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Monday, October 15, 2018

OUT OF THE TUNNEL: A BRAND NEW WEEK

Photo: Riderville.com
BY: RODPEDERSEN.COM STAFF

It was going to happen sooner or later -- we said it here at Out Of The Tunnel just last week.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders defence and special teams couldn’t bail out an anemic offence in a 31-0 drubbing at the hands of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Saturday at Investors Group Field.

On the positive side, it’s good to get this out of the way now and rebuild in the final two games of the season and the bye-week leading up to playoffs. It can, and has been, done before but it may be difficult as the injuries are building up on the offensive side of the football.

Dan Clark was held out of Saturday’s game, Brendon LaBatte shifted to centre with the newly acquired Philip Blake taking over at left guard. Then Dariusz Bladek got hurt, and it didn’t look good. So, the offensive line is getting thin and frankly there isn’t much wiggle room there.

The receiving corps is already banged up with Naaman Roosevelt and Jordan Williams-Lambert sitting out Saturday as well. Now, this all may be the plan of the Riders to have these key tools rested and ready to go for a playoff run, but on paper it looks dim right now.

The injuries started to pile up a bit on defence with Zack Evans and Nick Marshall both getting dinged up and not finishing the game. We will find out as the week progresses as to who will hit the field in what is now a very important game in Calgary this Saturday.

The offence has been bad for the majority of the season (we've all seen the stats). The one that sticks out the most is for a double-digit winning team to be outscored 386 to 404. That is a rarity in CFL history.

Only five times has a team won 10+ games and been outscored. Four of them were 10-8 and the other was a complete anomaly.

2013 – Hamilton Tiger-Cats 10-8 (453 to 486) Lost Grey Cup

2008 – Edmonton Eskimos 10-8 (512 to 526) Lost East Final

1997 – Montreal Alouettes 13-5 (509 to 532) Lost East Final

1993 – Calgary Stampeders 10-8 (574 to 583) Lost West Final

1886 – Toronto Argonauts 10-8 (417 to 441) Lost 2-game total point East Final

The 2013 Hamilton Tiger-Cats season is eerily similar to the 2018 Saskatchewan Roughriders.

They started the season 1-4 then finished the rest of the season going 9-4 with a loss in their third-last game of the season on the road 36-6 in Montreal. Hamilton then went on to the Grey Cup game (which they lost mightily in Regina).

Sound familiar?

The Saskatchewan Roughriders started this season 3-4 and then went on a tear before losing their third-last game of the season 31-0.

It’s not a stretch that the Riders can put together four or five great games and get to the Grey Cup. They have a lot of work to do, but it definitely can be done.

After saying last week that the Riders had second all but sewn up, that might have been an overstatement upon review. With the loss to Winnipeg (who are playing their best football of the season), and Edmonton and B.C. both winning, the West is air-tight from second to fifth.

A lot will be worked out this weekend when the B.C. Lions host the Edmonton Eskimos on Friday night at B.C. Place in Vancouver. A Lions win would knock the Eskimos out of the playoffs because B.C. would have a four-point edge in the standings and Edmonton split their season series with the Bombers, but Winnipeg holds the edge in points for/against.

The Lions are in the driver’s seat and hold their destiny in their own hands. They face Edmonton and Saskatchewan on the road and host the Stampeders.

An Edmonton win would create absolute chaos (which we all love).

Winnipeg has the bye this week and just two games remaining.

A Saskatchewan win in either of their last two games (or any number of losses by Winnipeg and B.C.) would seal second in the West for the Green and White.


This Week in Canada West:

It was looking like it could have been an absolutely devastating week for the Regina Rams (1-5). After having their wins removed because of an ineligible player during the bye-week, all-Canadian quarterback, Noah Picton sat out his first game as Rams quarterback in four seasons.

Backup Seb Britton looked solid, and the Rams defence forced four turnovers in a 32-17 win over the Alberta Golden Bears (2-4).

After being left for dead halfway through the season the UBC Thunderbirds (3-3) are now in a fight for a possible home playoff date after a 20-10 win over the Saskatchewan Huskies (3-3).

The log-jam at 3-3 was sealed after the Calgary Dinos (6-0) made quick work of the Manitoba Bisons 34-19. Adam Sinagra’s path to the Hec Creighton trophy continued with another 300-yard passing game.

It’s going to be a doozy of a Week 7 in the Canada West!

