Old problems resurface for the Riders ahead of the playoffs

The Saskatchewan Roughriders are heading into the playoffs on a losing note following a 28-13 loss to the Edmonton Eskimos on Saturday night at Mosaic Stadium.

The loss on it’s own isn’t that big of a deal, but how they lost is should set off a few alarm bells around Saskatchewan as many of the problems we’ve seen at various points this season seemed to show themselves in one game against the hottest team in the league at the moment.

Once again, the Riders got off to a slow start offensively. Kevin Glenn proved once again that when the pressure is turned up and he’s under siege, there isn’t much he can do. These struggles have been clear for the last number of weeks as Glenn has been relieved by Brandon Bridge more of then than not. It begs the question, should the Riders just skip the middle man and start Bridge next week in Ottawa? It’s a tough call. On one hand, the game plan on Glenn seems pretty sure and pretty effective at this point. With the injury to Brendon LaBatte not looking good, that adds another wrinkle for a team that’s struggled to protect their pivot of late. At the same time, Glen Suitor on the TSN broadcast brought up a good point that naming Glenn the starter, as Jones did once again after the game, takes all the pressure off Bridge for the week and allows him to come in with a clear mind. The only problem is, if the team is down double digits in a playoff game, it might already be too late.

Other than a brief spurt when Bridge came in, the Riders also lacked the big play. The Eskimos certainly deserve a lot of credit for how they played defensively but Bridge did overthrow a couple of guys down field. It is time to end the Duron Carter on defence experiment and get him back to doing what he does best? Making big plays for the offence? I think so.

We’ve also become accustomed lately to seeing big plays from the defence and special teams as well. Those dried up against Edmonton. Simply put, this team needs their defence and special teams to be the difference maker in order to have a chance. Big plays can be the difference between winning and losing in the post-season. Compounding the problem is the fact that the Riders gave up big plays on all three sides of the ball, something we haven’t seen in a number of weeks.

Finally, let’s talk discipline. The Riders were flagged 11 times for 124 yards on Saturday night, a number that will simply kill you in the playoffs. The number is alarming but the types of penalties were worse. As a team, the Riders took far too many needless penalties such as unnecessary roughness. Few of the penalties were drive extenders, but discipline matters and if you’re getting caught at other times, odds are it could slip at an inopportune time.

While one game doesn’t define a season, what we saw on Saturday was the worst of the Riders showing up in one game. Any one of these issues could sink them next week, so now’s the time to get it right.

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.
Joel Gasson
Joel Gasson
About Joel Gasson (178 Articles)
Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.

73 Comments on Old problems resurface for the Riders ahead of the playoffs

  1. They will be fixed. Riders are all good. Everyone just chill the eff out. Christ. Just bickering old ladies on here most of the time.

  2. Joel, really good points. I feel if the Riders should start Glenn in the eastern semi-final and he should struggle, Bridge should be calling the plays no later than the end of the first quarter, or even earlier. Secondly, the offensive line is struggling, big-time. Hopefully, Derek Dennis can help alleviate the problem the Riders are having with pass protection and the running game next week. Lots of concerns, including lack of discipline with so many penalties. How many times was the defense lined up offside? In addition, the Roughriders have to get more physical and gain the line of scrimmage on BOTH sides of the ball. Plus, they have to keep thumping with Richardson and Marshall against the RedBlacks for positive yardage. Plus, you’re absolutely right with having Duron Carter playing offense, ONLY. Good comments.

    • Playoff roster will be interesting, they have so much talent on offense to juggle that I wouldn’t be surprised if Carter is playing defense.

  3. Last time they played the RedBlacks in Ottawa they won by 1 point but faced an Ottawa team that had their 3rd String QB starting.
    This time a healthy Trevor Harris and Drew Tate and William Powell.
    Good luck Riders

  4. Is the re-nowned and CFL’s best ref officiating the game – code name ( Jacques P )

    That will have a bearing on the outcome – qui qui !

  5. Lancaster/Reed // November 5, 2017 at 4:02 pm //

    To me it felt like jones was running a very vanilla defense, with few stunts and a basic cover package. I expect a much less predictable defense game plan next weekend.

    • BleedGreen // November 5, 2017 at 5:07 pm //

      I thought so to, injuries are killer and when Jovon was injured it became uber vanilla. Can’t afford injuries, that weather is tough on the depth. All outdoor arenas from here on out. I like Riders chances in Ottawa, loud crowd but milder weather.

  6. Maybe Jones wanted to lose to get into the easy east.

  7. One thing is for sure. It will be a fluke if the Riders win the Grey Cup. They have more things to worry about anyway. Like fixing up that money sinkhole new stadium. All kinds of problems there. That should keep them busy for a while.

