The Saskatchewan Roughriders have no one but themselves to blame after blowing a 12 point fourth quarter lead against the Ottawa Redblacks on Friday night.
For most of the night, the team in green was the better team. The problem? They couldn’t close drives when they needed to. Six times the Green and White had to settle for field goals. Every single one of those kicks came from below the Redblacks 30 yard line. The Riders didn’t have to convert on 100 per cent of those chances, they certainly had find the end zone more than twice in order to win this game.
The two biggest misses that stand out came after getting just six points out of a 52 yard punt return from Christion Jones and a big catch from Duron Carter. Failing to take advantage of such plays tends to come back to bite a team.
On the other side of the ball, the Redblacks struggled to find their groove most of the night, but when they did, they closed. Ottawa had one more touchdown than the Riders and only had to settle for two field goals and that was enough for the one point win.
When it’s a battle of touchdowns vs field goals, 99 times out of 100, touchdowns are going to win the day.
– I have to wonder if Chris Jones considered going for it again on third down instead of kicking the team’s sixth field goal of the game. It wasn’t the wrong call but after a couple of aggressive (and right) calls to go for it on third and two (being rewarded with a touchdown later, Jones could have rolled the dice again from the six to try and seal the game. The Riders were up nine at the time, so it was already a two possession game. A field goal only made it a two touchdown game instead of a touchdown and a field goal. It should have been enough and of course, hindsight is 20/20.
– No matter what the Riders did defensively in the game’s final drive, the Redblacks seemed ready for it. They sent pressure, Harris had the answer. They rushed three, Harris had the answer. Sometimes you just have to tip your hat. Though, the Riders did help them out with a couple of key penalties.
– Not sure how the Riders let Ottawa convert on third down with the fake punt so easily. Considering the score and time, I was shocked to see the punt team out, a fake seemed pretty obvious.
– Holding onto the ball for over 38 minutes with 459 yards of offence should be enough to get it done most nights.
– 72 yards rushing isn’t a bad number for this team, but they could have used a little more out of the ground game situationaly late in the game.
– Carter had another one of those games. I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan of the penalty he took early in the game but it seems throwing that hit might have put Carter in the zone. He was a machine all night and it’s simply a marvel to watch when he gets going like that.
– Crapigna shouldn’t have had to make six field goals, but he did. His roll continues. Good thing they didn’t cut him, eh?
– There’s definitely something about these two teams when they meet. Other than infamous game before Corey Chamblin and Brendan Taman were fired, the Riders and Redblacks always seem to play close, entertaining football games.
– They take a lot of flack, so I’m going to make a point to say something when the officials do a good job. I thought they did a good job.