Riders Game Preview - Friday the 13th Man
By Greg McCulloch (@GregOnSports)
The Ottawa Redblacks continue their western road swing with a game at Mosaic Stadium tonight at 8:00pm.
Nothing like a late game on Friday the 13th to bring out the Mosaic Maniacs.
Both teams are looking to string together wins to cement themselves playoff position. A few weeks ago it looked like a 2 horse race for the eastern playoff teams but Hamilton has started to turn in around and is looking to spoil the defending Grey Cup champions thought of defending at home.
Riders are currently sitting in 3rd with an 8-6 record thanks to the tiebreaker they currently hold over Edmonton. Meaning the final game at Mosaic Stadium this season could decide who’s heading to Winnipeg and who is heading further east.
Three Things fans should look for:
Run defence? What run defence?
Stop me if you have heard us say this before: The team misses a big defensive tackle like Nick James.
The 3 man rush the didn’t work before Nick James showed up in Rider green hasn’t worked since he went down to injury. While there is decent talent in the middle for the Riders they have been decimated in the middle, some may even say dominated.
Ottawa RB William Powell hung 187 yards on the Riders last game, then miraculously Redblacks coaching decided back up QB Ryan Lindley should ice the remainder of the game and they abandoned the run.
I don’t see the Redblacks making that mistake twice, especially with starting QB Trevor Harris back from injury.
Bridging in the gap
It wouldn’t be Saskatchewan without a QB controversy. However, unlike past ones (“Free Willy” and “Tino Time”) the back up is truly a viable option to take over.
Kevin Glenn hasn’t looked right since he banged his hand in the Banjo Bowl and his leash has gotten shorter as the games have gone on. Meanwhile, Brandon Bridge has sparked this offence whenever he has touched the field.
I wouldn’t be shocked to see Glenn on a short leash if the offence can’t find second gear early in the game.
Chad Owens… in street clothes
Only in Saskatchewan can you have a QB controversy and a Kick Returner controversy.
The Riders made waves on Thursday activating big name free agent signing and a man who has spent the whole season on the IR, Chad Owens, then immediately said they were going to healthy scratch him.
This is a really weird situation, obviously, Owens wants to play as he has been more vocal in the media about not getting in the roster.
There are plenty of Rider fans who want to see what Owens can do because when he is at 100% he is fun to watch. Plus he has been a great ambassador for the league and has been a great ambassador for the Riders even though the only time he has put on the uniform was for promo pictures.
I currently side with the coaching staff with sitting Owens, as much as I want to see him play, who are you going to take out for a guy who may hurt himself 2 plays in because he hasn’t played all season (see Marcus Thigpen).
A few weeks ago I said I don’t think Owens will ever actually suit up for a game for the Riders unless there is a key injury and as we get closer to the playoffs the more likely it will come true.
But hey it moved a lot of jerseys, and an Owens jersey is still better than a Keith Toston jersey…
Ottawa Redblacks 20
Saskatchewan Roughriders 33
Swing by the Piffles Pregame Tailgate sponsored by Rick Fix, details here.
Be sure to tune into Twitter after the game for our usual postgame Periscope.
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Go Riders /=S=/