Week 7 in Canada West:

Friday, October 19th
Regina Rams (1-5) at Calgary Dinos (6-0) 7:00pm (McMahon Stadium)

Saturday, October 20th
Manitoba Bisons (3-3) at Saskatchewan Huskies (3-3) 2:00pm (Griffiths Stadium)
Alberta Golden Bears (2-4) at UBC Thunderbirds (3-3) 1:00pm (Thunderbird Stadium)


Wanda Harron Photography
This Week in the PFC:

The narrative of the 2018 Prairie Football Conference season continued in its final weekend of the regular season.

The Saskatoon Hilltops mopped the floor with the Winnipeg Rifles 48-7 at SMF Field in Saskatoon. Running back Josh Ewanchyna’s MVP season continued with 177 yards on the ground and four touchdowns. He finished the season with 1,007 yards rushing in just seven games.

The Regina Thunder sealed third rolling over the Calgary Colts 70-6 at McMahon Stadium. They will face the Edmonton Huskies in the PFC semi-finals as the Huskies won their final game of the season 42-17 over the Edmonton Wildcats.

The other semi-final will see the Saskatoon Hilltops host the Winnipeg Rifles.

PFC Schedule:

Semi-finals - Date and time TBD:
Regina Thunder at Edmonton Huskies
Winnipeg Rifles at Saskatoon Hilltops


Canadian to Watch in the NCAA

Shane Richards Sr.
Guard – Oklahoma State
6’8”, 336lbs.
Calgary, Alberta
High School – Crescent Heights

The top rated offensive lineman by CFL scouting bureau’s first rankings for the 2019 draft, Richards has had a comeback year in 2018.

He sat out all of 2017 as a medical redshirt and came back in 2018 as a redshirt senior. Richards began the season starting at right tackle but was replaced for the middle three games of the season. He has since come back and started at right guard in the Cowboys last two games against Kansas State and Iowa State.

He is a giant of a man and may be the first offensive lineman taken off the board in the 2019 CFL draft in May.

(RodPedersen.com Staff)

8 comments:

CS said...

I'd tweeted that BC would eliminate Edmonton if they beat them next week too but was wrong. EDM and WPG won't decide their season series until they meet in the final week of the season in Edmonton. So Edmonton would lose this week and still finish tied with Winnipeg 9-9 with the tie-breaker if they beat WPG and WPG loses at home to CGY, then the Bombers would miss! :D Edmonton couldn't finish higher than 4th if they lose in BC and wouldn't play in West playoffs.

Also BC's remaining schedule is actually
vs EDM
@ SSK
vs CGY
(don't play WPG)

- Steiner

Elaine said...

Cannot believe Wpg wanted the game more than the Riders. A win and The Riders would be in the divets seat.
Still could happen with one more win, so totally surprised at Sat results.

Safimod said...

The Riders need a win AND a BC loss to clinch 2nd as well. They have a game in hand, and can still finish 11-7.

Tim said...

Safimod.
If Riders beat B.C. in Regina, B.C. cannot finish second. If Riders beat Calgary, then B.C. would have to win all their remaining games including beating Riders by at least four to finish second.

Brian Wawryshyn said...

The Lions don't play the Bombers again this season, as referenced in the article. They host Calgary at home in their final game.

Unknown said...

It IS a new week and a week to re-set to finish the season strong!!

Unknown said...

Yes, this is a new week but I am surprised that so many of you are willing to move on and overlook not just a loss, and not a close loss, or a loss with spirited play and with some promise, but a disgusting performance. 31-0. Over 4 TD's to zilch. We could not even get a rouge. Now, all of us have those days but if this team is without question a contender and a virtual lock for second in the West, less ups and downs would be in order. And please, I am not trying to be negative as there have been bright spots this year for sure, and regardless, I am and will always be a fan and supporter of the team and the Riders organization. It is just troubling to me in that fans can and still will be fans, even if they dare to remove the rose colored (or green colored) glasses and take a practical view of the reality of the Riders, and for what it is, namely, a hit and miss squad this year, who are good but not great, with a good defense and special teams, but unfortunately and still somewhat of a surprise to me, only having an average offence. If they are to win in November, and I sure hope they do, it will be more about getting hot at the right time and getting some of their key players back from injury than it will be about the team being the best over the course if the season.
.

John Knight said...

We are toast regardless! WE DON'T HAVE A CAPABLE QB OR EVEN A DECENT BACKUP.