’s INT and even more importantly big run back  
4) On the 2nd last goal line stand, 3 huge plays. First down Jefferson times the snap perfectly, goes untouched around the block and forces a bad pass out of bounds. Second down Theadric Hansen meets Powell at the one foot line and stands him straight up one on one. Even forward momentum and Powell crosses the line, Hansen refused to budge an inch and keeps him out. Third down DB Nick Taylor moves up to the line and dives in the legs of the o-line taking out 3 players. Totally opened up the hole for Matson and Bighill to make the stuff play 

Grey Cup

1) Hansen’s special teams double take out set the emotional tone for the dominance by the Bombers and the half heartedness of the Ticats. 
2) Mike Jones hitting Brandon Banks so hard he quit the game with an injury, and then breaking up the long bomb to his Hamilton namesake when a TD could have made the game interesting. 

Edited by TrueBlue4ever
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28 minutes ago, TrueBlue4ever said:

Without going to any video to refresh my memory:

Against Calgary-

1)although a scoring play, Medlock’s 52 yard FG at the end of the half. Ice cold ball, brought us to within 6 points in a half we were outplayed in  

2) LaPo letting Streveler stay in for a series. On Demski’s TD run, Streveler held the ball a long time on the handoff and the defender bit on the QB sneak, allowing Nic to get through the hole untouched, then it was a foot race  

3) The physicality Of the defensive backs. Those first half hits made the receivers skittish and it showed in the 3rd when they did not commit to route running and dropped a few passes. No Levi had zero yards passing in that quarter and you could see his receivers were rattled  

4)Mike Jones’ “simultaneous catch” INT when Calgary could have gone up 14-0 early  

5) On Streveler’s nail in the coffin TD, Hardrick pulls from his right tackle spot to left tackle. Kenny Lawlor takes his spot and seals off the right side with a great block, Hardrick absolutely crushes his block and Strev is able to bounce outside and go all the way.  Brilliant blocking scheme  

Against Sask-

aside from the ones you mentioned, the goal line stand play, specifically 

1) the dumb play calling from the Sask o-coordinator. If William Powell was fed the ball I think Sask just might score when they kept imploding inside the Bomber 5. 
2) The defensive poise after Fajardo threw an illegal pass after running past the line of scrimmage. Obvious blown call even after the review (and I don’t but the whole”back foot still behind the line” - it was not) gives them a gift first down, but the D buckled down and held to a FG. 
3) Winston Rose’s INT and even more importantly big run back  
4) On the 2nd last goal line stand, 3 huge plays. First down Jefferson times the snap perfectly, goes untouched around the block and forces a bad pass out of bounds. Second down Theadric Hansen meets Powell at the one foot line and stands him straight up one on one. Even forward momentum and Powell crosses the line, Hansen refused to budge an inch and keeps him out. Third down DB Nick Taylor moves up to the line and dives in the legs of the o-line taking out 3 players. Totally opened up the hole for Matson and Bighill to make the stuff play 

Grey Cup

1) Hansen’s special teams double take out set the emotional tone for the dominance by the Bombers and the half heartedness of the Ticats. 
2) Mike Jones hitting Brandon Banks so hard he quit the game with an injury, and then breaking up the long bomb to his Hamilton namesake when a TD could have made the game interesting. 

Another huge play in the west final for me was the 66 yard Collaros to Adams bomb when we were inside our 5. I loved the play call. Im so used to a 3 yard run followed by a 4 yard pass for a two and out in that scenario. It was so refreshing. We go two and out there and sask likely starts on our side of the field or we concede 2 points. Big turning point for me that could have went the opposite way.

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Love all of these.

Keep in mind it isn't restricted to this last playoff run.

How about Roberts' run up the gut to set up Westwood's winning FG in the '07 west semi or Terrence Edwards' over the shoulder grab that set up Milt for the all-time TD tying score in Edmonton?