    • Lancaster/Reed // November 5, 2017 at 6:38 pm //

      The only thing that is known for sure is that your comment proves you are a troll with little actual knowledge of the riders or mosaic stadium.

    • You can’t model a cornice forming on the edge of the roof. Wouldn’t have hurt anyone anyway. No biggy. You should be worried about BLM and his multiple injuries. Thunderass.

      • Not a Calgary fan, no idea how you made that connection. After the Riders loose next week maybe you can connect with Lancaster/Reed, and get up there on that roof and get the darned thing fixed.

    • Thunderfoot for Commisioner!!!

      Lancaster/Reed your incessant crying is beyond old.
      Go to Bed!

  8. White Horse // November 5, 2017 at 4:48 pm //

    The Riders ARE worried about Trevor Harris. They better be! The only advantage the Redblacks have over the Riders is their QB. That could be the difference maker.
    Stamps will be seriously worried about both Esks and BB. They are now, not the team we are used to. Interesting playoffs for sure.
    Very impressed with the Argos. JWJ is an outstanding running back. Best in the league over the last few games. He reminds me of Jon Cornish running style…Trestman will be coach of the year!!

    • Lancaster/Reed // November 5, 2017 at 5:14 pm //

      Despite their records, ottawa and toronto are both very good teams, and either team is more than capable of winning the grey cup. All 6 teams in the playoffs are worthy of winning. I agree harris is a big edge in qb over the riders, but riders defense is better than ottawas. Both games next weekend look like they will be entertaining.

  9. RB Nation // November 5, 2017 at 4:54 pm //

    No western team was going to make it out of the East this year, least of all Sask. Aside from over-the-top first down celebrations there’s got nothing the Redblacks need to fear. They are rested and ready. Bring on the green Riders. Looking forward to an entertaining game.

    • BleedGreen // November 5, 2017 at 5:16 pm //

      The RB need to be respected, strong Dline, a few weapons. Head to head- Brandon Bridge will have time to shine. Hard to game plan efficiently for both, Glen pretty conventional but Bridge will bring it. I would give some respect to a guy who has nothing to lose, everything to gain and feels that he is smashing through glass ceilings for other Canadians that may follow him. Jones will have them stoked that’s for sure.

  10. Markwithchris // November 5, 2017 at 5:22 pm //

    Does anyone know if Ottawa is opening up the temporary grey cup seats for the game next week.

  11. MR. Green // November 5, 2017 at 5:57 pm //

    Bridge hasnt played against Ottawa yet. Wont be surprised to see KG pkay the whole game. We need Carter and Roosevelt the whole game. What worries me the most is our O line. Riders will play a lot beter next week and we will have to to have a chance in Ottawa. Both games by one point. Likely comes down to the last minute again.

    • Lancaster/Reed // November 5, 2017 at 6:33 pm //

      Too bad, ottawa could probably boost game attendence a few thousand , and increase team profits. Are they not finished yet, or just havent been inspected?

      • Lancaster/Reed // November 5, 2017 at 6:35 pm //

        Dont know why the above comment didnt go with the grey cup seating comments.

      • It may just be that an announcement has yet to be made. I’ve been away but I haven’t seen the idea ruled out entirely. As you say, it would seem like a wasted opportunity.

      • Nope, just saw on Twitter that “unfortunately” they won’t be open, so evidently they’re not ready. Dang, that’s too bad.

        I guess all the people who get the northside nosebleeds and stand in gthe endzones are actually going to use their seats for a change.

  12. Markwithchris // November 5, 2017 at 5:58 pm //

    Thanks for the info. It’s likely an all rebblack crowd then

  13. It’ll be a close game. Ottawa has an edge @ QB & big edge on rushing game. Riders & RedBlacks both have good passing games but RB will miss Sinipoli. That means more touches to Spencer. But edge to Riders on passing game. Both have good returners. On defence, edge goes to Riders but not much difference in points allowed – about 1 per game. Bottom line, this is a 10 win team vs a 9 win team, which has home advantage. Each won a game by a point. Key to Regina is shutting down the run, something they had trouble with while Ottawa has to shut down the pass, where they had problems. The difference may be in T/O’s. Ottawa is 3-8 in the 11 games they lost the T/O battle, Riders 0-6. Riders are 8-1 when they win the battle.

    • greenrider89 // November 6, 2017 at 3:46 pm //

      Boneyard, I am a devoted Rider fan as you are well aware. Interesting statistics by all means. Riders will have their hands full not only with the RedBlacks, but also the travel logistics, early game time, etc. Edmonton played all their starters for a reason. No western team gets out of the east. If the Roughriders should get past Ottawa which will be extremely difficult, they face Toronto, Wilder, Ray and a revamped defense. I don’t see this being done, and I’m not trying to be pessimistic. Last week’s game against Edmonton was a playoff game. Edmonton took it serious. Saskatchewan, not so. Four starters not playing, musical chairs at the quarterback spot, we’ve got our hands full. No western team to my knowledge, has ever gone through the east and made it to the Grey Cup. I don’t see the Riders advancing much further than possibly past Ottawa.

