DAVIS: Riders have a chance to beat up on the East

Heading into the second week of action the Saskatchewan Roughriders may want to thank the schedule-makers for an only-in-the-CFL quirk that pits them against weaker East opponents for their first five contests.

In three interlocking games during the CFL’s opening week the West is undefeated against the East.

That includes Saskatchewan’s 27-19 victory against the reigning Grey Cup-champion Toronto Argonauts, in which Roughriders’ newly-acquired quarterback Zach Collaros conducted a balanced attack and defensive ends Charleston Hughes and Willie Jefferson led a ferocious pass rush.

Next up: Thursday’s road game against the Ottawa Redblacks, the only team that hasn’t yet played a regular-season game. While Ottawa comes off a bye, the Roughriders are in a shortened, six-day “week” with a long road trip that cuts into preparation time. See what we mean about the weird CFL schedule?

It’s not a huge deal. The Roughriders showed they were ready for the Argonauts, although the offence started with back-to-back two-and-outs, replete with no completions and two sacks. Collaros was acquired from the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in January to be Saskatchewan’s starter, but having lost his previous 12 starts there was concern about whether he was fully recovered from knee and head injuries.

Collaros ultimately completed 18 of 25 passes for 203 yards and one touchdown, to Namaan Roosevelt, while the Roughriders balanced their usual pass-happy attack with 27 rushing plays. Bruising tailback Jerome Messam softened Toronto’s defence with 21 carries for 72 yards and was especially effective while running out the clock during the fourth quarter. Speedy newcomer Tre Mason, although he fumbled once, added 37 yards on five carries behind a rebuilt offensive line that included two newcomers and hadn’t looked very good during the preseason. It was a pretty good debut for the O-line.

But Saskatchewan’s defence was the reason for this victory. Because Jefferson is among the CFL’s elite players, he regularly draws extra attention from opposing blockers and creates room for his cohorts on the defensive line. From start to finish they were harassing veteran quarterback Ricky Ray. And nobody was more effective than Charleston Hughes, an all-star defensive end acquired in the offseason from the Calgary Stampeders. Hughes recorded his 100th, 101st and 102nd career sacks, plus he pressured Ray four other times, limiting the future Hall of Famer to 233 yards with 22 of 37 completions.

The Argonauts didn’t deploy Ray during the preseason and it looked like he could have used some playing time. Collaros got minimal action in one of Saskatchewan’s exhibition games and seemed further ahead at shaking off any rust. With that analogy, it will be interesting Thursday to see if the Roughriders — after playing a game and having a short transition — will be further ahead than the Redblacks, who haven’t played a real game but have the advantage of more rest.

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis

Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.
Darrell Davis
Darrell Davis
About Darrell Davis (120 Articles)
Darrell Davis has reported on the Riders for more than 20 years and was inducted into the Canadian Football Hall of Fame media wing in 2006.

99 Comments on DAVIS: Riders have a chance to beat up on the East

  1. Just saying // June 17, 2018 at 6:20 pm //

    And if they were playing in the west for 5 games they’d have a chance at beating up on the west. What’s your point Darrel ?

  2. Lancaster/Reed // June 17, 2018 at 6:22 pm //

    Im not sure i would consider the reigning Grey Cup champs led by Ricky Ray or an improved Ottawa team, “weaker” eastern opponents. Ottawa is going to be another challenge for Collaros and the Riders. Dont be like Davis and looking 3,4 or 5 weeks down the road at future games.

  3. Darrell Davis needs to get his blood sugar under control. Lose one game and its all doom and gloom. Win one game and we are going to “beat up on the East”. Truth is somewhere in the middle. Ottawa will be primed and ready with a good defense with Thorpe this year and will not be push overs.

    • Puck Hog // June 17, 2018 at 9:06 pm //

      Haha. You’re right, Yoshi. The thing with Davis is that he’s mostly negative, so if he comes out and says that the Riders should beat the eastern teams, it gives him ammunition to blast the Riders if they do lose.

  4. Davis – your running out of printable words .

  5. What a load of crap. Where does this guy get off calling any team “weak” at this point in the season.

    It’s 2018 – the slate is clean, 2017 means ZERO !!

