Sorry folks, this is going to be another mini-version. I will justify it by saying that there isn't a position on these teams where one had a huge advantage on the other. These two teams hve the best records (along with Toronto) in the league for a reason. The big difference is that Calgary has been the model of consistency and did not suffer through a 4 game losing streak like the Riders. Even one win out of those 4 and this is a real battle for first. That's right, I have a tough time with the batlle for first concept when the Stamps can lose and still clinch in BC next week. I guess that is why I am having a tougher time getting hyped for this game like others. My excitement if the Riders win tomorrow will show itself delayed, like a sober Johnny Fever, 6 days later if the Stamps also lose to BC. Other than that, I am thinking about whether the Riders can win here twice in four weeks. Here's a look at tomorrow's depth charts for both teams.
When the Riders have the ball
We should have known it wasn't our night when the 2nd offensive play of the game resulted in our first offensive turnover of the year. We saw a lot more turnovers in the 2nd half of this year. Even in a 3 score win like last week, the offense turned it over 3 times. Considering we are unlikely to offest that with 8 turnovers recovered, we will not win with 3 turnovers tomorrow. I would say we will have trouble overcoming anything more than one.
If there was ever a game to start the game with play-action it would be tomorrrow. With all the commotion over what Kory Sheets said, you can bet the Stamps will come out fired up to stuff Sheets. I will admit that I wish Sheets hadn't made theo comments about being the best in the league. But the outrage out of Calgary? A team that has had talkers like Lewis and Copeland over the years? Even Hughes before the last meeting. The protests coming from Calgary players, fans, and media is more than a ittle hyopcritical. If you didn't have an issue with the yapping from your team well then shut up about Sheets. I'd love to see play-action on the first play, but outside of that, the Riders are going to try and establish Sheets. We'll see which group of players up front wins the battle.
Despite the Stamps' best efforts to shut them down, Getzlaf and Dressler have both had big games against the Stamps in the past. Brandon Smith and Darius Brooks will draw that assignment tomorrow, along iwth Keon Raymond from the linebacker spot. If the Stamps start putting more coverage on those two receivers, Darian is going to have to make a point of getting the ball to our other three receivers to make plays. I would love to see us get the ball to Jock Sanders more in the passing game too. He's effective in that role, and I don't see why we've don't use that.
In the last game, the Stamps d-line won the battle in the trenches. It was a shock as we had not seen that this year. Since then, mostly due to injury we have seen it a few times. The Rides need to win that battle this time to win the game tomorrow. We hve to keep Calgary's two very good ends, Hughes and Law from causing havoc. Some outside runs cold force them to stay outside and play it honest vs coming hard after Durant every play. I haven't been overly impressed with Devon Tyler at RT. He's going to have to step up tomorrow. THe7 man front with the two tight ends can widen the edge and take some pressue of Durant as well. I love how decisive Darian was running the ball last week. Even if he was only getting 4 or 5 at times, deciding to run quickly got him a few first downs.
When the Stampeders have the ball
Like the Riders wanting to establish Sheets, it will be a surprise to noone that the Stamps will want to establish Cornish. It's not a number like keeping Cornish to less than 100 yards that i am looking for. I think the Riders can win even if he gets 100. What the defense has to stop are the huge runs that Cornish can get; I believe he leads the league in runs of 20 yards or more. Those are the runs the defense can't allow. In the last game, Cornish had a TD late in the half for about 30 yards and then ripped off a 50-60 yarder to seal the game. There's about half his yardage total from the game right there!
Last time the Stamps had a very good scheme on offense. They were able to use the TE or FB to pin the Rider ends to the inside and then looped out a lineman on our linebackers. Between that and tricks like the direct snap, they created some big holes for Cornish. The Riders need to have come up with a way to counter that strategy to have a chance tomorrow. If our line can blow up the Calgary line, then our linebackers can flow to the ball. Everyone also has to stay assignment sharp to take away cut-back lanes. Lastly, our defenes has to wrap Cornish up. We can't go after him with "kill-shots" where you try and send him flying with a shoulder. Cornish is strong and shifty, he will avoid those hits and turn those plays into big plays. It many not look as pretty or draw a shot on the TSN highlight package, but wrap him up with good solid tackles when you get a chance.
Thd Riders can't just sell out to the run and ignore the Calgary passing attack because given the chance, Glenn will hurt you. It will be strange facing a Stamp team without Nik Lewis. IN hsi absence Mo Price and Marquay MdDaniel have turned into the go-to guys. Terrell Maze will probably draw Price. The depth chart puts McDaniel at wide side slot meaning Carlos Thoms will get him. On the short side it will be DA's job. Calgary spreads out their receivers too so Weldon Brown and Craig Butler's coverage abilities become key. Glenn does a good job of spreading the ball around so the Riders can't really just concentrate on one or two guys. Glenn's strength is his smarts and getting the ball off quick. He's not a guy who will scare you running the ball. We need to be able to get to him with pressure and force him into bad throws.
The Stamps will come fired up tomorrow. They've looked in every corner and every shadow to find a perceived slight to them by the Riders to work themselves into a frenzy for the game. The Riders need to fight off that initial barrage and stay in the game early. If that happnes, we should be in for a great back and forth game. Last time and in last year's playoff game, teh Stamps got the early jump, and the Riders were trying to catch up the rest of the way.
There's nothing really scientific about this, but I just have a gut feel that despite going toe to toe with the Stamps we are going to come just short in teh game. If that is the case, hopefully it gives the team confidence for a Western Final matchup after (hopefully) knocking off the Lions in the WSF. If my instinct is wrong and the Rides win the game, I guess we cheer for the Lions next Friday harder than we've ever cheered for them before!
My score: Stampeders 27 Roughriders 24
Page 25 of 89
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