Preview: Riders Look to Avenge Early Season Loss to Montreal
Published: Saturday, Sep 29th 2018, 9:09pm
By: Stephen Safinuk (@Safimod)
The 8-5 Roughriders invade Percival Molson stadium to take on the 3-10 Montreal Alouettes, looking to avenge an early season loss. The Riders fell to the Alouettes 23-17 in week 3, but both teams look different heading into this battle. For starters, the starters are different. Brandon Bridge led the Riders up against Drew Willy earlier this season. This weekend, Johnny Manziel will look for his first career win, when he takes on Zach Collaros and the Riders.
What do the Riders need to do to fly home with a 9-5 record? Let’s take a look.
After a hot start to the season, the pressure has cooled off some in recent weeks for the vaunted Riders defensive line. This week, they go up against arguably the weakest offensive line in the league, and will need to put pressure on Manziel early and often. While it looked impossible weeks ago, Charleston Hughes is only 4 sacks ahead of Shawn Lemon, and could use a few sacks to create a little space again at the top of the charts.
Speaking of defensive line, Mic’hael Brooks will miss at least this week (on the 6 game) which could have an effect on the run game. Makana Henry will start in his place, but William Stanback is playing well. So well, in fact, that the Als traded away Tyrell Sutton earlier this week. Stop the run, and the Riders win. To me, it’s that simple.
Keep Manziel Contained
The number one key to stoping Johnny Manziel is to keep him contained. He excels at extending plays and making things happen on the run. Any change you get to wrap him up, you need to do it, or its highly likely he will make the Riders pay for it.
Get The Ball in the Hands of Your Playmakers
Kyran Moore. Marcus Thigpen. Jordan Williams-Lambert. These guys need to see the ball often, whether it be on punt returns, screens, or runs. The more often these three see the ball, especially with Naaman Roosevelt out. All three have shown game-breaking talent this season, and the Riders offense needs to make use of it’s sparks whenever possible. Tre Mason has also had some success this year, but they need to keep Thigpen involved in the offense. Former 1000 yard receiver Kenny Shaw will also get his first start of 2018. I have a feeling the Riders will look to get him involved early.
The Riders flew out early this week, in hopes of not being affected by the earlier kickoff time in Montreal on Sunday. A 1pm Montreal kickoff is an 11am Saskatchewan kickoff. We will see early if the Riders came to play, or if they will spend the first few quarters hitting the snooze button.
The Riders will avenge that early season loss, and it won’t be close. For once, the offense will carry the weight, with four offensive touchdowns on route to a dominating win.
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