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After the weak roughing the passer call on Jefferson in the beginning of the game, he comes right off the edge causing a clear fumble and biggie recovery. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again: All the calls went against us the whole playoff run and they overcame every one.

Refs gifting Calgary a TD just minutes into the game, Fajardo clearly being 3 yards over the LOS and no call despite a challenge, and then Jefferson getting a weak call in a championship game on him.

That's a Mike O'Shea coached team through and through.


 

Edited by Dr Zaius
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4 hours ago, Dr Zaius said:

After the weak roughing the passer call on Jefferson in the beginning of the game, he comes right off the edge causing a clear fumble and biggie recovery. 

I've said it before and I'll say it again: All the calls went against us the whole playoff run and they overcame every one.

Refs gifting Calgary a TD just minutes into the game, Fajardo clearly being 3 yards over the LOS and no call despite a challenge, and then Jefferson getting a weak call in a championship game on him.

That's a Mike O'Shea coached team through and through.


 

Dont forget the blatant pick play that led to Hamilton's only TD in the Grey Cup. Should have never counted. If you take it away(i choose too lol), after the first half against Calgary in the west semi-final the Bombers D gave up exactly ZERO TD's. Blanked Calgary in the 2nd half, no TD's given up in the west final against sask, and 1 fictitious blown call TD given up in the Grey Cup. And all that done against the three top teams in the league standings wise. Underdog in each game. Unreal. Try to remember a better defensive performance in a three game CFL playoff run. I cant.

2 minutes ago, Bubba Zanetti said:

 

 

Edited by Bubba Zanetti
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13 hours ago, Bubba Zanetti said:

Dont forget the blatant pick play that led to Hamilton's only TD in the Grey Cup. Should have never counted. If you take it away(i choose too lol), after the first half against Calgary in the west semi-final the Bombers D gave up exactly ZERO TD's. Blanked Calgary in the 2nd half, no TD's given up in the west final against sask, and 1 fictitious blown call TD given up in the Grey Cup. And all that done against the three top teams in the league standings wise. Underdog in each game. Unreal. Try to remember a better defensive performance in a three game CFL playoff run. I cant.

 

They clarified that during the game. It wasn't called because it was a screen play. The ball was thrown behind the line of scrimmage making the blocking legal.

 

18 hours ago, Dr Zaius said:

After the weak roughing the passer call on Jefferson in the beginning of the game, he comes right off the edge causing a clear fumble and biggie recovery. 

I actually agreed with that call. His elbow (or was it shoulder) clearly hit Evans in the head. Unintentional but clearly a penalty.

In terms of underrated plays....

That entire first series in the Grey cup set the tone. Hamiltons Oline look like a siv. Not only did it showcase our Dline and prove that Jefferson was in fact worthy of the DPOY award, but showed how Bryant got robbed from his yearly award. The "best olineman" looked completely outclassed right from the first snap.

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I would argue you mentioned one in your first post for WSF. Thigpen giving up the rouge ended up being massive points-wise. If he hadn't done that, Riders are down by six instead of seven and suddenly a field goal seems much more potent. Although on 3rd and 1 from the 1, they likely still would have gone for it, one could easily make the case they instead settle for 3, then have a chance to tie down by 3 again late.

Bombers were arguably reeling a bit at that point, I don't think they would've outlasted them in OT. That field goal post looked like it was stuck in the mud on every defense play except the last one.

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The play that sticks out for me is the Thiadric Hansen special teams hit and the timing.

Bombers scored a major and Hamilton would be looking to counter in a still close game. That hit told Hamilton they were in for a fight and the Bombers weren't gonna take the foot off the gas and were gonna put the other one on their necks.

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THE BOMBEROOSKIE:

 

This play goes back to 1971 & it is named after the Blue Bombers because our OC at the time Dave Smith invented the play. It was originally called the "Slaglerooskie" in honour of Blue Bomber Guard Larry Slagle who was the ball carrier at the time. It would be copied by other teams in the years ahead, tweaked & would come to be known as the "Bomberooskie". Houston Oilers HC Bum Phillips back in the 70's when Earl Campbell could be used as a decoy loved the play & ran it a few times. He even called it the Bomberooskie.

