Riders lay egg after making playoffs


author: jacob nelson|  staff writer

Hats off to the Riders / pixabay

Riders lose in embarrassing home loss against Bluebombers

So, the Riders make the playoffs. Fantastic! However, is the recent set back any indication of what’s to come in the post-season?  

The Riders lost to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in a big way on Saturday, being shut out 31-0. This game was going to be partially responsible for the Riders getting home-field advantage in the playoffs. However, it is not 100 per cent the Riders’ fault, as B.C. also needed to lose their game against the Stampeders. B.C. ended up winning 26-21.  

We can’t look at what could have been, and instead must focus on what is going to come. Now, its no secret that Riders are not exactly the most consistent team in the CFL. They are starting off the season a little slow, winning in week one and then falling short in both weeks two and three. But, the days of Korey Sheets are over, so we can’t expect the Riders to win every game. However, when it comes toward the halfway point in the season, it’s almost as if the entire team shifts dynamic. The last half of this season the Riders have gone 7-2.  

Those games haven’t turned out like the one we saw on Saturday against the Blue Bombers. All of Saskatchewan’s last seven wins have come with very close scores. Excluding the one victory against the stamps where the Riders won 40-27, every other win has come within one score. This doesn’t mean that Riders are going to have a tough time because they can’t blow out other teams. I mean every day brings a different storm and Winnipeg was the storm on Saturday.  

So, let’s look at Winnipeg’s season thus far. Only one spot behind the Riders in the west, Winnipeg has had a good season as well. A lot of their wins have been by big margins. They beat the Alouettes by 46 points, the Argos by 26, and Edmonton by 27 this season. Now, that’s not to say they win often, obviously being behind the Riders indicates that they don’t win enough to be second , but only two of their nine wins landed within one score, all the others were beyond eight points.  

The Riders should not focus too much attention on what happened Saturday. They lost to a team who has won big this season in their wins and Saturday was just a reflection of that. Other than that, the Riders beat the Bombers in their previous two outings this season and show no sign of getting flustered or backing down because of one fluke. Jones was very clear that early turnovers and timely mistakes were what lead to the Riders loss and seemed very confident in the post-game press conference that they would be able to move past this loss. Veteran, Brendon LaBatte also spoke to the press post game and said that they must put the game in the rearview mirror, and that there is a lot to learn from. I think these last two games against Calgary and B.C. are going to be much more accurate depictions of how the Riders will fare, going into the post season. 

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