Riley’s Rider Recap: Banjo Bowl

The Riders got a taste of their own medicine in week 12 against the Bombers. Winnipeg came out flying and applied consistent pressure all game long. The Riders never really found a rhythm and made mistakes on all sides of the ball that the Bombers took advantage of. Here is how it played out.

Offense

The Riders offense made some very nice, big plays but couldn’t put together steady drives to match Winnipeg. The Bombers looked very effective while the Riders had flashes of brilliance but turned the ball over too many times. Kevin Glenn threw for a very quiet 327 yards thanks mostly to two big plays to Roosevelt and Carter. The Riders did a decent job of still trying to maintain a run game even with Marshall out. LaFrance did a pretty good job rushing the ball 12 times for 49 yards and a touchdown. Where Marshall’s presence was missed was in the pass game, out of the backfield. LaFrance had one good reception out of the backfield for 15 yards but that was about it. If Cameron Marshall is out for a longer period of time I feel like LaFrance will only get better. I see a lot of potential in him. The Riders were simply out paced in an offensive track meet this week. You can’t throw three interceptions against the Bombers and expect a win. Hopefully KG is OK after hurting his hand because he gives the Riders the best chance to win (by far) out of any Rider QBs.

 

Defense 

The Riders defense did not match the level of intensity brought by Winnipeg’s offense this week. The Green and White defense dropped two interceptions early in the game and had they picked even one of them the game could have been a lot different. 48 points is far too many points to give up in a game and expect a win. I know there was a pick six and a punt return touchdown but it definitely wasn’t the best game for this Rider D. The Bombers adjusted to the Rider’s three man rush and Nichols had all day to find open receivers. The Riders never made the changed on defense to counter the Winnipeg game plan and got outplayed for most of the game. Hopefully the Riders can change some things up to corral Jeremiah Masoli next weekend.

 

Special Teams 

For the first time, maybe all season, the Riders got out played on special teams. The Bombers got a very nice punt return TD on a well executed trick play. They also covered on kick and punt and shut down the Riders returners. It is the first time I can remember this season where the Riders didn’t get at least one nice return in the game. Josh Bartel did punt the ball well this weekend. It was his best game of the season. The Riders should hope one of their excellent returners comes back for next weeks game against Hamilton. However Jones, Demski and Chad Owens are all on the six game injured list so that is very doubtful. Morris and Carter are capable returners hopefully they can bust a big run off against the Tiger-Cats.

 

Winnipeg deserved this win. They out played the Riders in all three phases of the game. They definitely came out looking for revenge for the Labour Day loss in Regina. The Riders are now back on the outside looking in. They drop back to fifth place in the West with the loss and the B.C win. Saskatchewan does still have a game in hand and it is imperative that the Riders go in to Hamilton and come back with a win next week.

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