Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thursday Morning 'Rider Blogging

Yes, Saturday's Roughrider win over Edmonton represented another narrow victory over a seemingly struggling team. But otherwise it couldn't have been much more different from the team's previous game against Montreal. And the 'Riders will need to figure out whether Edmonton has found a formula which more-talented opponents can copy, or whether its go-for-broke approach will be seen as too dangerous by the likes of the Lions and the Stamps.

Unlike in Montreal, the 'Riders' offence rated as solid but unspectacular throughout the game, racking up field goals for the better part of quarters before finally finding the end zone in the last 20 minutes of the game. And Corey Chamblin apparently planned to rely on another defensive lockdown like the 'Riders' previous performance to hold onto a tight lead - particularly when he chose to kick a field goal on 3rd-and-1 early in the third quarter.

But after managing a couple of big plays to stay in the game through the first half, the Eskimos put together two disturbingly efficient touchdown drives to win back the lead at the end of the third quarter. And we'll want to keep a close eye on how they got there.

Mike Reilly's scrambling throughout the game produced not only yards on the ground, but open receivers downfield. Which may make for a model for other teams to imitate - if they're prepared to risk the combination of turnovers and devastating hits which eventually turned Saturday's game in the 'Riders' favour.

For now, the 'Riders don't look to have much reason to change what worked once again (other than sorting out their return game). But it won't be long before they start facing crucial divisional games again - and it figures to be an open question whether the 'Riders' current scheme can keep a contender's quarterback from running wild.

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