This has become an annual thing that I’ve basically forced upon myself after writing something like this during my first season with 3DownNation.
I haven’t really gone back and looked at them too closely, but I have been pretty accurate at getting a feel for where the team was heading that season in the standings. Otherwise, it’s probably a mess.
With another regular season upon us, I’m going to go out on a limb and try and predict what I think might happen this season. If I’m wrong, it’s all in good fun, if I’m right this was clearly a serious endeavour.
So, let’s do this.
- The Riders will still make the playoffs
The Green and White have gone through a lot of change, mostly in football operations and you would have to imagine there will be a pretty severe correction after the defence and special teams scored a lot last year. The good news it’s hard to see the East providing three teams better than four in the West once again. The Riders crossover to the East with the Eskimos missing out. In a lot of other years, the Riders would stay in the west, but Winnipeg, Calgary and B.C. make that tough.
2. Zach Collaros plays for the most part.
The biggest knock on Collaros lately is his health. I think he ends up starting at least 16 games this year, up two from the year before. Solid o-line play and a good running game will keep Collaros upright and in the game, giving the offence a chance.
3. Thousands of yards
Head coach Craig Dickenson has said that his team won’t be a ‘huck and chuck’ offence, which I think we all believe. Collaros won’t come close to leading the league in passing yards, but he’ll get some help this year. Unlike last year, the Riders will get at least one maybe two 1,000-yard receivers.
4. Ed Gainey’s big year
As I’ve said before, the Riders defence will be good again in 2019, just different. They won’t make as many big splashy plays. That said, someone is going to benefit from one of the league’s best defensive lines. Gainey creates turnovers and becomes the second defensive back to win defensive most outstanding player.
5. Fajardo is more than a short yardage guy
General manager Jeremy O’Day ends ups looking pretty smart signing Cody Fajardo as Collaros’ back up. He’s always been seen as a bit of a specialist, but something for Fajardo clicks in this system. Even though I think Collaros is going to get through most of the season, your backup QB is going to be needed at some point and Fajardo does his job well, leaving some to wonder if he can be more.
6. The Judge renders his decision
We still don’t really know what’s up with Riders expected middle linebacker Solomon Elimimian. This might be something that lingers on and off throughout the season. While Cameron Judge is not Elimimian, he proves to be a pretty good man in the middle none the none less, taking another step toward becoming a prominent figure in this defence for years to come.
I look forward to appearing on @oldtakesexposed come November.