No point doing any rehasing of what we witnessed last Sunday. That was a very unejoyable 3 hours of football and the QB situation has put a real cloud over the rest of the season. This Sunday is the first shot at redemption. We couldn't have handpicked a better opponent to try and get back on track. It's been 7 weeks since the last matchup between these two teams and of course, one big thing has changed. By the way, thanks Ottawa for not bothering to update your roster until sometime this afternoon (sarcasm)
Probable starters: Riders - Sunseri, RedBlacks - Burris. I really didn't expect to see Sunseri be so hesitant to throw the ball. The confidence he shows in interviews and what we saw from him in previous appearances did not fit what we saw in Sunday. I am thinking that if he struggles for a quarter or so again to the same level tha we saw last week, it might be Seth Doege time. Keith Price hasn't been here long enough to throw into the fire, has he? I don't believe the answer is the QB teh Rides are facing this week. Henry Burris a shadow of his former self. He's got the worst passer rater of a starter since Troy Smith got benched. And I am not buying it's all his supporting cast. He has not plaeyd well. As much as I am not a Hank fan, Hank of 2-3 years would be worth consideration. Not the guy now, even though you have to give him the nod for Sunday. Edge RedBlacks
Probable starters: Riders - Allen, Messam, RedBlacks - Harper, Johnson. Well our three headed monster was down to two last week with Will Ford not dressed. I guess we had no choice with Getzlaf still banged up, but you have to think Ford would have been more useful than Schillens was. Looks like Ford is back this week. Chevron Walker is out for Ottawa and they are going to use both DJ Harper and Jeremiah Johnson. All I know if Johnson was with the Argos last year. Edge Riders
Probable starters: Riders - Smith, Bagg, Dressler, Getzlaf, Swain, RedBlacks - Miles, Smith, Henry, Padin. You can't get a read on the receivers when the ball didn't get there often enough last week. I am also part of the crowd now getting impatient with Swain. I understand he's not getting a lot of looks, but when getting a chance he's not squeezing the ball either. Marcus Henry is the best of the bunch in Ottawa. Edge Riders
Probable starters: Riders - T - Fulton (Adcock), Heenan, G - Labatte, Picard, Clark, Heenan, RedBlacks - T - McCuller, Young, G - Deane, McMillan, C - Gott. Fulton is down with the flu apparently and a game time decision. If he can't go, that would put Adcock into the starting lineup. That puts us down 2 startling linemen. Our line sure has issues when Chris Best is out. There isn't much I can comment on with Ottawa's line except that is an area they need to be a lot better. John Gott has moved over from guard to centre for them. Edge Riders.
Probable starters: Riders - DE - Chick, Foley, T - George, Guyton, RedBlacks - DE - Lang, Capicciotti, DT - Shologan, Hopkins. Derrick Walker is out this week with injury. THe coaching staff must not have liked what they saw from Marcus White because even with the Walker injury, White is off this week. It looks like Hylee Tayler will be on the roster, but he does not help inside and is more of an outside speed rusher. Keith Shologan missed a game for Ottawa and is back. Brandon Long is their best pass rusher. Edge Riders
Probable starters: Riders - MLB - Kilgore, OLB - Peters, Harris. RedBlacks - MLB - Brown, OLB - Pruneau, Simmons. I know the that Coach Chamblin used the Bighill, Sherritt comparison to Kilgore. I am still waiting to see that kind of impact. Brian Peters has been playing really well at his spot. Rather than the depth chart, I am going with we are seeing on the field and putting Harris in at LB. Ex-Eskimo Damaso Munoz works his way into the lineup for Ottawa so even though he's not listed as a starter, look for him to get in. I've been impressed with Pruneau. Edge Riders
Probable starters: Riders - CB - Williams, Jackson, HB - Maze, Brown, S - Brackenridge, RedBlacks - CB - Johnson, Kanneh, HB - Thompson, Gavins, S - Elder. As I mentioned in the previous section, I am putting Brown in the secondary where we are seeing him. Maze will play according to Coach Chamblin but we may put Turrenne in the lineup as a precaution. Jovon Johnson is the best player in the Ottawa secondary. Edge Riders
Probable starters: Riders - Jackson, Dressler, RedBlacks - J. Smith, Johnson. Hamilton did a great job of coverage in the last game, and they got a return TD. Not the finest hour for our teams. Tristan Jackson had a huge game in Ottawa the last time these teams met. Edge Riders
