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Plus/Minus: Adios Juan!

Published: Monday, Jul 31st 2017, 7:07pm

By Greg McCulloch (@GregOnSports)

Last week in Regina, it was hard to tell what had Rider Nation hotter: the above normal temperatures or the boiling blood after the debacle in Calgary.

Besides the opening drive of the second half there was little to no positives coming out of the loss to the Stampeders. The Riders were looking for a better result on home turf versus Toronto, who was on a short week after playing Monday.

Let’s break down some pluses and minuses from the victory against the Argonauts.

Plus: McKnight Honoured

Joe McKnight was the projected running back for the Riders after last year, and a road rage incident took him way too soon.

Say what you want about the Rider organization, and lord knows people will, but what they did with the McKnight family before the game was a great moment. While it will never bring Joe back, I hope the entire experience will be a lasting happy memory.

Minus: Water lines were almost as long as the bathroom lines from Taylor Field

As mentioned above it was a scorcher in Regina and, crazy enough, not everyone likes to stay hydrated with beer.

Many took to social media to complain about the lack of true water bottle filling stations in the new stadium and few scattered water fountains available. There were pictures of the lines being 70 some deep just to get access to some drinkable water.

Wasn’t a good look for the crown jewel of the CFL.

Plus: Carter’s coming out party

At this point, I refuse to believe that Duron Carter is “misunderstood”.

I understand him well.

I understand he is one hell of a talent, but I also understand he is going to make some pretty stupid decisions.

If you need examples of stupid decisions just google “Duron Carter Rakeem Cato” or just look at the clip of him crossing half in Calgary which lead to last week’s fine.

If you need examples of his talent just watch the game over again. He’s got the hands, size, and speed, and he showed all of them in that game for 2 touchdowns, 131 yards, and he was one block away from taking a punt to the house for a touchdown as well.

But seriously go back and watch that back handed catch again. It happened literally in front of me and I still had to watch the clip to make sure I didn’t imagine it.

Minus: Secondary still has question marks.

Despite the Rider win, Ricky Ray was still able to throw for almost 400 yards on the Riders defense. SJ Green, Armanti Edwards, and Anthony Coombs sliced through the Riders secondary at will in the first half.

One must wonder if the Argos just ran out of gas in the second half and the result could have been a lot different if the Boatmen were fresh.

Plus: Riders seem to be clicking

From the defense putting the pressure on Ray, to the surprise short kick, to Bakari Grant taking what should have a short pass for 3rd down get up and scramble for 30 yards. The Riders are finding ways to make plays.

The past few seasons it felt like Riders found new and creative ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This past game it showed the Riders can stay make plays when they want to.

Minus: The next 5 weeks

If they Riders truly are starting to find their way the next 5 weeks will show everyone what they truly are. BC twice, Edmonton, and then Winnipeg twice. 5 west opponents in a row in a tight division could be a nightmare.

Plus: We will have a better idea about November

After these 5 week we should have a good idea if the Riders will make playoffs or we can start planning for next year… again.

Minus: No new Piffles Podcast this week

Booooooooo! But…

Plus: We wouldn’t leave you hanging

Check back this week for other goodies such as a chat with Roughrider Peter Dyakowski and “Engaging with the Enemy” with BC Lions star Emmanuel Arceneaux.

 

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