The Riders win, I guess and eight other thoughts

Photo courtesy: Justin Dunk

A sprinkle of Jesus, Mother Nature, climate change…feel free to take your pick as the player of the game for the Saskatchewan Roughriders against the Montreal Alouettes.

On paper, the Riders won their fourth game in a row 17-10 over the Als. A win that moved them to 5-3 on the season and put them back into the conversation for hosting a playoff game in the west. However, the game just feels incomplete, because well, it was.

Football isn’t baseball. There isn’t another game tomorrow or 161 other games to consider. There’s only 18 games to decide who will get a shot at playing for the Grey Cup. To have one end with nearly 18 minutes left to be played just doesn’t feel right. It feels even dumber to end a game that was a one score game with 18 minutes left to be played.

While this game was hardly an offensive masterpiece, this is the CFL. We’ve seen absolute duds have some of the best finishes. Could this have been one of those games? We’ll never know.

Even if it wasn’t, more time deserved to be given before calling it a night. More game deserved to be played.

I understand why this rule exists. It’s not good for the players to sit for too long and come back. The risk for injury is higher. It should be a rule but it needs some tweaking. Should the time be extended? The time between lightning strikes reduced? More game needs to be played before it is official? Should the score be considered, like we learned earlier this season when the Riders game against the Argos was delayed for just over two hours?

Before we slam the league too much for this rule, it seems the players agreed to it in negotiations, so they deserve some blame as well.

This is one of those moments where the league is left with some egg on its face and it certainly will be more ammunition for the haters who consider the CFL bush league. Unfortunately, there isn’t really much of a defence this time.

At this point, we can only hope this outcome doesn’t ultimately decide playoff spots and in turn the jobs for many players and coaches.

Odds and ends

Normally, there would be a few more thoughts before a collection of thoughts on the game but that doesn’t seem right this week.

This was a game for the defence, this week the Riders felt like the 2018 version of the team. Proving you can win many different ways is a good thing. After a slow start to the season, it’s safe to say the Rider defence is starting to find its groove under new defensive coordinator Jason Shivers.

The demise of the Riders defensive line has been greatly exaggerated.

That hit by Derrick Moncrief. Goodness gracious. Charleston Hughes may believe he’s a lock for most outstanding defensive player but Moncrief is putting together one hell of a season. Some flashier numbers in certain categories will make it interesting. Cameron Judge is coming into his own as an every down linebacker as well.

I’m not overly surprised that the game was a tough one. The trip to Montreal has always been a difficult one for the green and white. The Als are also an improved football club for the first time in a while, I almost took Montreal to win this week.

The Als do need Vernon Adams Jr. back, that’s for sure. They might also need a new kicker.

I thought Jon Ryan was brought in because he gets down field and might make a tackle unlike Josh Bartel? This is a little tongue in cheek of course, that return isn’t on Ryan, but yeah. Overall, his placement was good in this game.

Craig Dickenson learned from last week when he called a timeout late in the half to try and give his team a shot at getting into field goal range before the half. It didn’t lead to points but it was the right decision.

Back to weather, maybe we’ve found the solution to the provincial government taking climate change more seriously. The Riders needs to lose a game due to weather.