Probable starters: Riders - Milo, RedBlacks - Maher. Two strugling kickers go head to head in this one. Milo's percentage is at 74. And that's the higher of these two kickers. Even
Probable staters: Riders - Milo, RedBlacks - We once again saw Milo's inconsistency. After a very good day punting in Wnnipeg with his distance and placement, he struggled in Hamilton. There were a few line drives down the middle like the one that came all the way back, and there was a shank. Maher has been impressive punting the ball. Edge RedBlacks
When the Riders have the ball
Let's start with the big issue. We can't just win this game with zero passing game. Sunseri is going to have to bounce back and make plays. Let's hope getting that first start under is belt, getting a chance to look at the film, another week of practice etc is going to make him look better. I hope that Cortez works with him making quicker decisions to take the check down, and just trust himself and throw it. We have to trust him to not through a lot of picks or if he does threw 1 or 2, trust the defense to bail him out. Ottawa's front four is nowhere near as good as Hamilton's although Lang is a good rusher off the edge. Our line should be able to give Tino more time to through. I get the feeling if a quarter or so passes and he is looking no better than last week, Doege will get into the game. The matchup to watch if Fulton is out is how Adcock handles Lang when he is up against him. The guy for Tino to stay away from will be Jovon Johnson on the corner. Sorry Taj. Last week when we did throw a couple of quick screen type passes, Hamilton sniffed it out and played it well. I would go back to it this week as I don't think Ottawa is as good. I am specifically thinking of a play like where we fake the run and then hit Swain or Getzlaf in the flat the other way.
Even though we do need to make some plays through the air, the running game will continue to be our focus. I am glad we will use all 3 running backs. You can't take much from the stats in the first game between these teams. Ford did not have a big game but we were pretty vanilla that day after the huge lead. Messam did not emerge until a week later in Winnipeg, and Allen was still in the fumble dog house. Expect a healthy does off all three tomorrow. A key will be how our interior handles Keith Shologan who will be counted on to be a big run stopper. I really expect our backs to be a big part of not just the running game, but the passing game as well.
When the RedBlacks have the ball
Hamilton had a really good game plan of getting the ball out on quick throws, with Collaros being really accurate. I have not seen the ability from Burris and the RedBlacks to duplicate that success. Still that is probably what they will try against our D, to complete passes quickly underneath. It's another way to counter the pressure we get from our front 4. Ottawa will probably how their receivers, who have some speed can make some plays. Marcus Henry is a big target in the middle, and I expect him to be Hank's main target. The next target and deep threat is Wallace Miles. To be honest, I will be disappointed if our secondary can't get the job done on these receivers.
With Chevron Walker leading the charge, the RedBlacks have the lowest ave per carry in the league. I don't know a think about Harper and Johnson had a 5.2 aver in limited action with the Argos. With our run defense being much better we should be able to hold our own. The unknown will be how Guyton holds up for the whole game inside. He's been spelling Walker and George till now but it's different as a starter. With no true DT listed as back up, he's going to ahve to play a lot too.
One thing that has hurt us the least couple of weeks, going back to Drew Willy on Labour Day is QBs running for first downs. Hank still has that ability, so the D can't fall asleep on him. I can't think of anything more frustrating than blanketing the receivers but leaving a huge seam for Hank to run.
I just can't see Tino being the disaster he was last week again. He has shown us skills in the past. He's not going to wow us and throw for 300 or anything, but I think he will give us a solid game. He gives us that and the team around him is talented enough to win. We have to make sure that special teams don't give up a 7. I want Tino to take more chances, but as long as that doesn't lead to a boatload of turnovers we'lll be ok. I don't epect it to look pretty, but I expect a win.
My score: Roughriders 23 RedBlacks 13
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