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Sunday, July 1, 2018

FAMOSO RIDER RECAP: MONTREAL 23 SASKATCHEWAN 17

CFL.ca/Arthur Ward
REGINA - It wasn't a Grey Cup victory, but the celebration in the Montreal Alouettes' locker room was a scene to behold.

After their 23-15 win over the host Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday night to snap a 13-game losing streak, Alouettes players held nothing back with high fives, chanting, dancing, singing, and a whole lot of smiles.

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"It always means a lot when you win,'' said backup quarterback Jeff Mathews, his team now 1-2 this season. "We have faced some adversity early this season and to come out here and get a win is an important thing for us. We can build on this and hopefully get rolling.

"I know it's just one and we'll need a lot more, but you always have to start with one and now we have that.''

Montreal's last victory came in the 2017 season when it beat the Toronto Argonauts 21-9 on August 11.

Mathews completed 8-of-12 pass attempts for 98 yards in relief of starter Drew Willy, who left the game in the third quarter with what was believed to be a neck and shoulder injury.

Mathews engineered a pair of late-game scoring drives that kept the rallying Roughriders at bay. Boris Bede capped each drive with a field goal, his fourth and fifth of the game.

"There's still a lot of work to be done, still a lot of mistakes that we need to clean up,'' Montreal head coach Mike Sherman said after he notched his first CFL victory. "Winning a football game here is tough, and I'm happy for our guys because they've worked hard. But we still have a lot of work to do.''

The Riders dropped their second consecutive game to fall to 1-2 in the West Division.

Receiver Duron Carter, who has started at cornerback the past two games, was again exposed at his new position.

Speedy Chris Williams raced past Carter for a 79-yard pass and catch for a touchdown late in the second quarter. It was a score that broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Alouettes a 10-3 lead going into halftime, a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

"I'm a good receiver,'' said Williams, who caught three passes for a game-high 130 yards. "You put a guy out there who is not corner traditionally? I do this to good corners. (Carter) is just inexperienced at the position. It's not anything that he's doing. He's just not an experienced, savvy vet at the position.

"Some plays it was just straight speed and other it was a little move.''

But Saskatchewan's head coach Chris Jones said Carter will remain entrenched on the defensive side of the ball.

"Too many big plays, too many penalties,'' he said of Carter's performance.

When asked if Jones would move Carter back to his traditional wide receiver spot, Jones was brief.

"Nope,'' he said.

Carter caught 73 passes for 1,043 yards and eight touchdowns in 2017.

Backup quarterback David Watford rallied the Riders in the fourth quarter with his team trailing 17-6. Watford replaced an ineffective Brandon Bridge to start the third quarter.

The Riders first were sparked by a 53-yard punt return by Christion Jones, a play that set up Watford and the offence at the Montreal 17-yard line early in the final quarter.

Two plays later, Watford hooked up with Naaman Roosevelt for an acrobatic five-yard touchdown pass and catch. The two-point convert failed and the Riders trailed 17-12. Roosevelt led the Riders with six catches for 73 yards.

After the Riders defence forced a turnover deep in Montreal's end, the Riders were again poised to strike. However, a Watford pass attempt to a wide-open Caleb Holley ricocheted off the goal post and fell to the turf.

Saskatchewan settled for a Brett Lauther field goal, which cut the deficit to 17-15 with nine minutes remaining in the game.

But back-to-back scoring drives that ended with Bede field goals proved too much for the Riders to overcome.

"We've been here before, unfortunately,'' Jones said of the Riders' slow start. "This is the third year in a row digging ourselves a hole early. You can't hide and you're your head in the sand like an ostrich. You have to face it head on and see what you're doing wrong and try to fix the problems.''

In Week 4, Saskatchewan will host Hamilton (2-1) on Thursday, while the Alouettes will take on Ottawa (1-1) on Friday on Montreal.

