Two weeks, two very different Riders

Through two weeks this season, we’ve seen two very different versions of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

One week after the team looked pretty strong against the defending Grey Cup champions, the Riders looked pretty much the opposite in every way in a 40-17 loss to the Ottawa Redblacks.

First and foremost, this game shows just how futile predicting the world of sports can be. We all like to read into a game and see how it might affect future outcomes. We do it on this site. It’s fun. Ultimately though, in any sport, the outcome of one game will have no effect on the next. Momentum does not carry over. Every game is it’s own entity and should be treated as such.

So, just as last weeks win shouldn’t have sent Rider fans to the parade planning drawing boards, this week’s loss shouldn’t send anyone into a panic.

It’s one game. Over the course of 18 games, there’s going to be some stinkers along the way. The great teams keep them to a minimum and rebound quickly.

How the Riders respond from this will tell us a lot about them.

Game Thoughts

  • This team will only go as far as their defence can take them. That’s pretty clear and shouldn’t come as too big of a surprise.
  • Against the Argos, the defensive line was unstoppable and it made life miserable for Ricky Ray. There was no repeat performance against the Redblacks. Ottawa deserves a lot of credit for basically neutralizing Willie Jefferson and Charleston Hughes.
  • It’s clear Ottawa made stopping the duo a priority and more or less left the linebackers to try and beat them. Like a defence covering a star offensive player and forcing someone else to beat them. The plan worked as the Riders second line of defence seemed outmatched. Does Chris Jones try and ratchet up the pressure going forward to help this group?
  • All eyes were on Duron Carter and it was an up and down night. Carter did record his second career interception and pick six. However, it did seem that as the game went on, the game got away from Carter. He had a read on William Powell in the backfield but couldn’t even get a hand on him and that ended in a touchdown. Carter was beaten for what ended up being the game-winning touchdown and then started taking penalties late. We’ll have to see what the plan is for Carter going forward.
  • Could the Riders have used Carter on offence? Considering the general ineffectiveness of the offence, the easy answer is yes. It sure seemed like they could have used a spark that he might have been able to provide. That said, the offence wasn’t out of this world last week with him. It very well could have been the same story.
  • This week on the Green Cast, John Fraser and I talked about how the Riders seemed to have a renewed commitment to the run. So much for that. Yes the score was lopsided but the game was close for long enough that the ground game should have been more involved.
  • That run game could have helped the protection a little as the team definitely struggled to protect the quarterback. That will have to change going forward.
  • Hard to say exactly when Zach Collaros got hurt, as far as I can tell. That could suggest it’s not major and the team is just playing it safe.
  • Spencer Moore being more involved as a receiver and not just a blocker is an interesting wrinkle offensively. Always good to see guys who do the little things get a chance to contribute on the scoresheet.
  • Just two offensive touchdowns through two games isn’t a good sign for the offence. As much as Jones will take the heat, the questions should be directed toward Stephen MacAdoo. Overall, the offence doesn’t seem that drastically different from last year.
  • I like to make a point of mentioning when I think the officials do a good job, since they certainly take heat when they don’t, and I thought this game was well officiated.

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