  6. So why is trying to take advantage of the string of eastern games a bad idea?
    Beating weak eastern teams is the reason you won 10 games last year, why not make it so again?

    • Only thing weak in 2018 is Bo’s passing game. Guy looks like he needs a sandwich

      • Jones looks like he has a few to spare

      • MR. Green // June 17, 2018 at 6:52 pm //

        Not sure if anyone noticed , late in that game, #11 knocked down a Bo pass. On the replay you could see the Calgary receiver already adjusting to catch the ball turning because it was well behind him, and the TiCat defender was right there. No doubt that was going to be a pick. Don’t think Calgary’s record has been inflated because of the East the last few seasons. If Calgary plays the same this week, Toronto will win. They have more returning players than anyone and most sat during preseason. I think Red better worry about his own team. This is a new season and last year means squat. I already took Toronto this week on pick’em. They look better than Calgary week 1.Hamilton gift wrapped thier last game. 2 rookie DB’s and. 47% completion rate and throws that weren’t even close. He better worry about his team.

        • lol
          Ill go through the analytics again!
          56% of western teams games are against the west
          44% are against the east.

          Sask- 40% of wins came against the west and 60% against the east
          It doesn’t take much to see you relied on those east wins more than Calgary did

          • MR. Green // June 17, 2018 at 7:14 pm //

            Ya, last year.

          • Get ready to change you IP AGAIN, for – what…..the 6th time since Friday ?

          • True Green // June 17, 2018 at 8:40 pm //

            Since you have all the info, for comparative sake why don’t you share Calgary’s stats for last year as well? I don’t doubt they’re better than Saskatchewan’s, but I’d like to know how much better?

          • Your analytics are absolute garbage, just like statistics are for losers. If statistics were 100% accurate, Calgary would have won both Grey Cups in the previous two years. Going back to week one, Calgary had a tough game against Hamilton. Had it not been for the poor officiating, Hamilton easily could have won that game. If I were you, Equine Excellence, I would be very careful about tooting my horn too much on the Riders. In fact, the Roughriders looked a lot better than Calgary during week one.

          • riderontheisland // June 18, 2018 at 11:28 am //

            At least we were capable of beating an eastern team in the playoffs unlike your Stumps. Lucky for you we got 10 wins otherwise you had no chance at doing this math.

        • yes last year,, fair enough.

        • Sure Mr Green…….sure I’ll share Calgary’s stats.
          Same as riders…56% of games came against the West and 44% against the east
          7 wins against the west (7-0 in meaningful games before 3 game losing skid to end the season)
          That’s 54% of wins against the west
          6-1 vs the east,, that’s 46% of wins against the east

          Conclusion, Calgary DID NOT rely on the east for their wins. They had just has many (proportionally) against the stronger west. We only played BC twice BTW

          • Puck Hog // June 17, 2018 at 11:38 pm //

            Are you freaking serious? Shut up!

          • riderontheisland // June 18, 2018 at 11:31 am //

            you better start relying on beating the east or you will never with another Cup. See we do beat the east including the playoffs unlike you. Now go home troll

    • Lancaster/Reed // June 17, 2018 at 7:59 pm //

      And feasting on the east is why the stamps won 13 games. Do you not get it? Nobody is saying they don’t want the riders to win their first 5 games against the east. We are saying not to just assume the east is weaker at this stage of the season. You always complain about rider fans being arrogant, when it is you, yourself, that is more arrogant than anybody else on this board.

      • Don’t bring up Bo Levi, whatever you say. Horsee will go on a rampage with those words.

      • Oh hey!
        Its very possible Calgary may have had less regular season wins had the east been stronger. I’ll be generous here. Lets say we were 4-3 in those games instead of 6-1
        That;’s still an 11-6-1 season. I’ll take the same 2 wins back from the riders Vs. the east. That puts you at 8-10. A losing record. You’d still have the crossover but it would be pretty hard to justify wouldn’t it???

