Big plays help Riders climb out of the basement

After two and a half long years, the Saskatchewan Roughriders are out of the Western basement (thanks to owning a tiebreaker over the B.C. Lions), while there’s still a lot of season left, it’s still something worth celebrating for Rider Nation.

By climbing out of the hole they created for themselves early this season, you can now say the Riders have a legitimate shot at making a run at a playoff spot. Whether they actually do it or not is another question but, the fact that there’s something to look forward and something to cheer for over the second half of the season is good news for both fans and the team. Over the last two seasons, the season was essentially over at this point. This year, it’s not.

How did they get here? Through big plays mostly. Offensively and defensively, the Riders stepped up to the plate against the Bombers on Sunday afternoon. That was especially true early as Kevin Glenn had a handful passes go for more than 10 years, including a 53 yard touchdown pass to Naaman Roosevelt. Ed Gainey added another interception for good measure. That trend continued win the second with a 50 yard catch and run by Bakari Grant and a 48 yard run by Cameron Marshall. That’s without mentioning another circus catch by Duron Carter. The first half was simply an avalanche of Rider momentum.

The Bombers did eventually adjust and the Riders offence did slow down but the damage was already done. Though, they could have used one more touchdown at some point in the fourth quarter to put the game away.

Where the Riders go from here has yet to be seen, but at least it’s still worth watching.

Game Thoughts

– Plenty of chatter on Twitter during the game about the Riders and their seemingly well timed injuries on defence. They certainly do look fishy and while going down to get a timeout might be frowned up or against “the code” to borrow a term from other sports. However, it’s pretty hard to enforce. If this does become a trend as we know coaches love to be copy cats, then the league will have to look into it and figure out a way to curb it. Can you completely stop it? Not sure, it’s nothing new but that often in a game is rare.

– Even with the big plays, the Riders might have lost this game if they didn’t do the job they did on Andrew Harris. Harris is certainly a candidate for the league’s most outstanding player award. When he goes off, the Bombers win. Harris did crack 100 yards of offence again, but most of that damage came as the Bombers were in catch up mode. Harris had just 29 yards rushing, if he got established early, it would have been a very different game.

– Now is the time for Rider fans to hold their breath when it comes to Cameron Marshall. The running back has been an important cog in their offence this season. Injuries that occur without contact generally aren’t good news. TSN’s Lee Jones did report during the game that it was not an Achilles, which is generally something we see in that situation. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious.

– Duron Carter had another one of those games. He’s been pretty steady for a few weeks now but definitely took over, at least in the first half. When Carter does that, it takes a lot of pressure on Naaman Roosevelt who is often the go-to guy and only makes the whole offence better.

– Ed Gainey is definitely back to his 2015 form. The defensive back added another two picks on Sunday. That gives him a league leading six interceptions. Willie Jefferson is still has my (non-existent) vote for the team’s most outstanding defensive player, but Gainey is starting to make it interesting.

– The offensive line has really been strong during this winning streak. Shouldn’t be too much of a surprise as good line play generally leads to wins. Brendon deserves a tonne of credit for stepping in at centre. It’s not something he’s done a lot of but the professional is doing what he does.

–  How good is Kevin Glenn right now? Glenn hasn’t thrown his patended interception in a while and has been piling up the touchdowns, adding another three against Winnipeg to sit tied for second behind Ottawa’s Trevor Harris. An improved line and a stocked corps of receivers is definitely helping Glenn but he’s definitely doing his part as well.

–  Whatever you may think about celebrations in football, you have to give Chris Jones credit for letting his players be themselves. Between the conga line and other celebrations against the Bombers, the Riders are definitely getting creative. Like them or not, it’s important to let players be who they are. (For the record, I have no problem with them for the most part. As long as you don’t bust one out when you’re getting blown out).

– I enjoyed the tribute to Taylor Field before the game. The card stunt to make the seats look like the old seats was pretty cool.

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.
Joel Gasson
Joel Gasson
About Joel Gasson (155 Articles)
Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.

18 Comments on Big plays help Riders climb out of the basement

  1. Rick cowan // September 4, 2017 at 9:37 am //

    I think Kienan Lafrance will do ok with Marshall out it will give the Rider’s another receiving threat they would be able to use Holley all the time

  2. TSN – bring more video cameras to the games – get Professional !!!
    You make CFL players look like ‘ stickmen ‘ through your projection of the game .

    You lost the NHL , you clearly don’t won’t to keep the CFL !

  3. white stallion in red // September 4, 2017 at 9:52 am //

    The Riders clearly displayed unsportsmanlike behavior with the injuries.they are a big play offense with their receivers but that will only carry you so far

  4. white stallion in red // September 4, 2017 at 10:31 am //

    The rider also play music far longer between plays than other stadiums do..At least when they are on D..

  5. Sounds like stumpy is getting a bit concerned about the Riders with his fake injury and longer music conspiracy. Can’t wait until the raiders play the stamps in 3 weeks. Btw you wanna talk conspiracy? How about the phantom horse collar tackle in the 4th quarter?

    • Haha Raiders sb Riders!

      • What a joke is right. We’re 30 rows up from the playing field and at the 20-yard line. And the game official who was right by both players, couldn’t see that the Rider DB (I believe Edem) grabbed the jersey from behind. Maybe horsee brought that game official in from Calgary.

        • Lancaster/Reed // September 4, 2017 at 1:22 pm //

          And how about the bombers touchdown drive in the first half, second and long in their own end, and dressler is offside by 5-6 yards. And the refs somehow missed it.

  6. Riders win. Going to be a hatefest par usual from horsie and his stable of clowns. Can’t comment on the injuries or if they were faked or not; didn’t look right, but doesn’t mean they weren’t legit. Either way it takes more than a few plays to win a game and those couple would not have made the difference. The Riders are showing they are for real, win the next 3 and we are on our way.

  7. Jake E. Snake // September 4, 2017 at 11:58 am //

    Doesn’t horsey sound alot like Bo Levi?? Maybe it is Bo Levi.. oh wait he didn’t take to twitter to complain. Seems to me the Stumps are nervous because the West is too competitive this year….

  8. Giddy up go!

  9. If you watch as much CFL football as you say that you do then you should know that a horse collar tackle does not have to include grabbing the horse collar. Any grab of the jersey around the name plate that results in the player being jerked backwards will, and almost always is, be called a horse collar tackle. It was a good call. You will often see one or two in most games. It is probably one of the more consistent penalty calls in the league.

  10. white stallion in red // September 4, 2017 at 12:55 pm //

    Righto…enjoy your labor day guys!

  11. Greg Basham // September 4, 2017 at 2:48 pm //

    Were the Riders channelling the infamous Joe Galat and his designated diver?

    Riders are clearly for real if they keep getting the QB play out of Kevin Glenn and play calling that mixes it up.

  12. antoine lussier // September 4, 2017 at 8:06 pm //


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