    • True green // November 6, 2017 at 11:16 pm //

      Great insight. Will be a third good match up between the teams this season. Good luck RB Nation! (just not too good lol)

  14. MR. Green // November 5, 2017 at 6:31 pm //

    Without the turnover on the kickoff and stupid penalaties we may win. But Mike Reilly showed why he is the MOP. Next week Riders 37 Ottawa #3 16. Winnipeg 23 Edmonton22.

  15. Lancaster/Reed // November 5, 2017 at 6:46 pm //

    A rider story and no donkey comment. I guess hes been kicked out yet again. Maybe 4th times the charm .

    • He’s Not even here and he’s bothering you get over it Lancaster stop being owned

    • George Porge // November 6, 2017 at 11:53 am //

      Are you missing your buddy or something, Lancaster? Seriously, why even invite him in here?

      • Lancaster/Reed // November 6, 2017 at 5:32 pm //

        Just commenting that it is very unique that someone could be kicked off 3down 4 times, the last time within a week of the previous time. I find it hilarious, truth be told.

        • George Porge // November 6, 2017 at 5:48 pm //

          Sure, but how many times do you have to make that same comment? I mean, it’s pretty strange that you’d constantly talk about someone who you say you don’t want to see or hear from ever.

      • True green // November 6, 2017 at 11:19 pm //

        I think I figured it out!! Lancaster are you the Donkey?
        Lol, just jokes friend. But seriously, Stamps and George are right, let’s just enjoy that he and Ryan aren’t around acting like goons.

  16. Prove Me Wrong // November 5, 2017 at 6:56 pm //

    I think that the riders are going to underestimate the Red Blacks. They seem to be finishing off the season strong and relatively healthy. Their D is fast and will cause Glen to panic. And while Bridge may turn out to be a starting QB, he is not ready to win a championship now.

  17. Jim Corrigall // November 5, 2017 at 7:06 pm //

    Redblacks had, what, 14 of 18 games decided by a touchdown or less? This is a team that could have had a much better record, but seemed to find ways to lose, early in the season and then had to go with a 3rd string QB for awhile…Riders and Argos need to be ready.

  18. White Horse // November 5, 2017 at 7:39 pm //

    As a Stamps fan I remain impartial. However, I feel the real difference could be Trevor Harris. Otherwise these teams are even. I really look forward to both these semi’s. I think this game between RB and Riders will be very close. A field goal will determine the game. Wow..overtime would be a bonus!

  19. Another Chris jones failure thinking Kevin Glenn was your answer at qb . Should be fired for that alone

    • Lancaster/Reed // November 5, 2017 at 10:26 pm //

      Hufnagel also thought glenn was the guy at one point. So hufnagel should have been fired a few years ago huh.

      • Way different he came in cause of injuries, Glenn came to Saskatchewan to start , go worry about your donkey Lancaster

        • Lancaster/Reed // November 6, 2017 at 5:43 pm //

          Stamps, that doesnt really exonerate hufnagel. In fact it makes it look worse. Hufnagel thougt drew tate was a starter. Lmfao. Hufnagel should have been canned for thinking that. Glenn is better than tate.

          • George Porge // November 6, 2017 at 5:56 pm //

            Tate beat your Riders on more than one occasion, Lancaster/Reed. Talent-wise, he was actually a pretty decent quarterback when he was healthy. Unfortunately, he wasn’t healthy enough to stay as a starter.

            The 2012 Grey Cup proved pretty handily that Glenn was certainly not better than Tate.

  20. All the Argos key players will be back for the final, just in time. The defence should be dominant with Marcus Ball back as well as Shawn Lemon who who returned against the Lions. They’re loaded. For the offence, Anthony Woodson is just what they needed to take some heat off Fuller who has been truly outstanding. It’s been frustrating with all the injuries this year but almost 100 per cent healthy heading into the two most important games of the year.

  21. Correction! I meant Anthony Coombs, not Woodson.

    • Markwithchris // November 5, 2017 at 8:29 pm //

      Lol I was wondering about that. I thought maybe there were 2 players with that name because the only Anthony Woodson I know plays for Calgary!

  22. Markwithchris // November 5, 2017 at 8:39 pm //

    Man I’ll bet someone who owns one of those condos with a view of the field could make some money. Rent it for the afternoon to a party of 10 rider fans at $100.00 per head. Any rider fans think there would be a market for that?