    • Sir Gallahan of the Prairies // June 18, 2018 at 4:12 pm //

      There you go again Excell. Taking out of your rear end. I have a better word to use but don’t want to get kicked off. The Riders 2017 included a victory over every Western team. When you predicted they wouldn’t win more than 5 games and would never beat a Western team. So shut your mouth already on this. Your sounding like a broken record again. Why can’t ypu comment on fact instead of the fiction that comes from the friction of your brain rubbing against you’re forehead.
      Just so you know Red. More than 50% of the Stampeders Victories came from Eastern Teams. So just now that you have factual stats. Put it to bed.

  7. MR. Green // June 17, 2018 at 6:32 pm //

    Darrel’s point is he is a genius. Just ask him. He did pick Toronto to win on the Green Zone last week. When he’s on that show as part of the Wise Guys segment, his arrogance shines through. Maybe in 5 weeks when we start playing West teams he will print the same article but only have to replace a few words. Looking to far ahead is trouble. Ottawa, at home will be tough and the Riders will need to play better. Ottawa now has legit game tape on us this year. I don’t see the East going 10-29-1 this year. I don’t even see anyone winning more than 12 games. competition league wide is tight. With the exception of BC and Montreal, every game this week was 1 play from possible different outcomes.

  8. So, what’s Dirtbag Darrell lying about today? Ah yes, he’s trying to diminish the Rider’s victory referring to the defending GC champion Argos as one of the “weaker eastern teams”. I think I’ll stop right there.

    • This time last year the Ottawa Redblacks were the defending Grey Cup Champions. What a power they turned out to be hey?

      My God you guys are so sensitive and insecure! Do you not want to come out of this part of the schedule undefeated? Is that somehow a bad thing if you can take advantage of that??

      • The point is dimswitch. No team should be over confident and take others for granted. One game at a time.

        If you had played an organized sport in your life you might realize that.

        • Equine Excellence // June 17, 2018 at 7:21 pm //

          Seems to me people are upset because Darryl is somehow suggesting that the riders should get their wins while they can because they can only beat the weak eastern teams.
          I don’t get that from the article at all.

          • Why the hell are you still here ??????????

          • Just like Hamilton giving calgary a run for their money. Ticats deserved a lot better fate. And Bo Levi looked absolutely awful throwing passes so high, one would have to be 10 feet and still elevate to catch one.

        • Equine Excellence // June 17, 2018 at 7:33 pm //

          I will soon speak to my parents from Phoenix and then go grab something to eat, I’ll be gone during that period

          • Who cares…

          • Can’t afford a trailer in the winters down in Phoenix eh? Gotta do low season in +40 weather. Which park are you in? Maybe I’ll swing by and egg your trailer.

      • True Green // June 17, 2018 at 8:48 pm //

        Well the Redblacks didn’t bow down to the mighty Stamps did they? Do you not recall your game 1 tie and 2nd game, 4 point squeak by win, with that “power” team.

        Whatever works for you in any given minute.

      • Lancaster/Reed // June 17, 2018 at 9:38 pm //

        Well red, Ottawa did lose their Grey Cup MVP QB to retirement before the 2017 season, so maybe that played a part in their 3017 season.

  9. Ridersfan // June 17, 2018 at 7:03 pm //

    You take one week, one game at a time and not looking ahead.. thats when you get into trouble!! I don’t think Chris Jones will let his players get big heads either.. the Riders even though they won their first game, struggled at times and I’m sure they will focus on what needs to be fixed and I expect a better game against Ottawa! Oh and the East being weak.. I wouldn’t believe that for too long.. at least three out of the four are good and I dont think there will be a crossover this year! -GO RIDERS!

  10. Bentley Lewis // June 17, 2018 at 7:25 pm //

    As a Rider Fan maybe we need to pump the brakes a little ..And take it 1 game at a time.

  11. RalphInTheCreek // June 17, 2018 at 7:43 pm //

    Sask and Ott have a saying saying, Ham the gift that keeps on giving.

  12. Scottsask // June 17, 2018 at 7:48 pm //


  13. Eathorses. // June 17, 2018 at 8:07 pm //

    Riders have a good team. No doubt about it.
    With injures at QB Bombers could be 2W – 4L till Nichols return.
    BC could also be at 2W – .
    Both these starts at one-third mark of the 2018 schedule will bode poorly for both teams.
    Calgary will have a hard time keeping pace with Riders and Eskimos.

