Top 5 – Things to Watch From the Riders Against the Lions
Published: Thursday, Sep 28th 2023, 2:09pm
By Alex Dormuth (@RealAlexD)
After going out east last week to Ottawa, the Riders are out west this week to play the BC Lions. Will we see another embarrassing road effort out of the green and white or will we FINALLY see some changes from the team? They’ve lost 11 straight games East of Saskatchewan, so maybe there’s a chance they win this one? Here’s what I’m looking for from the Riders this week:
1. Urgency – The team needs to show some… ANY type of urgency. It’s clear and obvious to me that this team is exactly like the 2022 version in the sense that they’ve stopped playing for Head Coach Craig Dickenson. There’s no motivation and they seem to be more than fine with getting blown out every road game. If they go into this one and don’t come out flying, it will end exactly the same as the last 4 road games. And if that happens, you can discredit EVERYTHING Jeremy O’Day said to the media yesterday when talking about how the sky isn’t falling.
2. An Albright Spot – Last week, the lone bright spot on the Riders D in their loss to Ottawa was Christian Albright. I’d like to see more of him in the rotation at DE, regardless of the health of Anthony Lanier II and Pete Robertson, and see him progress in these final 4 games of the season.
3. Super Mario on O – Last week, we saw Mario Alford Jr. do what he does best, return a punt for a TD. But they also gave him a look on offense on a little hitch pass. It was dropped, but the defender was right there anyway, so it would have likely lost a yard or two. But why not give it a try more often? He’s a threat to score whenever he touches the ball on returns, give him some reps in the O! I’m shocked we haven’t seen this a few times this year already.
3. Quit Abandoning the Run – Frankie Hickson looked great last week. Fresh legs and he was running HARD. And then the Riders completely stopped giving him the ball. Stop out-coaching yourself Kelly Jeffrey! Make adjustments, sure, but for the first time in a few months the run game was working! DON’T STOP IT NOW!
5. Hold Mizzell Sr. to under 100 – On the flip side, the Riders run D was awful, yet again for the 4th straight game. Brady Oliveira, Kevin Brown, Tre Ford, Dustin Crum & Devonte Williams have all run the ball at will against the Riders over the last month. Taquan Mizzell Sr. had 112 last week against Edmonton and now he gets the Riders… I know the secondary will have their hands full with the great set of receivers BC has, but you HAVE to stop the run this game. The frustrating part is that it’s the healthy linebackers that aren’t doing the job. If the Riders have any hope of pulling out a win tomorrow night, they HAVE to make the Lions’ offense one dimensional.
For more on this game and everything else going on in Riderville and the CFL, check out this week’s episode of the Piffles Podcast (presented by Dairy Queen Grill & Chill)!
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