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Playoffs?!? We are talking Playoffs!

Published: Friday, Nov 10th 2017, 9:11pm

by Piffles Staff (@PifflesPod)

Unlike Jim Mora in 2001, we want to talk playoffs!

For the first time since Piffles Podcast formed, we get a chance to preview a Saskatchewan Roughriders playoff game and there is plenty to talk about.

The 10-8 Riders roll in to Ottawa to take on the 8-9-1 Ottawa this Sunday. After a rough start to the season for both teams (Riders 2-4, Ottawa 1-6-1) both teams bounced back to come into the playoffs hot (Riders 8-4, REDBLACKS 7-3).

Let’s look at who wins, and why.

Offense:

Trevor Harris, William Powell and Greg Ellingson. That’s a tough trio for any team to go up against.

The Riders counter with a potent receiving corps that hosts three 1000 yard receivers (Naaman Roosevelt, Duron Carter and Bakari Grant) but a big question mark at Running Back.

Literally, it’s a question mark because we have no idea who is starting at RB for the Riders this weekend. Our guess would be Cameron Marshall, if he is good to go, but if he isn’t you can’t go wrong with Trent Richardson, Marcus Thigpen, or Kienan LaFrance.

Riders are also having to shuffle the offensive line with their top lineman Brendon Labatte ruled out of Sunday’s game with a leg injury. Derek Dennis returns to fill the void but that means there will have to be some ratio shuffling somewhere else on the team.

Defense:

Defensively the Riders have the edge in most categories compared to the REDBLACKS. Interceptions, Fumbles, and Points allowed all favour the Riders, but sacks and pass knockdowns go in favour of Ottawa.

Playoff football favours the running game, the Riders’ defence deal with William Powell, despite the comeback win in Ottawa earlier this year Powell was able to gain yards at will.  However, the weather forecast is looking to be in the plusses at kick off so the secondary will have to be wary of Harris’ arm, especially in play action.

Special Teams:

Christion Jones and Marcus Thigpen versus Quincy McDuffie and Diontae Spencer. That is about as exciting a return group for both teams as you could possibly ask for. In his last game, Diontae Spencer absolutely went off, with 496 total all-purpose yards (a CFL record), and has been dynamite every time he touches the ball.

As discussed earlier on the site Jones has been a threat to take one to the house every time he touches the ball, and he already did it once in Ottawa. The return of Thigpen to the roster from injury last week was a surprise to some but it looks like he hasn’t lost a step as he was all over the field.

Prediction:

Ottawa may be playing with extra motivation to win at home, so they can defend the Grey Cup at home, but sometimes extra motivation is extra pressure.

The Riders have been one of the most dangerous teams in the league despite their slow start.

It is the first game of this year’s playoffs and it has the promise of being the best game of the whole playoffs.

Isn’t playoff football great?

Riders 31
REDBLACKS 24

 

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