Watford completed 10-of-22 pass attempts for 108 yards. He was intercepted twice, as was Bridge. In his first start of the season, Bridge completed 8-of-18 attempts for 111 yards.

Willy was 8-for-15 for 157 yards and one touchdown before he left with his injury. He jogged to the locker room under his own power.

"I believe it was a neck and shoulder injury,'' said Sherman.

Willy's status for Friday's game is unknown.

POSTGAME COMMENTS FROM RIDER COACH CHRIS JONES

- It's a work in progress. I just told them that. When I was in Montreal, we started 7-0 and then lost six straight. Things like that happen. We've taken a little downturn in the season but we have to keep working and chopping wood.

- Too many penalties. Too many turnovers and too many explosions. Early in the game we gave up a zone ball to a QB who'd been struggling up to that point. It's very concerning that some of our veterans are making some errors at this point.

- We'll see (who will start at QB next week).

- I thought Watford played decent at times.

- We just wanted to try to insert Duron on offense late in the game. We weren't doing anything offensively. We were trying to insert a breath of life. He's 6'5" so he can go up and get a deep ball.

- It's a not a secret what we need to improve on. We can have good practices but that doesn't mean anything. You need to take it to the game.

- I don't know if the confidence is shaken. You'd have to ask them. We've been here before unfortunately. It's the third year in a row we've had a bad start. You can't stick your head in the sand and be an ostrich. That's not how I do business.

- It's not like it's magic. If it was I would've told Brandon at halftime what it was. We'll look at the film and try to bring him along. We've won a lot of games with him. It's not like he's a bad QB.

- I think it may be good we pulled Brandon. It's like Duron. If Aaron Grymes gets beat deep, you don't ask about it because he's a proven DB. You need to keep working with them and bring them along.

- We've got a good player behind Duron at WR. #1 is a guy that can play. He averaged more yards than anybody at camp. He's capable of putting up big plays.

(With files from Canadian Press/Craig Slater)

22 comments:

Evan Wiome said...

An open letter to Chris Jones, John Murphy, Jeremy O'day and Craig Reynolds:

END THE HUMILIATION OF RIDER NATION

You have failed. Totally. In roster management, you have failed. In recruitment of talent, you have failed. With regards to drafting Canadian talent, you have failed. You have all failed totally to do your jobs. End this sham and do the honourable thing. You all must admit your failure and resign. This must end.

John Murphy was quoted before this season as saying "if you can't find American offensive linemen, you should find another job." Well Mr.Murphy you have failed. Do the honourable thing and accept you rode Hufnagels coat tails to a reputation for player recruiting you do not deserve. You are a failure.

Jeremy O'day. You do the evaluation of offensive line talent. They have the worst offensive line in living memory, and it is getting progressively worse every season under this regime. You have failed, do the honourable thing and resign.

Chris Jones. Just stop. You have clearly rode the coats tails of more intelligent and deserving coaches and player personnel experts to a reputation for excellence you don't deserve. You have also failed. Stop stealing the money of honest Rider fans and resign.

Craig Reynolds you are the boss and ultimately responsible for the failure of the aforementioned three failures. You are not worthy of the position that Jim Hopson created for you. This dumpster fire is ultimately your fault and you must accept that you have failed. Resign now and start the rebuild under more competent leadership.

Scott Thompson said...

Well, try and spin this one Roddy. Embarrassing display of football tonight.

RS said...

What a pathetic showing tonight

GWil26 said...

I don’t ant nothing but success for this amazing club but let’s see how many times we have heard these terms in the last 2 years:
“It’s a work in progress.”
“Too many penalties.”
“It’s not a secret.”
“It’s not like it’s magic.”

Football Fan said...

So, let's just remember that Jones and Co. have taken us from 3 wins to 10 wins in just two years. Jones has solidified himself as one of the top GMs in the league with an outstanding recruiting record and knack for finding talent many different ways, and he may need to use some of those ways in the next few weeks. Crap happens. The road to the top is often, usually in fact, not a straight line, but with Jones we know we'll get this straightened out.

