Halfway through the first quarter of last weekend's contest against B.C., nobody would have been surprised to learn that the game would be decided by a team giving the ball away repeatedly until it dug a hole too deep to escape. But the ultimate outcome would have been rather more unexpected.
After a couple of early fumbles, the 'Riders' offence largely managed to hang onto the ball for the rest of the game - even if Durant, Sheets and company didn't do much more than that. And the 'Riders' defence once again raised the bar in controlling a game on its own.
Typically, we'd expect to see a tradeoff between turnovers and big plays. But in its second matchup against Thomas DeMarco, the 'Riders' defence achieved the best of both worlds: it was consistently in position to defend passes and make tackles, while creating tons of opportunities to go after the ball. And the result was a spectacular 8 turnovers on paper (which would have been even more impressive if a pick-six hadn't been called back on an unrelated penalty).
And the 'Riders also completely contained the most dangerous unknown within the game. While Stefan Logan showed he hasn't lost any of his speed or elusiveness in his return to the CFL, those well-established skills weren't enough for him to break any big plays on offence or special teams.
Having clinched at least second place in the West with the win, the 'Riders' only possible mobility is upward. And while the combination of multiple skilled quarterbacks and Jon Cornish's power running attack will offer an even tougher test for a team hoping to dominate the game defensively, the 'Riders chances of corralling even the CFL's best offence are looking better by the week.