Friday, October 2, 2015

Riders vs. Lions: On The Road Again

Saturday the Riders travel to BC to take on the 4-9 Lions. The Lions have lost 5 of their last 6. The Riders are fresh off their second win on the year and well on their way to a miracle playoff appearance… just kidding we’ve been out of the playoff picture for well over a month now (normally this is where I’d make a joke about how our odds of making the playoffs are about the same as the Blue Jays, but in a surprising turn of events the Jays don’t suck this year so there goes that line).

Ever wonder how different our season would have been if Leone hadn’t made that massive 56 yard FG way back on July 10th? I mean BC would suck slightly more but that may have made a world of difference for us. I’m not normally one for “what if” talk like this but when you’re trying to make a match-up between 2 teams that have a good chance of missing the playoffs interesting, you gotta take whatever material you can get.

BC continues the string of terrible offenses we faced in the last few weeks. They are the 3rd worst in points scored (behind Winnipeg and Montreal). They have the 2nd most turnovers and interceptions. They have a so-so run game (which is surprising given the presence of Andrew Harris). About the only good thing they have going offensively is an O-line that has allowed the least sacks (a surprising stat given the concern about that O-line coming into the season). What they do have going for them is playing the Riders Defense who have made all QBs not named Brohm or Crompton look awesome. That said, don’t look now but after getting 1 turnover for most of the first half of the season, the Riders are suddenly up to 20.They also get a boost with the return of Jake Doughty. With him back in the middle and Knox outside I like our odds of containing the run game (not sure if Andrew Harris plays as of writing this. I’ll assume he does. If he does not then the Lions will be in some trouble.) Not sure how we make room for Doughty among the starters. Possibly Macho drops back into the secondary? Sounds like Jennings will play and Lulay will only play in an emergency situation. Regardless, we need to stuff the run and force BC to throw. No better way to rattle a young QB then to have the D-line make life miserable for him. We also need to keep him in the pocket. Remember that second game against BC where Lulay literally ran all over us? Can’t let that happen.

Offensively we get a struggling defensive opponent. Second most offensive points allowed, 3rd worst pass D, the worst run D (125 yards per game, 5.6 yards per attempt)… they really miss Elimimian in the middle. Meanwhile, our offense is coming to life with Glenn at the helm. It’s pretty obvious that when facing a bad run D we should probably give a heavy dose of Messam with a healthy side of Allen. Don’t overthink this, run it down their throat. A lot of BC’s problems stem from a weak D-line. They have the least sacks and clearly hate BC area food banks (jerks). A weak D-line combined with a strong run game for us should give Glenn plenty of time to spread the ball around to our receivers. The Lions have been reduced to starting Eric Fraser at safety (a slight step above opting not to start a safety and playing with just 11) so that would be a good place attack. Run double seams or deep routes and he’ll likely make a mistake that results in a big gain.

My head tells me this is a very winnable game. The Lions are a struggling team. We match up well against them with our run game. Doughty and Knox will help our run D. My gut tells me that a road trip to BC is generally not kind to us and as bad as they’ve been, BC’s offense is way better than the Als’. Remember that we have made Matt Nichols look awesome… twice. This is a winnable game but I just have this sense that we will find a way to lose. Hooray for positivity!

BC by a late rushing TD. 

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