Rested after the bye week, the Riders return to action Saturday in Toronto facing the 2-10 Argos. The Riders will be looking to keep pace with the top teams in the West. The Argos will be looking to win just enough games to keep pace with Ottawa in the race to not finish last. Still the Riders would be wise to not overlook this opponent. Gotta win the winnable games and even a team playing as poorly as the Argos won’t be beat with half-assed effort.
Offensively we get a big boost with the return of Brendan Labatte who will make his 2019 debut. Not that our O-line has been playing bad, but adding him can only improve that unit. The Argos have the worst defense in the league, allowing the most yards and points. The only way to increase your odds of scoring over the Argos is to hire an actual prostitute. They have also been allowing the most big passing plays which should have Fajardo and Shaq Evans licking their lips. But as much as we will have our chances to bomb it deep, we can’t forget to start with a strong running game. The Argos allow the second most rush yards so pound it early and often and that will set up the deep shots later. I would also look to feed the ball to Manny and Roosevelt. It’s a matter of time before one of them (likely Manny) sits in favour of Williams-Lambert. Bet these vets are eager to make it a tough decision. With the Argos allowing over 30 points per game we should be able to score so we don’t need to take unnecessary risks. Play our game, protect the football, sprinkle some Jesus. Argos get Jonathan Mincy in the line-up who is a great DB. He should help but can’t fix an entire defense by himself.
Defense gets James Franklin… man have things changed quickly for that guy. Not that long ago he was the projected saviour of Riderville. Now when he actually might become available people would probably be mad if we signed him. I mean the Argos had so much faith in him and Bethel 7 names that they traded for a still injured Zach Collaros. He looks to try a rejuvenate the second worst offense in the CFL. They aren’t like Ottawa bad but not far off, which is somewhat weird because McLeod Bethel Too Many Names leads the CFL with 19 TD passes. Part of it is that they play a lot of garbage time due to their awful defense. Part of that is they have nothing resembling a run game… which is a huge shock to anyone who has followed the career of their OC Chapdelaine. With no run game its no shock that they allow the second most sacks. Hughes is rested and Micah is raring to go. They need to set the tone up front and make life miserable for Franklin. In the secondary. Derel Walker is the guy you need to shut down. Edwards and Green are good but Walker is the major threat in that O, contain him, and what little life that O has goes away. Remember though that this is a team that erased a 20 point deficit in Winnipeg so we can’t take them too lightly. That said, by virtue of not being Winnipeg odds of the massive choke against an eastern team go way down. Last time we played the Argos back in Week 3 Franklin got the start and threw 2 picks while putting up only 1 score. I don’t see it being quite that bad but still our D should have the edge once again.
As long as we show up and put in full effort we should win this game and clinch a playoff spot. Our next games include first place Winnipeg and then 3 straight western road games. Let’s make sure we get the easy wins when we can.
Riders by 15.