There's no need to creaty hype for this one. We have the two top teams in the league going head to head for Friday Night Football. (This game is sandwiched by last week's Hamilton / Edmonton Friday night game and next week's Hamilton / Winnipeg clash of the titans). The game in Regina was closer that a 15 point win would suggest, but make no mistake, the Riders were in control in the fourth quarter. They won the game in the trenches, a fact that I am betting does not sit well with the Stamps. This is their chance to get revenge at hime, while the Riders have a chance to really take control of the West, with the biggest collection of visiting fans that are seen in a CFL stadium cheering them on. Injuries and player performances in the 3 games since that one means there will be minor changes to the rankings. I'll be honest, with this being a busy week, this is the mail in article of the year.
Projected starters: Riders - Durant, Stamps - Glenn. Well I erased all the Tate stuff I had written a couple of days ago. There's less of an unkown factor for us with Glenn. He will be steady, not specatular and will hurt us if given time. We dont have to worry about the dynamic big play where he will run away from traffic and then launch a ball deep downfield on the money. Glenn is no Calvillo or Ray but he's not as mobile as the other two Calgary QBs. Darian might have some early rust from not having played in a couple of weeks. Other than that, no worries about his game. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - Sheets, Stamps - Cornish. Congrats to Kory Sheets on his well deserved player of the month award. Cornish got the Canadian of the month award. Cornish might actually be off to a better start than last year and he's on pace for over 1500 yards this year. However, his accomplishments have been completely overshadowed by what Sheets has done. As others have said on the site, we really haven't gotten Jock Sanders going in the offense yet. This is probably one of the few times in the last two years that Cornish comes in to a game as second fiddle. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - Dressler, Getzlaf, Simon, Bagg, Smith, Stamps - Lewis, McDaniel, Price, Sinopoli. Got to give it to Geroy. He's made 5 catches for us so far in two games, and 4 of those 5 have been huge. I'll take that the rest of the year. Due to the fact that the Riders are running the ball so well and spreading it around in the passing game, we may not see much in in the 1000 yard receiver category. Price comes off injury for the Stamps. Joe West who has had good success against the Riders in his short career is out with a bad shoulder. We will see Brad Sinopoli at receiver this week, who we didn't see in Week 2. Anthony Parker has finally shown some signs of why he was picked so high in the draft. Even with West, out this is a deep group. Even
Projected starters: Riders T - Fulton, Heenan, G - Labatte, Best, C- Picard, Stamps - T - Harrison, Federkeil, G - Tsoumpas, Gott, C - Jones. It's about time I gave Dan Clark an honorable starter mention for all the work he has done this year. It all starts up front with the offensive lines, and these are the two best in the league at this point in time. The Riders have the leading rusher in the league and have allowed the fewest sacks. The Stamps are up there, but behind the Riders in both areas. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - E - Chick, Foley, T - Shologan, George, Stamps - E - Hughes, Lemon, T -Bishop, Bolden. As the season moves along, the Rider line is getting better, or at least putting up better sack numbers. Taylor really impressed me last week with his ability to get around the corner. He's definitely looks better than Will Davis did earlier in the year. Calgary gets Charleston Hughes back this week. Supposely he had a cast on at practice...I wonder if he will keep that in the game to club guys Ron Atchison style. I was sure the Stamps would use Kevin Huntley at DT but they are using some guy named Freddie Bishop. I hope he plays DT the way Michael Bishop plays QB. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - MLB - Williams, OLB - Butler, Brown. Stamps - MLB - Simpson, OLB - Raymond, Mayo. Stamps will have Keon Raymond back so the Rider slots won't get to pick on Hefney like they did in Week 2. This will help the Stamps, but Dressler and Getzlaf have had big games in the past on the Stamps with Raymond covering them. On the other side, Malik Jackson is out with a broken arm so Deron Mayo is in. Mayo's pretty good; he played in place of Simpson in the WF last year so it's not a huge drop off for the Stamps. They don't give "runners up" for the POM awards but I have to think Rey Williams finished 2nd in voting. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - CB - Harris, Miller, HB - Anderson, Maze, S - Brackenridge, Stamps - CB - Bennett, Randle HB - Wall, Smith, S - Morley This is the secondary that we were looking for at the start of the year. Well, Miller is in for Thomas, but I think that move is an upgrade. Perhaps it's due to the changes we have had in the secondary, because even though they have been ok, this unit has had more breakdowns than any other unit on the team. Not that they have played badly but I expect them to be better. Stamps have a good secondary. I was particulary impressed in the last game on how they stayed with Taj Smith on crossing routes and not let him turn it into a big gain. Memo to Morley though. You are a good hitter. But making gestures like you did something good when the running back runs for 7 and 8 yards makes you look silly. Edge Stamps
Projected starters: Riders - Sanders, Stamps - Taylor. What do both these special teams units have in common? Both survived the loss of Craig Dickenson. Sanders has a higher punt return average than Taylor, but I would rate the two of them even. The Rider coverage unit, however has been absolutely lights out. Edge Riders
