Inches separate Riders from victory in Edmonton

While it’s certainly not fair to suggest that an entire football game can be decided in one play, the Riders have fallen to 3-4 on the season thanks to just a few inches in Edmonton.

After drawing the Eskimos offside late in the third quarter, the Riders offensive issues continued to be downright offensive and may have ultimately cost them this game in Edmonton. A few plays later, the Riders found themselves on the Eskimos one. A situation they had their issues with earlier in the game but ultimately did find the endzone. This time, they would have no such luck. Zach Collaros bobbled the snap on the first and had no where to go, David Watford was originally called in before review found he was in fact not in. It was a turnover on downs and the Riders continued to trail 17-14.

A conceded safety and a field goal eventually would give the Riders the lead in the final frame. While those points were important, they don’t inspire as much confidence and change the game like a touchdown does.

Later in the fourth quarter, it was the Eskimos turn to find themselves just one yard from at least six points. Mike Reilly made no mistake even with Riders defensive back Nick Marshall making decent contact. The Eskimos led 26-19.

It was a deficit the Riders weren’t able to overcome.

On this night, it truly was a game of inches.

Game Thoughts

I imagine a lot of people will be talking about the Argos big comeback, shootout win over the Redblacks but I thoroughly enjoyed watching this game in Edmonton. Defence is a part of the game and both teams brought it on Thursday night. This game was a straight forward hardnosed kind of game but there was still some offensive plays sprinkled in. While I get the appeal of 80-plus point football games, give me a game like this every week and I’ll be happy.

Chris Jones once again kept a high powered offence at bay. Heading into the games with Hamilton, they were rolling. Mike Reilly, though he made some plays, really had to earn it in this one. The defensive front seven were in his face all night. The pressure was there for the most part as was containing Reilly. Defence still gets full marks.

Even when Edmonton made plays it’s hard to fault the defence. Most notably Derrell Walker’s touchdown. Reilly was getting hit and Walker made one heck of a play. Sometimes all you can do is tip your cap and that was one of those situations.

Duane Forde made the interesting point that Tre Mason looked like a different running back without three backs on the roster. There is something to be said for less of rotation. We’ll have to see how this plays out over the next few weeks.

Duron Carter definitely seemed rusty on offence. While he made a big catch for a touchdown, something this offence has been missing, he took a couple of offside penalties. I imagine those will get cleaned up as he gets back up to speed with the details of the offence.

I don’t know what that final drive was for the Riders. Why not just take a shot? You probably only have a minuscule chance of winning at that point anyway. Going down swinging is better than whatever that was.

Chris Jones may take some flack for going for it on third and 10 with around two minutes to go. I don’t mind it. Play to win, they just need to execute better. Also, trust your defence to make the necessary plays. The Riders still had a shot to force OT despite the decision.

There’s been some discussion about the receivers on this team besides Carter and Naaman Roosevelt. Jordan Williams-Lambert stepped up and showed that he can contribute at this level. We’ve seen flashes now is the time for him to take the next step.

Can’t help but feel like the Riders chances at a home playoff game are slipping. The league is close but they’ll need to rattle off some wins to get back into it, in that regard.

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.
Joel Gasson
Joel Gasson
About Joel Gasson (187 Articles)
Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.

68 Comments on Inches separate Riders from victory in Edmonton

  1. Best CFL FAN // August 3, 2018 at 5:06 pm //

    Two great games last night. Stop moaning. Just smile.

  2. Evil Empire // August 3, 2018 at 5:21 pm //

    Loved it.

    SK @ EDM. = The Commonwealth blues, baby.

    @Best CFL FAN.

    Yes, two great games. It would have been cool to see the game in Edmonton, from the start. My ESPN feed was the East game. I was searching the internet. All I found was the East game. My dad in Edm told me TSN1,3,4, and 5 was the East game. And, TSN2 was some kind of hockey.


    Did those a-holes take 20+ mins to play the last 2 mins ? And, immediately following the game did TSN go to the freaking studio instead of the West game ? While Edm was scoring a TD ?

    You can’t be serious. Obviously the ESPN feed down here in the states is just a piggyback of the TSN feed. FU TSN.

    Brutal !

    • The entire rider/Esk game was on TSN 3.
      It was ridiculous how long long the last 2 minutes and LAST 30 seconds took to play

      • Evil Empire // August 3, 2018 at 6:14 pm //

        @Riding the horse.

        Just going by what my dad told me (He’s old ). I can’t get TSN GO in the US. Even if I use my VPN. I’m glad to hear some ppl saw the whole game.