Now to the problem, the QB situation. Yes, Carter got beat too much and maybe it's time to move him back to receiver, especially if Watford is going to be starting, but that's not why we lost this game. After having a perfect storm hit our OL in the pre-season we now have a mini perfect storm hitting our QBs. Collaros was the experienced guy but Bridge is a solid backup who won many games for us last year, but he's still young and young QBs can struggle, and he did. It's very interesting that Bridge didn't play at all in the second half, and that may not bode well for his future here. So with Collaros out and Bridge struggling Watford was the guy, for now, and he is VERY green.

So let's take a step back and survey the big picture. The hit that knocked Collaros out didn't seem like much of a hit, but it could have been. It could have been just the right chin shot, but if it wasn't that much of a hit do we now have some long term durability concerns with Collaros? Bridge was pulled in this game and kept out the entire second half. Has Jones reached his point of no return with Bridge? There are a tonne of QBs who will hit the FA market at the end of this year, including Mike Reilly who won a GC with Jones in Edmonton, and who is currently getting pummeled behind a porous Edmonton OL. There is also a guy who might be available during the season this year, Johnny Manziel. Hamilton would want an experienced backup and something else to get some value from their asset. Manziel would be a short term guy as I expect he'll head back to the NFL after next year, but he looks like he can play right now. If Hamilton doesn't trade him then they'll lose him for nothing, and they don't want to trade him to the east.

Football Fan said...

@GWil26 I guess we're ok then, because in the last two years we went from 3 wins to 10 wins.

@mrt_man said...

CUT ALL THE VETS THEY SAID...
THE YOUNG GUYS WILL BE FINE THEY SAID...

WE JUST LOST TO FREAKIN MONTREAL! @^#/@*@

Joe said...

How's Chris Jones' 3 year plan going? Really kicking it into gear in year 3, eh?

Old Rider Fan said...

Perspective everyone. Watching those Humboldt folks makes one realize ... it's only a game. Even though ... as a big Bridge fan ... my football knowledge rep took a hit right along with Jones and Carter. Happy Canada Day!

RudersWestman said...

Well that was three hours of my life that I cannot get back (and for which all fans should receive a refund and a sincere apology from the brain, er, trust of the Riders). Putrid. Pathetic. Uninspired. You name it. While there are many issues to look to as factors or causes for the team limping out of the starting blocks for yet another season, it is the one situation which many talk about that highlights the concern and bleeds into and causes other scrutiny; Duron Carter as a DB and not playing at wide receiver. All I know is that if I need heart surgery, I am not calling my lawyer, and if I am charged with murder, I am not calling my dentist to defend me. With all of the football talent south of the border, it is inexcusable, laughable and downright inconceivable that the Riders cannot have someone else primed and ready to go at DB, and to even need to think about putting a true game breaker (although uncontrollable at times and a liability on the field, and I would assume sometimes in the locker room as well) on the corner, and then leave him there for most of the game against the other team's fastest player, even when he may have raw talent but lacks the basic cover technique. I love the CFL but this is an example of truly bush league coaching and management. Thankfully, it is Canada Day, and there is obviously much more important, such as family and good friends, which we can all hopefully enjoy today as we have some time to celebrate how fortunate we are to live in a first world country, with first world problems such as the Riders performance last night (the one positive is that the season is young, and in a nine team league, who knows where the Riders will be in a couple of months time, and being loyal or not one to jump on or off the band wagon depending on wins and losses, I will still be watching and pulling for them).

3RD and 1 said...

