Gasson: Brett Lauther might be the Riders best and most important player

Another win for the Saskatchewan Roughriders under sketchy circumstances has them at 8-5 on the season and alone in second place in the West.

It’s another game where they could have or perhaps, in this case, should have lost. However, there’s certainly an argument to made that Zack Medeiros’ two missed kicks late in the game were karma or the football gods at play for what was likely an incomplete pass that was called complete late in the second quarter that gifted the Argos three points. Either way, the Riders pulled off another win they shouldn’t have.

I could write another post-game piece about how the Riders we’re able to find a way to win. I could write another piece about how their offence can’t win them a game. I could write another piece about how the Riders tend to make games where they should blowout the opposition easily interesting.

That said, I’m over it.

It’s the end of Week 15, the Riders are who they are and their best player might be their kicker.

This might be one of the weirdest football columns ever written and I don’t mean this in an offensive way to anyone else on the team but it’s honestly time to consider kicker Brett Lauther as the most outstanding player for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

There’s no question that Lauther will get the team’s nod for most outstanding Canadian. Even though multiple players have had big returns for touchdowns, he should get the special teams nod as well, but he probably deserves more.

When all is said and done someone on defence, likely Charleston Hughes will get the team’s nomination for most outstanding player. His sack totals and the fact that the defence has basically carried this team all season certainly warrant the nomination.

I get there’s a difference between most outstanding and most valuable player. If the CFL awarded their nominations based on “valuable” instead of “outstanding” then Lauther should be a lock. That said, his performance has been outstanding as well.

He’s connected on nearly 93 per cent of field goals this season, which is a really good number. That number is even more impressive when you consider how important Lauther has been to the Riders offence this year. They haven’t exactly lit up the scoreboard as they are last and second last in rushing and passing touchdowns respectively. His field goals have been very important to the team. Since he’s actually connected on said field goals, that’s outstanding.

That was especially true this week against Toronto as Lauther literally bailed out an offence that did everything it could to put him in bad position to win the game. Offensive coordinator Stephen McAdoo made a curious call on second down with 1:46 to go in the fourth quarter. The execution was even worse as what could have been a 45-yard field goal attempt turned into a 56-yard kick thanks to a pretty obvious intentional grounding call on Zach Collaros

Lauther nailed it, as he does.

Lauther has been as good as any other field goal kicker in years in Saskatchewan. Without him, the Riders are very likely out of a playoff spot.

There’s no question that Lauther’s play has been valuable to this year. It’s safe to say that it might even be considered outstanding.

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