Realty One

Monday, September 25, 2017


Photo: Electric Umbrella/Saskatchewan Roughriders

It was a tough one to watch Sunday afternoon at Mosaic Stadium.

The Calgary Stampeders played a great road game, grinding out a 15-9 win over the Saskatchewan Roughriders and tightening their stranglehold on first place in the West Division. Even with the loss, the Riders managed to keep a step ahead of the B.C. Lions for the crossover playoff bid.

First the positives: The Rider defence was solid, but not in the usual way. Fans are getting used to the team flying around the football, getting to the quarterback and forcing a slew of turnovers. This time, there was a lot of bend, but no breaking. The Green and White defence kept the vaunted Stampeder offence out of the end zone.

Six times, the Stampeders passed the Rider 35-yard line, coming away with five field goals and once even turning the ball over on downs. They also held Bo Levi Mitchell to just 222 yards passing.

The special teams also did a great job, especially on coverage teams, holding the dynamic Roy Finch to a seven-yard average per punt return.

The negatives begin with the run defence. It was gouged again by Jerome Messam. The big Canadian running back carried the ball 23 times for 123-yards and kept extending Stampeder drives.

The most glaring setback for the Riders was the offence. To manage just seven points, even against a great Stampeder defence, was tough to watch. The Riders crossed the 55-yard line into Stampeder territory just five times - scoring once, turning the ball over three times (interception, fumble, and turnover on downs) and a deep pass on the final play to end the first half.

They could only muster 13 first downs, and finished with seven 2-and-outs.

To make things worse, if you add in the miserable second half in Hamilton last week, the offence has just 14 points and 14 2-and-outs. The second down efficiency has been atrocious and the running game virtually non-existent.

Brandon Bridge finished the game against Calgary and led the Riders on their only touchdown drive, this sparking the usual debate in Rider Nation of who will start next week.

It is a lot to worry about for any Rider fan, but with three straight winnable games against East Division foes (the next two on the road), there is still time and the opportunity to climb the West standings. It begins Friday at Ottawa.

CFL Notebook:

- The Winnipeg Blue Bombers looked solid on a miserable Friday night against Ottawa. In the rain and cold, Winnipeg forced a late first half turnover and converted it into a touchdown and the 16-2 lead. It was academic the rest of the way in a 29-6 victory.

- Matt Nicolls is evolving into one of the top quarterbacks in the CFL, while the Winnipeg defence continued to force a mass of turnovers. What stood out the most was how inept the Redblacks offence was with Ryan Lindley at the helm. Without dynamic starter Trevor Harris or capable backup Drew Tate, Ottawa is in big trouble offensively, and with the B.C. Lions sandwiched between a pair of games against the Riders, it is a tough road ahead in the nation’s capital.

- It’s been tough sledding for the Edmonton Eskimos. After ripping off seven straight wins to begin the season, all the injuries caught up to them and it has been followed up with five straight losses. It is tough to tell when the misery will end for Edmonton, but with players slowly coming off the injury list, it may come soon…maybe this week against Winnipeg.

- Finally, what is going on in the dumpster fire that is the Montreal Alouettes? They look old, slow and disinterested. Hamilton lost their first 11 games of the season and has passed them in the standings and it looks like the basement is where the Alouettes will stay. With an aging core: Darian Durant, Nik Lewis, Stefan Logan, Chip Cox, John Bowman, Luc Brodeur-Jordain and Kyries Hebert all 34+ years old, a rebuild in Montreal may be a long, slow process.

Canada West Diary

- The Manitoba Bisons went on the road and knocked off the number six team in the country, Regina Rams 18-16 (fun fact - in the two games played at Mosaic Stadium this weekend, neither team could top 20 points). Turnovers were key to the Bisons win. Noah Picton was picked off three times, twice by Jayden McCoy (who took one back for a touchdown) while Atlee Simon fumbled the ball at the Manitoba one-yard line. It was Manitoba’s first win of the season while the Rams fall to 2-2.

- It was the Saskatchewan Huskies turn to feel the wrath of the Calgary Dinos, losing 51-28. It was close after three quarters with the Huskies trailing 30-28, but an interception deep in their own territory led to a quick touchdown, which was followed by a 60-yard punt return for a score was the difference in the fourth quarter. The Huskies forced four Dinos turnovers in the loss.

