“Takin’ Care of Business”

Photo: The Canadian Press

I will be completely honest: I bet on the Eskimos this past weekend.  I was pretty sure they were going to beat the Riders, since the Riders pretty much suck when they play at Commonwealth Stadium.  How badly do they suck at Commonwealth:

Those statistics are gross.

So here’s another for you: the Riders hadn’t won a game on the road against a Western Division opponent since 2010.

Yuck.

But you can see that the deck against the Riders was a little bit stacked.  No wonder I didn’t have any faith…

But then the game started and the Riders kept putting up points, and Edmonton kept finding new ways to screw up.  The final score was rather flattering for the Eskimos, as two late touchdowns made things look a lot better than they did.

All in all, it was a solid start for the Riders.  The offense was clicking, for the most part, and the defence didn’t look too bad.

Now for Things That Worked and Things That Didn’t…

Things That Worked

  1. Strong start – The Riders scored on their first two possessions to go up early and never looked back.
  2. Korey Sheets – He looks to be building on a great rookie season.  Over 100 yards in the first game of the year against a very good Edmonton front seven.
  3. Darian Durant – Looked a lot more at home in this offence than he has for some time.  And three TDs ain’t too shabby.
  4. NO TURNOVERS.

Things That Didn’t Work

  1. Second quarter offence – There was a bit of a lull, but
  2. Return teams – Not a terribly impressive opening.  Jock Sanders looks tentative.
  3. Challenges – Coach, you’ve gotta challenge those close calls!  The Riders hadn’t yet used a challenge in the game, so there was nothing to lose.

Mis-plays of the Game:

  1. Mike Reilly, never throw the ball when you’re inside your own 10.  Even if you’re inept coaches tell you to.
  2. Dwight Anderson – You’re on your last strike with a number of Rider fans, including this one.

OFFENSIVE STAR

#1 – Korey Sheets, Running Back

Monster game and a personal best.  17 carries for 131 yards and one TD.  Excellent start to the season.

DEFENSIVE STAR

 #74 – Keith Shologan, Defensive Tackle

He really benefitted from the double teams that Edmonton threw on his cohort, defensive end John Chick.  Sholo had three tackles and, more importantly, two sacks.  But he was causing trouble for Edmonton QB Mike Reilly all game.

SPECIAL TEAMS STAR

#17 – Ricky Schmitt

A 48.6 yard punt average makes Coach Chamblin’s decision to go with an import punter look a lot better.

NEXT WEEK: vs. CALGARY:  This is a true test for the Riders.  The Stamps have a much, much better offence, and their defensive line is just as good as Edmonton’s, if not better.  I pick the Stamps because they just seem to win regular season games at Mosaic Field and they looked dominant against BC last week, but you never know.

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