The first half of the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ season ended in style, but the road ahead to make a playoff run won’t be an easy one for the Green Machine.
The 52-0 win over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers helped quash some of the vitriol being spewed toward the team, but it doesn’t erase a below .500 record through nine games.
Assessing the Riders first half is a hard thing to do because they were a rather inconsistent team through the first nine games of the season.
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| Rod Pedersen reports from Regina where players and coaches are taking time to reflect on a big win after grinding through some tough losses in week's previous.
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A three game winning streak, and a five game losing streak that was busted with a dominating victory over their prairie rivals.
But the underlying factor in the Riders season thus far is that they have had the chance to win every single game. Everyone in Green and White told the media over and over again, ‘we are a good football team.’
But it was getting harder and harder to believe, especially following their fifth-straight loss. Of course, as soon as the doubters start becoming the majority, that’s usually time for quarterback Darian Durant and company to prove them wrong.
And they did more than that last Sunday.
But there is still work to be done. The Riders still have a tough road ahead to make up for their poor play in the first half of the season that has them in the basement of the West Division.
Durant needs to be more efficient; he’s thrown too many turnovers and hasn't created enough big plays.
The team also needs to find another threat in the receiving corps to compliment Weston Dressler and Chris Getzlaf.
Will that be the newly acquired Greg Carr? That trade can’t hurt as Durant has been missing his big target in Andy Fantuz, although, Getzlaf is becoming more sure handed and is one of the leaders in key second-down receptions to fill some of the void left by Fantuz.
But Carr’s six-foot-six frame is an appealing one for a group of receivers who don’t cast a very long shadow over shorter defensive backs.
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|