    • Paul Bomber // June 17, 2018 at 8:27 pm //

      The West will be better, but I don’t think we’ll dominate. I expect Wpg to have some control of their destiny, even if it’s a cross over (what did I say about the West not “dominating”? uhhhmmm…).
      Wpg can recover from the temp loss of Nichols, but if we’re giving up 400 yards through the air every week, I dunno…

  14. Rider fan // June 17, 2018 at 8:14 pm //

    Darryl d has been hanging out with Duron. No one is weak at the start of the season. Every team is on the same level. Wow that is a bad statement

  15. Evil Empire // June 17, 2018 at 8:19 pm //

    Typical pandering to the Rider fans by the league to give the Riders every advantage possible. It gets to be a little much, though. They don’t even try to hide it anymore. Like no PI, or IC call on the pick six that sealed the deal against the Argos on Friday.

    Which just makes their inevitable failure a little sweeter each autumn.

    • And just when you thought there was only one douche in Alberta

    • Rider fan // June 17, 2018 at 8:34 pm //

      I was told not to whine about the refs last year. The Argos coach did not challenge. Could not have been that bad

    • Ridersfan // June 17, 2018 at 8:41 pm //

      Pfft.. Marc Trestman had the opportunity to challenge that so called PI call and decided against it.. So… I guess that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.. AND NO the league isn’t pandering to the Riders, it’s just the typical bulls#$% spewed by butthurt Esks fans who will be crying in their milk when the Riders take over their dressing room in late November..

    • Lancaster/Reed // June 17, 2018 at 8:47 pm //

      Says the guy whose team in 2017 played 5 of their first 7 against the east and 2 games against a terrible BC team. And if you think the league panders to the riders, they wouldn’t have put in a football operations cap, and they wouldn’t have Proulx ref a rider game.

    • Arrogance from a Deadmonton fan who’s team was extremely fortunate to beat a crippled Winnipeg team. Riders shouldn’t have anything to worry about in the west, least of all from Deadmonton.

    • Like the Eskimos 7 wins to start last season, all but one being against the East?

  16. The riders seemed to come out of Friday injury free from what I can see. That’s good. The problems really begin when that isn’t the case. As we’ve said, depth is this team’s biggest issue. Not necessarily there starting lineup. Can they stay healthy for 17 more games??

    • Can Bo stay healthy for 2 on that frail frame ?

      • He took a huge sack last night, got up just fine 🙂

        • Ya…huge sack

        • Lancaster/Reed // June 17, 2018 at 9:00 pm //

          For an average person Bo ‘s weight of 198 is right there for the bmi index, but for a high performance athlete, it seems pretty skinny. Aaron Rodgers is the same height but is 225. To me Bo looks anemic, or like he just got over fighting a nasty flu bug for the past 2 weeks. His colour looks pasty. I’m not saying this to get under your skin, it was my true impression after seeing a taped interview with Bo during yesterday’s game. I don’t know have seen it, but if you did , don’t you think he’s not looking healthy?

          • Well he’s 1-0 and has throw more TD passes and yards then Zack…so there’s that.

          • Lancaster/Reed // June 17, 2018 at 9:52 pm //

            Bo has only thrown 1 to, same as Zach. However Bo has thrown more interceptions, one less completion, and completed 25% less of his passes. Bo also has an efficiency rating 36 points below Collaros.

          • Don’t bring up common sense with him Lancaster

          • Yeah my mistake. I forgot Zack threw the TD.
            Bo’s Int was a little funny. Not really his fault.
            Bo could breath easy with 3 seconds left, Zach couldn’t

        • Just fine? 50% completions is just fine? I’d say it was probably the worst qb performance of the weekend.

        • Ridersrule // June 18, 2018 at 12:11 pm //

          Yes I remember that sack . His protection was turnstile Dennis , you remember him the guy you claimed would be transformed into his former self by the mighty stamp coaching staff. You are more than welcome to him .

    • Why don’t you talk about Bo Levi and worry about your team’s problems, Horsee. Seems like Bo Levi has a lot of rust issues after last year’s Grey Cup interception.