  23. greenonions // November 5, 2017 at 8:42 pm //

    Have to agree with White Horse in that Harris could be the difference. But don’t discount Powell. He had his way with Riders once already. Riders won in Ottawa but that was with Ottawa’s 3rd string QB so how anyone could see a 37-16 Rider win in the capital is beyond me. The usual Rider hysteria about the team. RB come in on 3 game winning streak including beating Riders in Mosaic & a week’s rest. Riders already without Roosevelt, Carter hasn’t done anything on offence lately & will be minus their best guy on OL, who have been giving up pressures early & often resulting in Glenn sitting down. Bridge, after an initial spurt, came down to earth. A RB win would hardly be an upset & their fans are as loud as any in the league. The RB’s are battle tested with GC appearances the last 2 years. Riders are underdogs in this one.

  24. Sources Say // November 5, 2017 at 9:55 pm //

    Unless Saskatchewan’s O-line gets a talent transplant they don’t have a chance.

    • greenrider89 // November 5, 2017 at 10:25 pm //

      Biggest liability with the green and white. Need a talent infusion on the o-line. With that being said, will be interesting should Richardson, Marshall and Thigpen operate in the backfield next game.

    • Lancaster/Reed // November 5, 2017 at 10:28 pm //

      They were better when clark was hurt and labatte played center with dennis at guard.

      • greenrider89 // November 5, 2017 at 11:43 pm //

        Yes, Clark seems to be a concern on the line. And Dennis has been an underachiever since signing that big contract. I think Calgary has one of the top o-line’s in the league.

  25. Yes indeed, old problems resurfacing. Dan Clark played the first 6 games of the year, and we went 2-4. When he went out our OL got noticeably better, and Glenn had all the time he needed, and we went on a tear, 6-3 including winning by wide margins over Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. Now Clark has been back for the last three games, and while we are 2-1 in that time Glenn has been pulled in every game, because he simply hasn’t had time. The OL has been poor to terrible, but Bridge’s athleticism has bailed us out. Clark isn’t the whole problem, of course, but he’s a significant chunk of it.

  26. Three Ontario weekends in a row for the Riders. Better pack a big suitcase. The players will return home with the cup.

  27. The O line also got better when Dennis was moved to guard. He was like a turnstile at left tackle. He is an overpaid American guard who has been a complete bust. I am not sure how long his contract is for. Hopefully he only signed for one year at $200,000. Overpaid and over rated.

  28. Can the Riders beat the Redblacks – sure they can if their play makers step up big time. If not it will be a sad trip back to Regina. Simple as that.

    • Richardson/Thigpen/LaFrance in backfield, BB and KG at QB, and three good outside receivers will keep the Redblacks guessing. Riders by 11

  29. With the exception of Willie Jefferson we have no pass rush. The D line needs to be blown up

  30. Colour me green // November 7, 2017 at 1:16 am //

    By time I get to read a Riders article there is a massive number of posts. A lot by stamp fans. I look st other team articles and there are just a few posts.
    Just another reason to be a rider fan, they care and keep that fun fan experience alive. Stamp fans gotta be frustrated to see so few posts for the best team in the cfl in the last 3 years.
    Riders will win, injured players back, pull glen after two series. Can’t wait a full quarter to score points.

    • George Porge // November 7, 2017 at 10:33 am //

      Have you not seen the last few articles about the Stampeders games against Edmonton or Winnipeg? Those were pretty lively as well, however 3Down seems to like to bury articles pretty quick (quantity over quality – that’s the mark of great journalism).

      Having said that – it’s good to see the old rivalries come back to life this year. Aside from BC, all the Western Teams have been doing great this year (though at different times of the year, obviously), and I wouldn’t count BC out for next year, either. I honestly miss the banter we had when it was Korey Sheets vs. Jon Cornish for a couple of seasons, and I see that coming back in a big way.

    • One article about Austin has about 130 comments as I write this. But yeah, it’s all about Saskatchewan.

  31. If and when Ottawa start getting the best of the riders watch for Carter to start his mouthing and poor sportsmanship. He is known for it and will at any time do it again

  32. How could this lancaster dude even mention that Huff should be gone or fired . LOL LOL. Look at your own useless teams over the years man,actually the worst team in the history of the C.F.L.Typical rider fan.Lancaster,your team set a record that will never be beaten…missing the playoffs in a 5 team conference for 10 straight years..1977-1987. Oh lets not forget the last 2 years and oh lets not forget that lancaster and reed only managed to win 1 lousy Grey Cup Oh and the 4 Grey Cups in there history. GET LOST DUDE

    • Worry about your Stamps that went into a bi a 3 game slump. They’re gonna get trashed by a team coming off off a big win.

    • Marc Lebut // November 7, 2017 at 5:11 pm //

      Hufnagel should be let go, so we can replace Reed with him in Montréal…

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