This leads to a huge game Friday night, 7 pm at Griffiths Stadium in Saskatoon with the Rams and Huskies, both 2-2, meeting up for the only time this season.

UBC picked up their third win in a row and now find themselves in sole possession of second spot in the Canada West with a 41-21 road win over the Alberta Golden Bears, who are still winless in 2017.

Canada West this week (all times local):
Friday, September 29th:
Alberta at Manitoba 4:30pm (CDT)
Regina at Saskatchewan 7:00pm (CST)
Calgary at UBC 6:30pm (PDT)

PFC Wrap

- The Edmonton Wildcats needed a big second half comeback to escape with a 40-37 victory over the Hamilton Hurricanes. The visitors from the OFC had the 30-16 lead late in the third quarter but couldn’t hold on for the win.

- The Saskatoon Hilltops continue to roll along cruising to a 52-26 victory over the Winnipeg Rifles at SMF Field. The game wasn’t as close as the scoreboard indicates with the Rifles picking up 19 points in garbage time in the fourth quarter. Logan Fischer scampered for 175 yards on the ground and two touchdowns in the win.

- In a wild game in Edmonton, the Regina Thunder trailed the undefeated Huskies 32-30 heading into the fourth quarter, but it was all downhill from there. Edmonton scored 30 points in the final frame for the 62-30 victory to up their record to 6-0.

- The Calgary Colts were not welcoming hosts to the Ottawa Sooners. The final interlocking PFC-OFC game saw Calgary crush their visitors from the east 58-0. With the victory, the PFC went 5-0 (with a combined score of 289-66) against the OFC in the first regular season interlocking games in CJFL history.

PFC this week (all times local)
Saturday, September 30th:
Edmonton Huskies at Winnipeg Rifles 7:00 (CDT)
Sunday, October 1st:
Calgary Colts at Regina Thunder 1:00pm (CST)
Edmonton Wildcats at Saskatoon Hilltops 1:00pm (CST)

Canadian to watch in the NCAA
J.J. Molson – K
6’0” 185lbs.
Hometown – Montreal, Que.
Class – Soph.

Molson was an early enrollee with the Bruins in 2016 attending spring practice and winning the starting job as a freshman. Struggling at times, he finished the season 12/20 with a longest of 45 yards.

2017 has been a little better for the sophomore out of Montreal going 4/5 with a longest of 45 yards in the first four games of the season. He also handles kickoff duties for the Bruins.

( Staff)


Lewis Grant said...

I have to disagree about the Riders run defence getting "gouged". "Gouged" is an appropriately attention-getting word for a recap article, but it's not an entirely accurate one. The Riders allowed Messam 5.3 yards per rush. That's actually below his season average.

Suppose an alternate game in which he had carried 33 times for 100 yards and Calgary still wins (as they probably would, in holding us to 9 points). That would be an incredible defensive performance on our part, holding him to 3 yards per carry. Yet after Calgary's win, I can almost guarantee that most sportscasters would talk about his "100-yard game" as the key to victory.

Anyways, I think our D deserves more credit than that.

Lewis Grant said...

Also, I don't think there is any QB controversy. Glenn has been as good as any other QB this year not named Nichols or Reilly.

In my mind, there's a controversy about Jones' inability to pull Glenn for Bridge in games where the D has clearly game-planned against Glenn. If he puts Bridge in earlier, there's a chance we win that game.

Lewis Grant said...

With an aging core: Darian Durant, Nik Lewis, Stefan Logan, Chip Cox, John Bowman, Luc Brodeur-Jordain and Kyries Hebert all 34+ years old, a rebuild in Montreal may be a long, slow process.

Wow. And you might add in "an aging ownership group" that needs to stop meddling through their puppet Kavis Reed.

To think that things will only get worse when they name Calvillo the head coach next year...I hope the franchise doesn't fold.

Anonymous said...

Those who hired kavis Reed are getting exactly what they deserve.

Brian Shepherd said...

Consequences #kavis

Anonymous said...

