Dust off your 45s of the Supremes and put on your go-go boots… this week we’re celebrating the 60s. Retro week in the CFL features a Saturday afternoon showdown between the 2 top teams in the league in a battle of the undefeated. One team will have to fall and unfortunately for us the Alouettes haven’t adopted the French tendency to surrender when faced with opposition.
The Als will definitely be the toughest challenge the Riders have faced to date. In fact, with the West Division suddenly sucking like a (insert inappropriate reference here) the argument could be made that the Als are the best team in CFL.
The Als have the most potent offense in the league led by Anthony Calvillo, a cast of talented receivers and pretty good back in Avon Cobourne… I’m glad I don’t have to watch this on TV so I can avoid hearing for the 4 millionth time how he almost got 1000 yds rushing and receiving, give it up it never happened! With the departure of Cam Wake, the Als also now have the best D-line in the league and are very effective at stuffing the run and pressuring the QB. Their only real weakness is their pass defense, well that and the fact that half the team is nearing senior citizenship. In fact I hear that Saturday’s game was moved to 1pm to accommodate the many players’ need to watch Matlock reruns and nap in the late afternoon.
Side note… I was just looking over the Montreal roster and realized that in addition to perennial punch line Chip Cox, the Als defense features D’Audre Dix. Yup that’s right the Als secondary is full of Cox and Dix. I just hope they don’t inadvertently bump into each other, that could be pretty awkward.
The Riders counter with a defense with more sacks, fumble recoveries and INTs than any other team. So far we’ve been treated to more loose balls than Man in the Bush saw when he went to that nudist colony. This will be a big test for our defense but if their performance so far is any indication, they are up to the challenge. Thank god Lance Frazier will be healthy though because the thought of Kornegay having to play HB against Calvillo was pretty scary.
Offensively, the Riders will be getting a huge boost with the return of last year’s team MOP Wes Cates. While Hugh Charles has filled in admirably in Cates’ absence, I consider Cates to be the best all-round RB in the league. This can only mean good things for our offense. Durant looks to be settling in nicely to his starter’s role and is controlling the ball a lot better. If he can keep it up our receivers will have a big day against a weak Montreal secondary. My main concern is our O-line. They held their own last week but as I said the Als front 4 is the best in the league so our patch work line will be put to the test. Hopefully the return of Cates can help alleviate some pressure.
Another side note… I just found out that our own Aaron Wagner is a Mormon. How fitting that this week he will be squaring off against fellow Mormon Ben Cahoon. Nothing like mormon on mormon violence to kick the weekend off.
Defensively the key will be getting pressure on Calvillo. If he is given time he will pick our secondary apart. Also if Omarr Morgan could look more like his game 1 self than his game 2 self it would help a lot. I know that’s asking a lot but you can always hope.
Offensively, while Cates will be relied upon to keep the chains moving, the passing game is where we will need to beat the Als defense. If Durant can make smart decisions and use his legs from time to time we should be okay.
If this game was in Montreal I wouldn’t like our chances but since we’re on our home turf I think the Riders will once again want it more than their opponent.
Riders by 3.
Don’t forget that its Tackle Hunger Day so be sure to bring a food donation to the game. Let’s show the rest of the league that we have the best fans in every sense of the word.