Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tuesday Morning 'Rider Blogging

Last week, I wrote this about the Saskatchewan Roughriders' upcoming schedule:
Of course, the next few games may seem to be ones where the 'Riders can afford to experiment somewhat. And hopefully the team can keep up enough focus against a few reeling opponents to stay in the win column even if the breaks don't mostly go Saskatchewan's way.
After Saturday's nail-biter against Montreal, it may be important to clarify that I saw that as a fallback position rather than a primary game plan.

Which isn't to say one can fault the 'Riders' defence at all. In fact, it performed as well as it has all season: Montreal scored a grand total of 8 points all game which were attributable in any meaningful way to the Als' offence, and the 'Riders were able to stop a number of drives starting deep in their own zone.

But Saskatchewan's strength through most of the 2013 season so far had been its ability to avoid putting the defence in those types of situations. Instead on Saturday, a series of four lost fumbles both kept the Als in the game - and nearly handed them the win before a late burst of effectiveness by Darian Durant's offence.

Hopefully the answer for now will involve mostly a return to the basics: the 'Riders have already shown they can take care of the ball earlier this season, and the most recent game should offer a helpful reminder of the consequences of failing in that effort. But most opponents won't offer the combination of internal chaos and injuries that kept Montreal from taking full advantage - and while the 'Riders once again have a narrow hold on first place in the West, it could slip away just as easily as the ball seemed to on Saturday.

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