Projected starters: Riders - Milo, Stamps - Parades. We have the two remaining kickers in this game who have not missed a kick when the ball crosses the line of scrimmage. I'll give Parades the benefit of the longer streak here. Edge Stamps
Projected starters: Riders - Schmidt, Stamps - Maver. Maver's average is slightly higher, but Schmidt has a better net average. There is no way I take any other punter over him right now. This is the place where he made his debut in the WSF last year. Funny how things change. I recall being pretty underwhelmed that day. Edge Riders
When the Riders have the ball
So I am guessing the Riders will try and get the running game established, and the Stamps will try and stop it I'm not exactly raising any eyebrows there am I? That's one thing when the Riders are doing so well. There's not a lot to discuss on what they might try to do differently. I always figured the easiest solution to stopping someone's running game was stacking the box. Any reader of Elmer's blog should feel reassured in that he says there's a lot more to it than that. For those who aren't readers of Elmer's blog, get on it! You are really missing out! I imagine the formations and motions allow our receivers to get good angles on their blocks and create hesistation in the defense. But when it comes to the 5 guys up front, I figure it's a matter of them continuing to win the battle with the guy across from them. If that happens we should be ok. They will have their work cut out as I expect the Stamps d-line t come at them with everything they have. They got manhandled in Regina and that can't sit will. Whoever wins the battle will determine how effective the Riders offense will be, subesquently haveing a huge bearing on the game. If the Stamps do come out that aggressive, we'll have to go to play action, Durant keeping on the option, maybe have Sanders in as well, fake it inside to Sheets and pitch it to him. We haven't seen the end around to one of our receivers in a while. Maybe this is the week.
I expect the Stamps to blitz and come after Darian in passing situations too, and leave their receivers in man coverage. We've faced teams in the past who have multiple targets like the Riders do. Heck, the Stampa are one of those teams. In that case, you'd better get to the QB cause if you don't chancee are someone gets open and the QB finds him. I think that might be where our offense is now. You have to get to Durant or he'll find one of 5 guys. Our slots will be the key to beating that pressure D if that's what we get. A well executed screen pass can also burn that kind of defense.
When the Stamps have the ball
I was surprised at how little the Stamps gave the ball to Jon Cornish last time. It't not like they were two scores down until midway through the fourth, so they didn't have to abandon it. Maybe it was a case of them thinking the Riders would gear up to stop Cornish, and they would burn us with the pass. Not a bad strategy the way the first half played out. However, I think they lost some of their effectiveness by being one-dimensional. I expect them to come out and try and establish the run this time. Rey Williams has been lights out for the D. I think some of his success is due to our line not letting the offensive line fire out and get on our lienbackers, allowing Rey and the rest to make plays. We need that to continue tomorrow. Perhaps the Stamps take a play out of our playbook and use the two TE set to try and get bigger bodies on Brown and Butler.
The big news of course ie not just that Kevin Glenn is starting, but now Drew Tate complaining about his team misdiagnosing his injury? Perhaps Stamp fans misinterpreted when players told them they would go to war with Tate. Maybe the people asking questions should have verified which side they would be on. Anyway, enough of he who is never healthy to play. Kevin Glenn is a known commodity. He reads things well and has a quick release. If he gets time he will pick you apart, particularly with the receivers he has in Calgary. However if you can get pressure on him, I don't see him as a playmaker anymore. I mean the kind of guy who can run from pressure and then throw up an on target deep pass on the run.
The Stamps had a lot of success in week 2 with quick short passes and getting blockers out front. I expect to see more of those plays.
As discussed all week, the Riders really can be in control of their own destiny with a win. I would go as far as to say barring a catestrophic injury, a win tomorrow pretty much means a home playoff game. These teams are really close. There's no reason to think the Riders can't win this game on their talent. I feel like a hypocrite cause I am usually the first guy on people for worrying about the past, but I am wondering if we are being set up for an ambush here like I have seen in the past. Calgary's going to come fired up to redeem themselves for week 2. The Riders will have to bring their A game. I even expect the Stamps to get off to a quick start, and the Riders to have to take that initial punch and then battle back. We've done it on the road against lesser teams, can we do it against Calgary.
If there is a game that is going to derail the winning streatk, this is the one. Going to keep the faith and call for the Riders to pull out a squeaker.
My score: Roughriders 27 Stampeders 24
Page 22 of 75
RiderFans.com Forums are a place to talk Roughriders, CFL, and life with 10,000 of your closest Roughrider brethren. What are you waiting for? Register for FREE and talk some football!
RiderFans.com Live Chat
RiderFans.com Live Chat is a lively place during Roughrider games and other randomly scheduled times. Don't have a buddy to watch the game with, watch it virtually with 50 Roughrider diehards!
Visit Live Chat