  17. john gatti // June 17, 2018 at 8:31 pm //

    Ray had no pre season and Trustman blew a call…OR Argo’s win that game easy.

    • Obviously, cheap statement that isn’t true.

    • Ridersrule // June 18, 2018 at 12:14 pm //

      Oh ya looked like a real easy game for the Argos , I’m sure if you asked the players they would agree that the riders are a cakewalk to play against .
      That was sarcasm I just wanted to make sure you knew because you don’t seem very bright

  18. did you notice on the sack bo took,the missed block was by dennis, looks like there might be a reason sask let him go.he looks slow at tackle, which is exactly the problem he had in regina

    • What about the other 30 plays were Bo was perfectly protected?
      BTW Bo took a huge sack on that. Surprised a 198 pound weakling could get up so easy hey?

      • Bo looks like the failures of the past 2 Grey Cups are consuming him, in the form of a crack habit.

  19. Ottawa has looked good in pre-season. Sure, fheyve lost at home but I have a good feeling about this 2018 Redblacks team.
    Let’s see who is the weaker team next Thursday

    • Cam – the below comment was for the cramps clown.

      I’m not taking any team lightly. Hoping for a good game against the lumberjacks on Thursday

  20. Only a matter of time. Be afraid, be very afraid

  21. Pennyrocker // June 17, 2018 at 11:39 pm //

    If you figure any team is to be taken lightly that when you get beat.
    Do your work and practice if you where going against a very tough team. Riders do have a good defense when Riders kept control over RR.

  22. Evil Empire… go back and take another look at the interception. The ball was tipped off the elbow of the defensive end. Fair game at that point mi amigo

  23. Wow, half of the posts on this Rider article are from a so called stamps fan? Sounds like someone is a closet Rider fan, but is so afraid his parents will reject him he has to pretend to like a different team.

    And even worse, for someone that calls himself Equine Excellence he seems to spew a lot of fertilizer from his mouth. Seems like he thinks the best part about horses is their excrement, but that makes sense seeing as his team is on the same level.

    Now please go away. Nobody cares what you have to say.

  24. Bill deHoog // June 18, 2018 at 7:31 am //

    Riders are a good team, although looking at their “weak” schedule against the East I see a loss in Ottawa and a split with Hamilton. They should be 3W,2L by the time they face Calgary. Beware the East is improved this year…

    • riderontheisland // June 18, 2018 at 11:35 am //

      You sure on the improvement. You do know that the east is winless after the first week right. This is without a doubt another crossover season.

  25. riderontheisland // June 18, 2018 at 11:33 am //

    When you notice that the Stamps actually are in the same situation by playing their first 5 games against the east, this article doesn’t have much of a point.

  26. Changing the subject slightly, the 1 handed catch by Brescancin was a joke, TOP TEN CATCHES OF 2018.he seated the ball down and caught it with 2 hands reporters andre stupid and blind. Just saying.

  27. Wait a tick… don’t the Stumps have their first 6 games against the east this year too? Hmmm funny how thats not mentioned anywhere. Go figure. The league vs the Riders. Seems to be going rate. Trying to belittle the organization as per usual. By little Red riding hoods account. They should be disappointed if they aren’t 6-0 by the time they face the Green and White.

  28. Sir Gallahan of the Prairies // June 18, 2018 at 4:26 pm //

    I agree with so many of the SK fans comments on here. Darrell Davis has taken a position that contradicts most of the teams decisions. He and his mates on the Green Zone show rarely side with anything the Riders do. Plus he did predict Toronto to win the game on Friday night. Now that he looks like a turd with his prediction he comes out with an article that points out what he feels are deficiencies. The same short weeks, by weeks that have been taking place for years. Now he gives the edge to the Riders. I agree with earlier posts that state Davis sits back now and hopes for a slip up so he can say I told you so way back in training camp.
    Every time Davis has an article on here. The only positive comments come from Darrell and his table of buddies on the Green Zone.

  29. Bleeding Green // June 18, 2018 at 6:20 pm //

    Everyone in the West has a chance to beat up on the East. The East will be terrible all season as usual, then who knows come playoff time. Welcome to the CFL.

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