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Riders Collapse, Fall to Ottawa

Published: Saturday, Oct 14th 2017, 4:10pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

This one stings. The Saskatchewan Roughriders blow a 32-20 lead with 2:38 remaining in the game and lost 33-32 to the Ottawa Redblacks on what turned out to be a scary Friday the 13th for the team.

– First off, Duron Carter was a beast. 231 yards on 11 catches. He was making big plays left and right and that put him over 1,000 yards for the season. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Rider receiver go off like that. What a game he had.

– Sadly, he was the only receiver making plays. When your second leading receiver had 36 yards, that’s simply not good enough. Props to Ottawa for shutting down the rest of the team, but a more balanced approach is what the Riders need to be successful.

I said last week I wanted the torch to be passed to Brandon Bridge. I still believe that, but it’s too late in the year to do that now. I understand why Chris Jones is sticking with Kevin Glenn, but I’m not terribly confident that we go far in the playoffs with a QB that isn’t very mobile and tosses INTs to give the other team points and takes points off the board for us. Glenn didn’t look bad by any means, but a few poor throws and decisions hurt us.

– I do have to give some props to Trent Richardson. Some. He had one good run of 15 yards and one of 7, but other than that it was 3 yards all game long. Once he stopped trying to cut and just ran full ahead, he didn’t look terrible. He had some important yards and recovering the Glenn fumble was huge, but I just don’t see what he brings to the team. Cameron Marshall was practicing last week so maybe he can get healthy enough to come back and wake up this ugly ground game we have.

– Offense came down to execution. The team scored eight times. Eight! Too bad six of those were field goals. Need to finish drives and score seven, not three. The team had done very well all year at moving the ball between the 20s all year, but finishing has been their problem. Predictable play calling and schemes by Offensive Coordinator Stephen McAdoo are hurting us (this is a recording). 

– The final couple of minutes on offense are curious. Up 32-27 we pass on first down. WHY?? Run the ball and kill some clock. That’s 20 less seconds Ottawa had the ball at the end and maybe we are talking about a 9-6 record instead of an 8-7 record.

– Until the final 3 minutes, I thought the defense played very well. They held the league’s leading receiver Greg Ellingson to 13 yards! But, yet another week without a QB sack and little pressure on Trevor Harris for most of the game. Willie Jefferson can’t do it all by himself, the rest of the D-Line needs to help him out and collapse the pocket or get to the QB. It’s getting sad that this team with all it’s talent on D that we aren’t at least seeing the odd coverage sack. 

– Just like the offense, the D failed to execute when it mattered most. Henoc Muamba’s second INT of the game was called back because of a roughing the passer penalty. Multiple 3rd down conversions for Ottawa and a (bogus) pass interference call against Ed Gainey gave Ottawa more chances on their final drive and that sealed it. They couldn’t get the clean stop when they needed it and Ottawa scored majors while we settled for field goals.

– The Riders will still make the playoffs, it’s just a matter of where they finish, 3rd or 4th. Hopefully this loss stays in their minds a bit as a learning lesson for the playoffs. While this one stings, it will help the team grow. And I’d rather lose now than in November.

Stay tuned to pifflespodcast.com on Monday for Steve’s Power Rankings (will the Riders hold on to their 3rd place ranking?), Tuesday for my Tuesday Takes and Episode 60 of the Piffles Podcast will be out on Wednesday. Until then we cheer for Winnipeg (yuck) and Toronto. 

Go Riders!

 

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