It was first used in September of 1971 late in the 4th quarter against the Calgary Stampeders at Winnipeg Stadium. It led to a huge gain & IIRC sealed the deal with a win over the Grey Cup bound Stamps that year. I do know I was at that game & had a great look at it as the Bombers ran it from about their 40 yard line facing south. I was in the North End Zone but I had no idea what happened as it looked like total confusion on the field as players couldn't seem to find the ball only to see Slagle chugging downfield for about 45 yards & a huge first down. 

Stamps HC Jim Duncan was livid after the game saying the play was illegal & should have been brought back. Head Coach Jim Spavital apparently spoke with the Head Referee before the game to get clarification of the legality of the play. He was told it was legal. He also asked the officials to not blow the play dead if they lost sight of the ball which they probably would. The officials agreed & in turn asked him to let them know when Smith would be calling the play so as to be ready.

First, a rule clarification as the argument was that the Bomberooskie was illegal as an offensive lineman was taking the hand off. Apparently there is no rule that says an OL can't carry the ball. They can as long as it isn't a forward handoff. What happens is the center snaps the ball. Motion flows to one side while the guard carrying the ball takes the handoff from the Center running laterally along the LOS in the opposite direction. As the guard is running laterally at the time of the handoff it is a legal play. The qb keeps the ruse alive by pretending to take the ball from under center & also then pretends to hand the ball to his halfback running with the flow which causes the defense to react in the same direction. By the time the defense realizes the back doesn't have the ball it's too late & the guard is gone downfield. 

I've seen the Bomberooskie also ran as a "fumble". The center drops the ball on the ground deliberately & the guard picks it up & runs with it in the opposite direction to the play. However, that is a riskier play as the ball could be kicked accidentally by someone on the LOS or the other team may recover the ball. 

Anyway, a trick play that was made famous in the 70's was named for the Home Team. That is my pick for my Underappreciated Play. And now you know.... The rest.... of the story.

Edited by SpeedFlex27
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13 hours ago, SpeedFlex27 said:

I wasn't intoxicated but extremely nervous. 

So nervous. I went to get some Farmery beer (the only MB beer in YYC) the morning of the game, down in Inglewood at Oak and Vine. While we were waiting for it to open, we went in to Hose and Hound for a Crown Royal (Gimli) shot for good luck. As with you, I didn't really drink a lot that day, and was just extremely nervous... 

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1 hour ago, Noeller said:

So nervous. I went to get some Farmery beer (the only MB beer in YYC) the morning of the game, down in Inglewood at Oak and Vine. While we were waiting for it to open, we went in to Hose and Hound for a Crown Royal (Gimli) shot for good luck. As with you, I didn't really drink a lot that day, and was just extremely nervous... 

Never in my life been so nervous about a game.  We got to McMahon with plenty of time to pre-game but I could barely finish a beer.  Such an odd feeling. 😂

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3 hours ago, Noeller said:

So nervous. I went to get some Farmery beer (the only MB beer in YYC) the morning of the game, down in Inglewood at Oak and Vine. While we were waiting for it to open, we went in to Hose and Hound for a Crown Royal (Gimli) shot for good luck. As with you, I didn't really drink a lot that day, and was just extremely nervous... 

I'm usually pretty good until the Bombers get to the Western final & then I just struggle the day of the game wishing it was over. I've had more disappointments over the years than successes as a fan. 

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51 minutes ago, SpeedFlex27 said:

I'm usually pretty good until the Bombers get to the Western final & then I just struggle the day of the game wishing it was over. I've had more disappointments over the years than successes as a fan. 

I hear that. I couldn't bring myself to PVR any of the playoff games for fear of jinxing us. I should have taken the Monday off work and stayed in Calgary to party after the game, but again didn't want to be presumptuous and jinx us. Damnation. Just never imagined it could actually happen for us.... 

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