    • The west game was on played on tsn3 while the east played out the last few minutes. It took 20 minutes because of a penalty and an injury.

  3. Riding the Horse // August 3, 2018 at 5:24 pm //

    Hey, rider fan will all remember what they told me after the Grey Cup.
    Close only counts in horseshoes. You lost. Besides, if Sask does score on that play who is to say Edmonton would have lost?
    I say this out of love to riders fans; holding onto false hope that you will finish in the top 2 spots is unproductive and quite frankly unhealthy. Its not going to happen. Focus on 3rd and hope you can pull off a 1989 again.

  4. Evil Empire // August 3, 2018 at 5:34 pm //

    I hate to break it to you, Joel.

    Riderfan has been saying all season that the Eskimo D was suspect.

    Two things we know.

    Edmonton’s offence when clicking is amazing. The Rider D is good.

    But, it’s impossible to ignore. Edm’s offence scored more points on that Rider D. Than their O scored on the Esks.

    Imagine what the next game will be like. That game had no business being close.

    The Rider D CAN’T beat the Eskimos. Even on a shitty day.

    3-8 incoming.

    Hop on the fire Jones bus early. Get those premium seats, now. It’s going to be overflowing after game 11.

    • Did Area 51 change his name?

    • Pretty cocky for a team that lost by 3 scores to Jeremiah Masoli.

      • Riders4Last // August 3, 2018 at 8:41 pm //

        And sliders fans are pretty cocky for losing to the previous winless ALS in their last 13 game in sliderville yet and also sliders have lost 4of 6 since swimming their opening season game , sliders lost to Montreal lol lol lol

        • Riders4Last // August 3, 2018 at 8:43 pm //

          Since winning

        • Here we go // August 3, 2018 at 9:46 pm //

          Sure hope the Riders don’t lose 6 in a row like the deskimos did last year, that wouldn’t be good would it Dion Rogal?

          • Riders4Last // August 4, 2018 at 12:46 am //

            The Eskies won 7 straight something your lowly sliders will never ever do as they just aren’t good enough they should just move the sliders to Moncton ,maybe they will have better chance of being successful because as long as they stay in Saskatchewan they will continue to be a bottom feeder

          • R4L ,considering that the Sliders only lost by 6 to Montreal, most Rider fans consider that a victory in it self. So what’s garbagerider89’s problem then. he has probably worn to many watermelon on his head , now he’s just straight jacket material, poor bastard.

          • Here we go // August 4, 2018 at 7:09 am //

            Riders own you !!!!

        • So we lost to Montreal by 6 points and lost to edmonton by 7 points, does that make the eskimos as good as the Alouettes? Just wondering?

          • Riders4Last // August 4, 2018 at 12:42 am //

            Just look at the records clown Montreal has 1 win in past 18 games and it just happened to be to the western version of MTL the lowly bottom feeder sliders

          • Hooray, you can actually count how many losses Montreal had. So if Montreal beat Saskatchewan by 6 points and Deadmenton beat the Riders by 7 points, what makes Deadmenton so special besides having the best fairweather fans in Canada? Now, clown, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out? Be careful, no trick to this question even for a special person like yourself? Now one guess only?

    • Riders cant fire Jones right yet, theres too much money involved. Not only would it be a disaster financially but who would replace him at the 3 or 4 positions that he holds.

    • EE is becoming the new mindless troll

  5. fannotacoach // August 3, 2018 at 5:47 pm //

    I doubt anyone is firing Jones at this stage. Last nights game was not statistically great for Reilly but he was Reilly when he had to be and without his huge efforts at key times no win. Huge improvement of the Rider O and next two weeks to hone a rusty QB. I still think the finish in the west will be very interesting and a battle of four teams. Not sure BC fits in at this time but that too could change. Love tough tight football!

    • Thats whats great about Reilly. I was watching with my wife, and I said this is what Reilly lives for, and sure enough, he drives it down and takes it in himself. What a great player. CFL is lucky to have him.

  6. The game result was disappointing, as I thought the Riders were the better team on most plays. The Esks caught a couple of jump balls that were lucky (really, really good…. but lucky) enough to change the game. But I’m not whining. It was right around this time last year that the Riders demolished the Esks and started on an impressive win streak that ended the season at 10-8 and in the playoffs.

    I’d like the Riders to finish better than 4th in the west, but I’ll take the crossover spot again if the Riders end the season on the upswing again.

    • Puck Hog // August 3, 2018 at 6:37 pm //

      Wilson, the Roughies will likely finish ahead of the Esks.

