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The Morning After – Another Letdown From the Riders

Published: Saturday, Oct 14th 2023, 3:10pm

By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)

I want to say that I’m mad at the Saskatchewan Roughriders anymore, following yet another brutal loss, this time with the playoffs on the line in Calgary, but I’m not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sick and tired of this coaching staff and management team right now, but I’m over being frustrated… Sadly, I’ve stopped caring again, much like last year. We should all really know better by now, no? The sad part was that they really, REALLY should have beaten Calgary last night… the Stamps are BAAAAD. That just means the Riders are that much worse.

Here are some of my thoughts The Morning After the Riders blow their chance at making the playoffs, losing 26-19 to Calgary:


First half

– The Defense really showed up to play early on. They got pressure on Jake Maier consistently and didn’t allow the Stamps to get anything going. It was their best effort in over two months! Nic Marshall was busy making plays, too! After we’ve been calling him out lately, he shut us up, at least for one night. He had a great game last night.

Sam Emilus, Shawn Bane Jr., and Jamal Morrow all got in the groove and looked like they were the ones that were going to help the Riders run away with the game… and for a while they did! It looked like the 13-0 lead the Riders got out to was going to be enough.


Then Craig Dickenson showed up and ruined it all.


After being so aggressive with his decisions to start the year, Dickey’s gone into full on coward mode. Your defense is playing lights out, so you give up a safety, thus giving Calgary a short field and a field goal to end the first half with 5 points and momentum… WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? Punt the ball away! You likely give up the field goal anyway, but it’s still a 2 score game at the half instead of a one score game. Conservative Dickey needs to go away by next Saturday against Toronto, the Riders will need Aggressive Dickey against an Argos team that has nothing to play for.


Second half

– I thought the first drive from the offense was great. It may have only resulted in a field goal (Ryan Meskell had a GREAT game kicking!), but Emilus and Morrow continued to shine and it took 6 minutes off the clock. A good way to bounce back from limping into halftime yet again.

Then the turnovers happened.


– First off, what was with butter hands Mario Alford last night? Dropped two punts AND then fumbled one away that gave the Stamps the ball at the Riders 15, resulting in a TD. Awful time to have your worst game as a pro, Mario. Usually he’s the spark the team needs, but he was such a liability last night. Frustrating.

So how do they respond to that first real test of in game adversity? Aggressive Dickey shows up (I love the idea of going for it on 3rd and 2), but the play call is oh so predictable and the run up the middle is stopped short. Sigh.

– Next time around Jake Dolegala makes a brutal decision and throws the ball right into the 4 of Cam Judge‘s chest. Pick-6. Stamps now have the lead. This is when I knew the game was over. The Riders crumbled yet again and have given us absolutely no reason lately to think they could come back from down 3 points.

– Somehow the Riders tie it and get some help from the Stamps with misconduct penalties… and Dickenson calls an onside punt from Calgary’s 34?? Fine, there was a wind, I guess, but Meskell was kicking lights out. Give him that shot! Sure Tevin Jones nearly got the ball, but after the now yards penalty, it was a net of about 15 yards. At that point, you may as well have gone for it…

– Again, the defense played really well all game long… they give up ONE play to Luther Hakunavanhu that sets the Stamps up at the 1 yard line (AND YOU CALL A TIME OUT HERE??)… Stamps go ahead 26-19. Well, at least that will force the Riders to push the ball in the final few minutes to try and tie this game up (HAHAHAHAHAHA).

– Not only do you throw 2 yard passes all drive long, but on 3rd down plays you first throw it to LITERALLY NO ONE and on the next one you take a sack? Awful performance from Dolegala when it mattered most. Fin. Game over, season, while not over, sure feels like it now. At least you tried?


– I have to give it to Dave Dickenson though, calling his time out allowing the command center to overturn a horse collar tackle was brilliant coaching. He got the best of his brother (again) with that one. But let’s also call a spade a spade here… Ben Major‘s reffing crew was a disaster. Far too many times things were taking WAY too long. That final few minutes should NOT have taken half an hour. Save that for basketball.


Final Thought

Result of the game aside, the shots that TSN took of Jeremy O’Day and Craig Reynolds in the suites said it all… there was ZERO emotion from either man. It looked like they didn’t give a s**t. Maybe it’s me, but I’d be pretty mad if I sat and watched all that unfold in front of me at the stadium. I was on board with keeping Reynolds on board with the team somehow (maybe not as President, but still there), but I’m done. All three of them (Reynolds, O’Day & Dickey) need to go.

This whole team has no identity, there is no culture. The guys at the top don’t give a rip if they lose. A full on organizational rebuild is needed and it can’t come soon enough.


Greg, Steve and I will have more on this game and look ahead to next week’s regular season finale for the Riders as they host the Toronto Argonauts on Saturday afternoon, all on the next episode of The Piffles Podcast! Subscribe now on YouTube so you never miss a show!


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