Riders vs. Argos – Game Preview
Published: Friday, Jul 28th 2017, 2:07pm
by Alex Dormuth – @RealAlexD
The 5th game of the season is normally not a must win by any means, but this game for the Riders against the Toronto Argonauts is an absolute must win for a number of reasons.
The Riders sit at the bottom of the West Division with a record of 1-3 and are slipping way behind all the other teams quickly. Edmonton and BC both have 4 wins, Calgary has 3 wins and a tie and Winnipeg is now at 3 wins. They sit 4 points and a tiebreaker out of a playoff spot already and they have no one to blame but themselves. Saskatchewan could easily be sitting at 3-1 if not for a few blunders, but alas, here we are at 1-3.
Saskatchewan needs to get back on the winning track after a deflating loss in Calgary (27-10, a score that really flattered the Riders) and this is a great chance to do so against a Toronto team that is missing some important players on the defensive side of the ball. LB Bear Woods will play as he passed concussion protocol, but Cleyon Laing and Victor Butler aren’t making the trip and the Riders need to take advantage of a young defense.
The major storyline going into this game is Riders starting Right Guard Peter Dyakowski goes up against his former team that traded him here in the offseason. Dyakowski shares his thoughts about being traded away from the Argos.
In all seriousness, the Argos D are led by former Rider Head Coach Corey Chamblin and have been arguably the best defense in the league so far, but with the injuries and a veteran Rider offence, this should be a good bounce back game for offence. Caleb Holley makes his return after missing a few games and will be back in the starting lineup. But, much like last week, the game will be won in the trenches. If the Riders can actually protect Kevin Glenn this week, the offence will be fine. I don’t see Derek Dennis having another bad game and I would love to see the team run the ball to start the game just to get the O-Line aggressive and into the game right away.
On defense, the D-Line needs to get to Ricky Ray early and hit him a few times. If they give him time in the pocket, Ricky Ray will pick the young secondary apart. Sam Williams needs to bring his A game as will be lined up often against SJ Green, who is having quite the return this season after missing last year with a torn ACL. Former Riders Armanti Edwards and Jeff Fuller have also been decent for the Argos so far, but Toronto has been plagued by the dropsies. If history is any indication, they will learn how to catch the ball again against the Riders as that always seems to be the case.
On special teams, I see this as the game that Greg Morris finally takes a return back for a touchdown. He’s been so close a few times this year and other than the fumble in the Winnipeg game, he’s been very good for us as a returner. The blocking schemes have been good and the coverage team has been great as well.
When I look at the upcoming schedule for the Riders, they have a back-to-back with BC, a road game in Edmonton and of course the Labour Day Classic and Banjo Bowl. If the Riders lose this game against Toronto and fall to 1-4, they are staring 1-9 dead in the face and the calls for firing Chris Jones will be even louder than ever (if that’s even possible) and will be more warranted than ever.
The Riders MUST win this game, get to 2-3 and get momentum going, otherwise this season is yet another lost cause and we will see some changes in the very near future. I want to see changes, but I want that to be wins instead of losses, not coaches and players. This game sets the tone for the remainder of the season. Let’s hope it’s a good one. Riders by 8.
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