With 6 games left there's no reason why the Riders can't finish
11 - 7. Four games against the east, with Toronto the only one being a challenge (but of course never under estimate your opponents). In Calgary and home to Edmonton. Beat the east and Edmonton and they can finish 11 - 7, might get you 3rd in the west or guarantee the crossover. Quite the improvement over the past few years. But the offense needs to get rolling, both Glenn and Bridge need to get rid of the ball faster, which means short quick passes.

Anonymous said...

Watching Calgary's valuable Canadian running back Jerome Messam run roughshod through all CFL opponents he faces and reflecting Saskatchewan once had him on their team playing top notch. Why oh why was a temporary fill gap gm (O'Day) permitted to trade this man for a everyday kicker? Head scratching dumbfounding move by the Roughriders was and still is the Stampeders big gain to this very day, literally! Wonder if veteran gm John Hufnagel shakes his head in bemusement at the gullible wannabe he fleeced?

Anonymous said...

Yesterday at the Football Game I stood at attention, with my hand over my heart and sung our National Anthem in the loudest and proudest voice I could.....Frankly I do not understand what getting Social Justice means.......I know I am against racism and believe in equality of all.....I believe I understand what Chris Jones Team unification position was about and what his goals were....beating Calgary......politicization has no place in sports.....if you are American and did not want Trump in office, you had an opportunity to vote against NFL games were on in my house this Sunday....I am not sure they will return in my house.

Anonymous said...

If I remember correctly Messam was going to be a free agent and had already said that he wanted to go to a winning organization. So management at that time did what everyone applauds Jones for; they got something for Messam because he was leaving regardless. One management team is condemned for doing the same thing that the next group is applauded for. You can't have it both ways.

Rally Driver said...

Anonymous concerned with trading Messam: He was to become a free agent at the end of the season in which he was traded. Any team could sign him at that time. The Riders got a starting kicker which they would not have if Messam had played out the year and gone to free agency. If O'Day had wanted him to stay, he would have attempted to sign him to a contract extension. Messam obviously told him he wasn't that interested in staying as he signed one in Calgary shortly after being traded.

CJ Evans said...

Not 100% sure, but I expect Messam was apart of the salary cap issues that plagued our team too. So, on top of being a free-agent at the end of 2014, I expect he was getting a pretty big payday (especially as a Canadian).

Anonymous said...

Rally Driver, Thanks for being the voice of reason,. I have heard people bemoan this for 2 years now, and it is getting old. Messam DID tell the Riders he was going to sign elsewhere and they had no choice. I guess they could have held onto him for nothing and then these same 'knowledgeable fans' would be bitching about that.

Anonymous said...

It was called cap space. Plus Mesdames was a free agent at the end of the season and was gone. Because Durant, Chick, Dressler and Getzlaf already constituted for 25 percent of a 45 Man roster.
Don’t try and make Oday the goat here. The Riders got something instead of nothing.
Maybe check the reasons why before you point fingers and make yourself look dumb!

Anonymous said...

Why do we ALWAYS get stuck with Andrea Proulx ?

The Stinks will be getting some fines this week.

Anonymous said...

Get over it! That was nearly 2 years ago...just get over it.

Anonymous said...

"Politicization has no place in sports" Ha ha ha. Tell that to people in Calgary and elsewhere in North America when the matter of tax payer subsidies for professional sports facilities rears its head. Everything is political to some degree.

Anonymous said...

Because they don't want him down east, their pawning him off out here, he is different that's for sure, whenever he's ref for our games I'm pretty sure we won't have good odds at winning

Anonymous said...

Asking Riders to go 5-1 & finish 11-7 is a lot to ask. You keep forgetting that the West teams they beat handily also beat the Riders handily except Eskimos who they've only played once. That team's injury problems largely were in the DB's & the kicking has been atrocious since Whyte went down. They aren't standing still, signing Swayze Waters during the break & Aaron Grymes, someone we desperately wanted, which helps address their 2 biggest areas of concern. We blame them the last week of the season & that will be a very different team likely than the team we played at the height of their injuries. With Hightower back, Adams, King, Grymes & maybe Thompson they will have most of their 1st team back on the back end. Add to that the the Riders will be on their 11 straight game at that time & injuries, knicks & bruises, are starting to add up already. It may be a banged up Rider club meeting an Eskimo team who is getting healthy. It should also be mentioned that Trestman has an improving club in Toronto who has a better home record than the Riders and play very well there. I'd be shocked if they go 5-1. As well as they have been playing, the Riders record in the last 6 games was 4-2, improvement over 2-4 the first 6 but they would have to play even better now over the final 6. They are now 1-2 in the last 3 after their modest win streak.

