For the first time this season the Saskatchewan Roughriders are entering the week after a loss.
|Get Ready for a Battle|
CFL.ca's Jamie Nye expects tonight's matchup to be one of the best of the year, featuring what he believes to be the two best teams in the CFL right now.
So far so good in terms of energy at practice as it seems the three days off after their devastating loss to the Stampeders has allowed them to move on quickly and focus on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
But it amazed me how many Roughriders came out after the game to point the finger at themselves. The team has been so willing to share the success this season that we thought the cliche, ‘it’s no one player’ would be uttered ad nauseam after the 41-38 overtime loss.
The reaction was the complete opposite. Weston Dressler, Chris Getzlaf, Darian Durant, Richie Hall and long snapper Cory Huclack were all prepared to take the heat.
Yes, all of them had their problems that led to the Roughriders loss but the sheer number of guys on that list shows you why sometimes a cliche becomes a cliche. Sometimes it isn’t just one player that loses a game.
Here is the concern with players putting an entire loss on their shoulders.
When you get frustrated with yourself, sometimes it becomes overpowering. The thought in the back of your mind comes to the forefront like dropping a pass, throwing an interception or snapping the ball over the punter’s head.
The Roughriders have no reason to lack confidence. Eight minutes in which they gave up a 17-point lead shouldn’t eliminate the confidence built up in the three games and three quarters of football in which they’ve been the best team in the league.
Now comes the test. How do they rebound off their first loss of the season against a team in the Hamilton Tiger-Cats that has become better in every game since the Riders laid that 43-16 beating on them in Week 1?
To add a degree of difficulty, the injury bug has hit the secondary of the Riders just in time to face Henry Burris, who went 27-30 and won the top offensive player award last week. Both Eddie Russ and Woodny Turenne will not play and defensive back Chris McKenzie is banged up but has been able to play through a minor injury.
Andy Fantuz and Chris Williams will cause the Riders defence headaches and running back Chevon Walker was the only bright spot against Saskatchewan in Week 1.
Jamie Nye bleeds green and is the Roughrider insider for News Talk 980 CJME Regina and News Talk 650 CKOM Saskatoon. All of his Rider coverage can be found at www.GreenZoneFootball.com and you can follow him on Twitter @JamieNye.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|