I listen to Sports Cage all the time. I enjoy the show as it’s informative. Rod you were asking why the Rider fans are the way they are after the Ottawa game. Well it was that game along with all the other games that weekend that allowed Rider fans to gage exactly where the team is at this point of the season. Most fans realized we are the worst team in the league. When a team as bad as Montreal can come into our house and beat us in the manner they did. It shows just how bad this team is.
How can the rest of the country know our O-line was going to be pathetic and yet the front office and coaching staff figured otherwise. Same goes with the rest of the talent on this team. Jones has over paid for a QB that is injury prone and once again the rest of the Country’s CFL fans warned injury prone Collaros would be on the 6 game IR in no time.
What is even more embarrassing than losing to Drew Willy and Montreal at home is the fact that everything negative the CFL fans across the Country have been saying on all the sports blogs has come true.
Hughs and Messam are playing poorly. The Canadian talent is poor. Taking Carter off of Offence only to be shown how vulnerable he is on the corner is a total embarrassment. Chris Jones gives so much ammunition to the other fan base to write just how pathetic our team has become.
We are now the laughing stock of the whole CFL fan base.
I can’t stand the ridicule that Chris Jones, Jeremy Oday and John Murphy has brought this organization.
I guess when Oday and Murphy get to sit in those awesome comfy offices in new Mosaic. They forgot to do their jobs. I don’t see enough talent to much of anything.

Helix said...

Evan you are so correct. Jones Makes terrible coaching decisions. Just listen to Luc and other former pros continuously questioning the lineup. Every former pro who was asked over the last week said Carter should be on offense. The offense sucks. They need better players. Anyone can see Carter looked like an amateur on d last night. And forget about bridge. After 4 years in the league he has gotten worse! He was terrible! The riders are now the worst team in the league. Evan lowly Montreal is better. The gig is up for the riders. The pathetic o-line does not even have a decent player on it!

Clarkenstein said...

This!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Evan Wiome said...
An open letter to Chris Jones, John Murphy, Jeremy O'day and Craig Reynolds:

END THE HUMILIATION OF RIDER NATION

You have failed. Totally. In roster management, you have failed. In recruitment of talent, you have failed. With regards to drafting Canadian talent, you have failed. You have all failed totally to do your jobs. End this sham and do the honourable thing. You all must admit your failure and resign. This must end.

John Murphy was quoted before this season as saying "if you can't find American offensive linemen, you should find another job." Well Mr.Murphy you have failed. Do the honourable thing and accept you rode Hufnagels coat tails to a reputation for player recruiting you do not deserve. You are a failure.

Jeremy O'day. You do the evaluation of offensive line talent. They have the worst offensive line in living memory, and it is getting progressively worse every season under this regime. You have failed, do the honourable thing and resign.

Chris Jones. Just stop. You have clearly rode the coats tails of more intelligent and deserving coaches and player personnel experts to a reputation for excellence you don't deserve. You have also failed. Stop stealing the money of honest Rider fans and resign.

Craig Reynolds you are the boss and ultimately responsible for the failure of the aforementioned three failures. You are not worthy of the position that Jim Hopson created for you. This dumpster fire is ultimately your fault and you must accept that you have failed. Resign now and start the rebuild under more competent leadership.

RS said...

@football fan...if Jones is one of the top GM's in this league, then why can't he find a DB so he can stop this Duron Carter on Defense b.s experiment??

ReginaRed said...

Boo'd at half time. Oh my, rider fans are a fickle lot, are they not??
Very interesting.

Football Fan said...

@RS
He believe that Carter is our best option at CB while Marshall is out, and with two pick 6s in his first two games it's pretty hard to argue with that, although he clearly did struggle in this game. He wasn't the reason we lost this game, however.

Actually our DBs are a good example of Jones' ability to find talent, and find it in many different ways. Marshall had a pick 6 in his first game and an interception in pre-season as well, and looks like a great young find. Crezdon Butler, otoh, played in the NFL for 6 years before coming here. Guys like this typically don't come to the CFL but Jones was able to bring him in, and he could well be an all-star this year. Jovon Johnson was an older guy Montreal had given up on, but Jones saw both game and leadership abilities in him and he's been a great addition to our secondary. Ed Gainey was a FA who kicked around the league a bit but Jones saw upside him him and he's become an all-star player with us. This a good example of Jones' eye for talent and the many different ways he can find it.

