For the 2nd time in September, I deleted a Rider game off the PVR with no intention of giving it a second glance. The Riders have to right the ship really fast with the top team in the league coming to town next. It's really odd having two teams meating for the first time thsi season so late in the season. But it just would not be the CFL if it wasn't quirkily.
Probable starters: Riders - Doege, Stampeders -Tate. Normally having uncertainty with both teams at who will be stsrting would drive me nuts as I write this. In this case it does not faze me at all. It does not matter what combination of the four QBs we see, it doesn't matter. Calgary gets the edge. I see a lot of 20/20 GMing right now criticizing the Riders for not having an experienced #2 and "letting" Willy go to WInnipeg. Let's through some fact in here. Willy wanted to start. He was not staying. So that compliant is irrelevant. As for the 2nd one, Tino showed promise in his limited time last year. Enough to impress the coaches into thinking he could be #2. In his first real regular season action in BC, he did nothing to but doubt in us. But it's a move that hasn't worked out. As for "we should have brought in a veteran", who's out there? Keven Glenn? He seems to be it. And having him in hasn't helped his BC Lions to better than 7 wins so far. Edge Stampeders
Probable starters: Riders - Allen/ Messam, Stampeders - Cornish. A few weeks ago this would have been a saw-off. The Riders would not have had one guy putting up Cornish numbers but as a running back by committee it would have been pretty even. But right now, the Riders are not putting up those numbers. THe lack of carries makes me thinkg Messam is battling out there at less than 100%. Cornish is a great back, amazing to see him with such a good chance at leading the league in rushing after missing so much time. If I want to keep this positive, I won't discuss anything else about him. Edge Stampeders
Probable starters: Riders - DePalma, Bagg, Dressler, Getzlaf, Swain, Stampeders - Price, West, Lewis, Fuller, Parker. Well the rich get richer as Calgary gets Fuller back to give them pretty much a healthy group of receivers. The Riders on the other hand have lost Taj Smith, ending a pretty tumultous year for him. It sure does't like Getzlaf is operating at 100% either. I am not sure what is concerning me more. That the draft picks from the last few years haven't shown enough to be better at 100% than a (just guessing) 70% Getzlaf, or that our coaches are reluctant to put fiath in them. Thank goodness Dressler came back! DePalma, in about as small a sample size as you can have, looked good. Edge Stampeders
Probable starters: Riders - T - Adcock, Heenan, G - LaBatte, Clark, C - Picard, Stampeders - T - Bryant, Federkeil, G - Bergman, Craighead, C - Jones. This time Fulton sits due to performance issues vs the flu two weeks ago. I was looking forward to him being healthy this year after limping around last year, but I am pretty sure I saw X hurt his knee again week 2. It might be chronic with this guy One more week and Chris Best is eligible to play. One play I saw last week that confused me. It was a run, and Labatte give a symbolic shove to the TD and then moved to the 2nd level. The now unblocked DT nailed our ball carrier in the backfield. Someone has to have blown an assignement there right? I mean, we wouldn't have a play that was designed to turn the DT lose would we? Dan Federkeil is back for Calgary. Due to our change and injury, Edge Stampeders
Probable starters: Riders - E - Chick, Foley, T - Walker, George, Stampeders - E - Lemon, Bishop, T - Turner, Evans. I like the way Derrick Walker has played this year, and I am happy we get him back. I imagine we will see Boudreaux on the roster ahead of Taylor this week as well. The Riders catch a break with no Charleston Hughes in the lineup for the Stampa. Boudreaux probably makes his Rider debut tomorrow. Edge Riders
Probable staters: Riders - MLB - Kilgore (Hurl?), OLB - Peters, Brown, Stampeders - MLB - Simpson, OLB - Mayo, Raymond. I've heard that Hurl will be getting work in Kilgore and Peters's spot. Based on performance, it makes more sense to put him in Kilgore's spot. However they do it, it sounds like Hurl will get more action than he's seen in about a month. No changes for Calgary at linebacker. I was hearing Glen Suiitor going on and on about Keon Raymond during Saturday's game. I couldn't understand because some of my bets playoff memories are games where Raymond was matched up on Getzlaf. Edge Stampeders
Probable starters: Riders - CB - Williams, Jackson, HB - Maze, Harris, S - Brackenridge, Stampeders - CB - Bennett, Williams, HB - Smith, Wall, Bell. The Rider secondary didn't really get tested last week thanks to the dominance Edmonton got on the ground. That would have really sucked to lose Tirstan Jackson on a meaningless play late when to throw deep at that point, was pretty much running up the score. Calgary has a solid secondary. Fred Bennett is their best cover guy imo When I saw a Williams wearing #37 playing corner for Calgary, I thought I was seeing things. That's Jeremy Williams for the Stamps. Edge Riders