Anonymous said...

Yes Proulx sure missed that call on the Calgary kicker when he got hit. Poor Dickenson had to use his time out to get the call. Can someone please explain to me how you can miss the penalty on a punter being knocked over from a hit while kicking? It should be an easy At least it proves that Andre misses calls on both sides so you folks that think he is a detriment to only the Riders can breathe a sigh of relief I guess.

Rider fan said...

When is the last time Bo Levi never had a touchdown in a game, great job Riders D.

Anonymous said...

Tom shepherd aligning himself with trump wow... he gone if they want to keep fotr tickets.

Anonymous said...

CFL rules state "(d) If, in the Referee’s opinion, a defensive player attempting to block the kick makes slight and incidental contact which does not affect the play, there shall be no penalty".Obviously on the call the Ref felt it was slight and incidental contact. I didn't agree with the non-call and understand why Dickenson challenged and won.
My concern is why is it Proulx seems to be the Referee when there is weird calls (accidental pass interference), bad calls and bad non-calls. Coincidence? FYI it is not only the Riders and Stamps that wonder. Ask Hamilton how they feel about Proulx.
FYI did anyone realize the CFL doesn't use Referee Crews? The units are mixed from game-to-game amongst the seven on-field officials.
Finally to put things in prospective, Refs and Umps are part-time which might explain a few things. Proulx, runs his own plumbing, heating and cooling company in Drummondville. QUE.I think its time to have full time well paid well trained Referees and Umpires.

Anonymous said...

Well Roddy I am sure you will get on that green soap box of yours and try and paint a pretty picture of the comments of Tom Shepherd

Anonymous said...

the bigger, issue which is totally being overlooked, is how Calgary plays an entire Canadian offensive line and we have 3 imports on ours and we couldn't open holes on a regular basis as we sat and watched Calgary open holes that you could drive a Mack truck through.

Anonymous said...

The league needs to do something about Maas and now Dickenson constantly berating the officials during the game. Watching Dickenson yesterday, he was constantly in the refs ears and marching out onto the field on numerous occasions. Also showing up the refs holding his hands in the air and making the praying symbol to the sky. GROW UP!!!

Anonymous said...

They need to start tackling, not trying to kill each other, it's getting like the NHL was years ago, They are trying to injure, tackle each other don't dive at full speed trying to take each other's heads off.

Anonymous said...

If Andrew proule is the best ref we got, boy we're in trouble

Anonymous said...


It was on Sunday in New England and elsewhere. The heat at Gillette Stadium resulted in a run on bottled water.

After the bottled water was gone, tap water was provided. The only problem? Stadium workers charged $4.50 or $5 per cup.

“We apologize,” Patriots spokesman Stacey James said in a statement issued to reporters on Monday. “That should not have happened. It is the first time that I have ever heard that complaint here. We are looking into the matter to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”

It would be impossible to issue refunds, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if the organization finds a way to estimate the revenue generated by tap water sales and makes a corresponding donation to charity, or some similar gesture.

Could you imagine the outrage of fans at Mosaic if the Riders charged $5 for tap water?
(even though bottled water comes out of a tap too)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you don't understand much and if your answer is to stop watching NFL football then I feel very sad for you.

Anonymous said...

You guys complain the refs were damn rights they were, they sure gave the green and white a chance to win this game. I watched the whole game and fan of neither, what a joke it was...from missed calls against the riders to every misconduct penalty against the Stamps after Sask started some of the garbage.

Anonymous said...

What alot of whining rider fans probably don't realize because some of them aren't as knowledgeable as they think, Is that the riders are actually 6 games above 500 when a proulx crew works their game.