3RD and 1 said...

Where is John Ojo the 2015 EE Western All Star Corner. Riders signed him for 2 years. Then Ojo comes to camp and within one week he’s cut? Can someone explain how someone with that kind of talent be cut in a week? Was he not in shape? Why was he sent home so early. If it was due to his physical condition. How is he doing now? I mean anything like this is better. The offence needs Carter back. As well as Carter needs the offence back. All that this ridiculous experiment is going to do is take an extremely confident receiver and turn his confidence inside out.

3RD and 1 said...

Sorry “Football fan” but as awesome of a media freight train Johnny Manziel has following him around. Plus I am hoping he does well and learns the game enough to be successful. You can see Johnny is not ready to be a starter just yet.
If the Ridets actually had an Oline where the QB can settle down and see the game. Then even Bridge will play much better.
Unfortunately when a QB has no faith in his O-line. Knowing he is going to have to extend plays just to throw a normal route. The game moves to fast for a inexperienced QB to see the field properly.
Bridge could not see the game. I guarantee you that any QB behind the Riders Oline is going to perform poorly.
This is a really bad team right now. All around from timing to chemistry. There is ZERO belief in each other. Even a blind monkey could feel the tension on this Rider team. It’s a fricken mess.
Chris Jones and his staff have done an extremely poor job at finding talent. The Riders are way below average in too many crucial areas. If I was Oday and Murphy I would start airlifting players in. I can’t believe that with the amount of players this team has looked at. They couldn’t find better talent.

Rider Woman Prider said...

January 2016. Very 1st Media scrum with brand new Head of Football Operations, GM, Head Coach and defensive Coordinator. Everyone is happy and the positive energy juice is just a flowing.
No one cares about the BS their being feed by this new Southern Drawl spoken man. I am going to paraphrase his words but they are damn close if not exact! Chris Jones "We are going to bring in some good people who just happen to be really good football players" Making it sound like he has so many connections that he could field a new team tomorrow.
Over the next two seasons those words Chris Jones spoke couldn't be any further from the truth. Chris Jones brought in some really questionable human beings. One of which had already been kicked off of a team or teams for his racism. a few others with Domestic issues. We still don't have a QB. We do not have a respectable Oline. Plus we have some real question marks on defence.
Craig Reynolds hired Chris Jones to build a team that could sustain a competitive group for years to come. Sadly we don't even have competitive. But we do have a few Vets that are either in their last year or real close. Signed in FA because their teams didn't want them or traded them away.
We are a very bad team at this juncture. Where is even a little bit of the sustainability from last year? No where to be found. Instead we are being ridiculed by all of the other fans

Rider Woman Prider said...

I would suggest that since no one is going to write anything positive under this Post Game article. Simply because everything was terrible. That we will not be seeing anymore comments. Let's face it. It does get to a point where the comments are repetitive and are not doing anyone or the team itself any favours.
It's going to be even more difficult with a team coming here on Thursday playing with incredible timing, faster and stronger than Ottawa. I do not see anything good for Duron in this next game. Massoli can drop that ball into the outside receivers laps. Be it 5 yards out or 35 yards.
So, consider this comment as one of the last ones. if it isn't the last one itself.

Harley Man! said...

Its only the third game of the season and the whiners are out. Everyone has an opinion, everyone is a coach.
The team loses 2 of their first 3 games and everyone from Chris to Craig is a failure.
Here’s a thought ..... there’s 15 games left in the regular season. Why dont we wait and see what happens? Maybe a little positive thinking?
Just saying!

Old Rider Fan said...

Someone made the comment that no QB will look that good behind a poor O line and I agree totally. (Ricky Ray game one) Rarely do I hear football pundits rate QBs relative to the O line play. We usually turn to math. Switch QBs with Calgary and BLMs performance would go down and BBs up ... using math.