Riders Defense to the Rescue in Win Over Edmonton
Published: Tuesday, Oct 9th 2018, 8:10am
By: Stephen Safinuk (@Safimod)
In what has become a very common storyline in 2018, the Riders defense came to the rescue on Thanksgiving Monday, as the Rider faithful poured out of Mosaic Stadium celebrating a 19-12 victory that effectively clinched a playoff spot for the good shade of green.
Some of our thoughts from the game:
- The Riders need to be more disciplined as we head in to the 2018 playoffs. The team finished the game with 11 penalties for 110 including several 15 yard roughing penalties. You aren’t going to beat good teams often if you give them 100+ yards in free real estate.
- By rule, Zach Evans got away with roughing the passer on the Willie Jefferson interception, though one could argue he was pushed into Reilly. It would have been a weak call, but it certainly could have been called.
- Our defense was phenomenal. Any time you hold Mike Reilly to zero offensive touchdowns, and 12 total points, is a good day. 5 sacks and 3 interceptions, including yet another from young standout Nick Marshall. It was certainly Thanksgiving, because that defense was feasting all night long.
- Speaking of our defense. The CFL twitterverse has been talking about whether or not Willie Jefferson did the right thing by “showboating” on the way into the end zone on his pick 6 in the 4th quarter. I’m here to answer that question. Yes, he did. 100%. Willie Jefferson was not showboating, he was burning time. If Edmonton isn’t going to chase him, he would be crazy not to eat up as much time as possible and keep the ball out of Mike Reilly’s hands for a little bit longer. Imagine if Reilly would have had an extra 10 seconds at the end of the game to work with. Things could have turned out differently.
- **THIS IS A RECORDING** The offense needs to finish drives. For the 3rd week in a row, the Riders offense moved the ball consistently. Unlike last week in Montreal, the Riders were unable to finish drives, and it nearly cost us. Kenny Shaw did have a perfectly thrown TD pass doink off his helmet in the 4th quarter, but other than that we didn’t really threaten the end zone this week.
- Don’t worry about the misses from Brett Lauther. He was hard on himself after the game, but thankfully his two misses did not cost us the win. As reliable as he has been all year, it was nice to see the team bail him out this one. His misses did likely seal the Most Outstanding Special Teams award though, unless Lewis Ward completely craps the bed in the last 4 weeks of the season. Even then, his record likely seals it anyways.
- Our offensive line was not at their best this week. Multiple sacks (3) and a ton of pressure on Zach Collaros throughout the game. I won’t harp on them too much – this unit has been a surprising strength through most of the season.
While the Roughriders can still effectively catch Calgary for 1st in the West, it would take a miracle for that to happen. On the flip side, it would take the same miracle to see the Riders miss out on a home playoff game for the first time since 2013. As much as I would like to host the West Final, the idea of hosting a playoff game at New Mosaic is a good start.