ALBERTA

QB Kerry Joseph disappointed with his performance as Roughriders fall to Eskimos

11/16/2014 09:33 EST | Updated 01/16/2015 05:59 EST
EDMONTON - Veteran Saskatchewan quarterback Kerry Joseph didn't mince words about his performance Sunday.

The 41-year-old completed just 7-of-17 pass attempts for 120 yards to go along with one touchdown and five interceptions— including four in the first half— as the Roughriders fell to the Edmonton Eskimos 18-10 in the CFL West semifinal.

"I just sucked. Bottom line I sucked," a dejected Joseph said. "It was horrible on my part. I let these guys down, I let this organization down, I let the province of Saskatchewan down and it was horrible, plain and simple."

Pulled after throwing his final interception six minutes into the third quarter, Joseph said his dismal day— which could the final one of his long career— was a combination of the Eskimos defensive game plan and his own issues.

"They brought a lot of pressure early," he explained. "I didn't see the field well, I didn't make good throws. At the end of the day, the only way I can sum it up is I sucked."

Still, the Eskimos weren't able to take full advantage of the turnovers and the excellent field position they enjoyed throughout the first half. They managed just three field goals and a single until Kendial Lawrence's 84-yard punt return touchdown about nine minutes into the second quarter.

"The same thing that was a weakness for us during the season came back to bite us in the ass in this game," Rider coach Corey Chamblin said of Lawrence's touchdown. "You can't expect to win games like that. If we don't give that up, it's 11-10 and you do a couple of little things and you win."

Joseph did connect with Korey Williams for a 54-yard touchdown pass with 53 seconds left in the half to send the Riders into the dressing room trailing by just 10 points.

There was a sense of confidence in the Saskatchewan room at half time "because we knew despite the turnovers we were still in the ball game," said Joseph.

The Riders, however, could manage only one field goal in the second half.

Running back Anthony Allen, who was held to just 22 rushing yards on six carries, praised the Edmonton defence for its first-half effort.

"The defence was playing great," he said. "They were doing a good job of using the short field and only letting them get three points, sometimes no points. It was up to us to capitalize and we didn't today."

Chamblin said he didn't pull Joseph in the first half, or at halftime, because he wanted to give the veteran the "chance to pull us out with his experience."

"(Edmonton coach) Chris Jones sent pressure the whole time. He was going to live or die by it. We couldn't get some balls off… (Joseph) just didn't have it."

The Riders, who ran for 172 first-half yards in their win over Edmonton one week earlier, could never get their running game going on Sunday.

"That's the whole thing, they were blitzing the run. Jones knew that was our strength, our running game, and he was able to take that away and move us to the pass game.

"I'm never pleased with a loss but that score right there is (evidence) we fought to the end and that's one thing I will commend this team for, they fought to the end."

MORE:Albertacp