Probable starters: Riders - Dressler / Jackson, Stampeders - Cunningham. Thank goodness for Dresslerm and congrats to him on being named special teams player of the month I know we have indicted our special teams as a hole, but there hasn't been issues with our return game since we turned it over to Jackson and Dressler. Jock Sanders has had a good year for the Stamps returning kicks, but the work of the previously mentioend guys means we don't need to lament his departure. Edge Riders
Probable starters: Riders - MIlo, Stampeers - Paredes. Some poeple were looking for a silver lining on Friday. How about Milo didm't miss a FG? Lost in all the team success for the Stamps is that Paredes is sitting at less than 80% right now. He's not automatic like last year. Edge Stampeders
Probable starter: Riders - Milo, Stampeders - Maver. Milo's punting was also a bright spot for the Riders last week. Along with a 45+ yard average, he did a good job of placing a few kicks inside the 20. It's not his fault that the team did not take advantage of that field position. Maver is one of the best at his position. Edge Stampeders
When the Riders have the ball
Heres the dilemma for the Riders. We need to establish a running game to be successful. However, we can't get 2-3 yards running into a stacked box on first down and then put our young QBs in second and long. They have shown they are having trouble with that, as all young QBs do. The Riders need to throw some high percentage passes on first down to get 5-6 yards. Use swing passes to the backs as an extension of the running game. Throw some hitch and bubble screens to the recievers. It will be passing a bit to set up the run. Waiting until the fourth quarter to get the ball to a star like Dressler is unacceptable. If the Stamps are rolling coverage to him, we need to use motion and formations like making him the third guy in a bunch formation to spring him loose. Our offenslive line needs to step it up after a sub-par game last week too.
I don't know what we will see from Doege. I don't think he is as refined a passer as Sunseri but is more likely to run if nothing is there. Look for some playground type stuff with him taking off or him running around until someonce comes open. Sometimes unpredictableQBs like that can be a pain to play against. You mights see some chemistry between guys like Doege and DePlama as they would have practiced together as third stingers.
When the Stampeders have the ball
With the way he has played the last month, Cornish was going to be the centre of attention anyway in this game, even before he doesn't to open his mouth. The Riders have to contain him tomorrow. You aren't going to get games too often like the WF last year where Cornish couldn't get anything going. He will get his yards, but we need to avoid those plays where he picks up huge chunks of yardage like hte 40+ yard runs and the 80 + yd TD vs the Argos. He's a strong guy with good balance so the shoulder tackle or "kill shot" is not going to work. Oor guys have to wrap up.
When he throws Tate has all kinds of targets to throw to Once again tackling needs to be good. The Stmaps receivers are good at running afer the catch. We've seen Nik Lewis do it a lot where he will break a few tackles and turn short passes into first downs. There's isn't a particular guy we can concentrate on so we need to see good coverage across the board. One thing that Tate has had success with against the Riders is the pump fake. I would hope our guys have been reminded of that and don't jump those, leading to some big plays. We nned a big game from our defensive front to not let the Stamps get the run game going and get pressure on Tate. Calgary loves to run the direct snap to Cornish and get him outside. I don't know exactly what you can do to counter that, but I would like to think we have prepared for that.
There really isn't much logically to have us hoping for a good result tomorrow. One tough win over the lowly RedBlacks bookended by two lopsided losses on the road where our offense did nothing. Well that's why they play the games. We will find out if part of trend with inexperienced QBs is home vs away. If the Riders can make some good things happen early, the crowd will stay in the game and then you never know what could happen. There was no resason to expect a win over Calgary in 2010 after getting beat 28-2 in Winnipeg but it happened. Same with a win in BC last year on a short week after the 4 game losing streak. Or losing big in Toronto afrer the way both teams looked in their openers.
The players are going to have to rally around the rookie QBs and play at their best. Fans have to forget the QB woes and bring it tomorrow just like we would if Darian was playing. No reason to anticipate a win tomorrow, except the home field advantage and expect the unexpected. Or it could play out as it looks on paper in which case it will be a long night!
My score: Roughriders 20 Stampeders 17
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