      • No issue with the goal line TD being overturned. Looked to me like he was down. If you can’t clearly get in on 3 attempts it’s on the team.

        Game was fairly well officiated overall. Only issue I had was – Walker pushed off on his touchdown in the 3rd. Regardless, there was a quarter and a half to score points. Edmonton closed the game, we didn’t.

      • Riding the Horse // August 3, 2018 at 6:56 pm //

        When you wish up on a star Puck Hog

      • And both will be ahead of the horse heads

      • for 3rd place cuz the bombers are finishing 1st or 2nd then lol

  7. glad my esks won, but i gotta say collaros played real well. the esk o line couldn’t stop the pressure on reilly. as long as maas and benevides are in charge i’m not expecting the esks to go to the cup

  8. Lol must be a Rider fan that titled this post, in their head they won lol. Losers.

  9. Riders are a good team and they make better teams look bad. If Collaros can stay healthy they will contend. Great for the League.

  10. MR. Green // August 3, 2018 at 11:21 pm //

    The Riders are getting better. Not worried at all. Collaros looked good and will get better, basically only his second game for Sask. Duane/Joel made a good point about two running backs instead of 3 keeps them in the game more with a better feel for the game. I’d rather see a goaline stop now than later, the coaches will have the guys execute better. Our Defence is very good and will get even better. They did ok on our 2nd time this season we’ve played 2 games in 5 days. We still have 1 more. Everyone else has 1 or zero.
    BTW, I don’t like bye weeks.

    • True Green // August 4, 2018 at 12:32 pm //

      5 day turn around, away game (twice that’s happened now) and Zach with only a couple days off practise. I’m not disappointed with how they played and as anyone can see, a few small things either way would have been a riders win.

  11. Riders are a good team

  12. Yup, the Eskies defense led by Almodo Sewell stuffed that run on the goal line and caused a turnover on downs. That was key as was the pressure to cause the turnover on downs the second time. The Esk defense has 5 games in a row now averaging under 21 points against. They are starting to play sound defensive football and the Eskimos offense just finds a way, may it be on the ground with Gable or Reilly … or through the air with Stafford, Walker, Williams and crew making plays.

  13. Well, no clear attack on Jones in this article! I believe this is a first for Gasson. Still lots of mistakes and spin of course.

    -I don’t think Collaros fumbled the snap. He said he did, but I think he was just being a leader and taking the fall for Clark. He did a similar thing in the first game when he went out of his way to praise Clark’s leadership or something like that when Clark had clearly had a bad game. I think in this instance Clark didn’t get the ball to Collaros, and he had two other bad snaps in the game as well, and then there were the short yardage plays where he got very little push. We’ve had these problems on short yardage plays at some other points in the last two years and Clark was main cause then as well. With JSJ healthy now let’s hope we see a change at C.
    -The offence played much, much, better in this game as well. It would have been nice to score some more points but our short yardage problems, some miscommunication on a few passing plays, and perhaps a bit of rust in the first half from Collaros probably account for that.
    -The defence was great. Not only that, but they started the game one man down (Elam), and then lost MOB on the first play, so they were two men down all night and Antigha was our safety for pretty much the whole game. Antigha is really emerging as a key player for us.
    -The running game was better as well, but I don’t think that had anything to do with having one less guy in the rotation. I think it was because we finally had a passing game and that took some of their attention away from the running game. Both Mason and Thigpen only need a crack and they can go, and the focus of Edmonton’s D had to be more on the mid range passing game, and that left some cracks open.
    -We knew we had a great corps of receivers from training camp, including the young guys, but now that we have a QB who can get them the ball it’s nice to see some production! Carter’s TD was nice but the big difference in this game was the QB.
    -One thing is clear, we’re back in the hunt for a home playoff game! With the way Bridge was playing it would have been tough, but now that Collaros is back we’re back in the hunt! Edmonton has a bit of a lead now but they have a very tough stretch of games coming up, including back to backs with Calgary. And frankly with the punishment Reilly is taking it would surprise me if he isn’t knocked out of a game at some point and misses some time. We just need to take care of business, and keep Collaros healthy, and I think we’re going to be right there at the end!

  14. The camera view that apparantly overturned the rider td had a parallax view of the ball when the knee was down.

  15. Colourmegreen // August 5, 2018 at 8:39 pm //

    Camera angle was off and I did not see any reason to over turn the TD. Bad call.
    Who is the bigger baby Maas or Dickenson?
    Cow town has peaked and the loses will soon add up

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