Pedersen: Offence stalling, but wins keep coming | | Official Site of the Canadian Football League

The Grey Cup hangover is officially over.  However does the honeymoon have to end as well?

Rider Nation seemingly slept-walked through the opening six games of the 2014 season, perhaps enjoying one of the hottest summers in years. In case you didn’t notice, the Riders went 4-2 in the opening third of the season.

However everyone’s wide-awake now, as evidenced by the first sellout crowd of the year (33,427) which took in Saturday’s 16-11 win over Montreal at Mosaic Stadium.

If you missed the game – and I can’t imagine you did – the score was indicative of the play on the field.  Much like the Riders’ 23-17 win the week before in Winnipeg, the Darian Durant-led offence had its problems moving the ball but a late-game 30-yard touchdown pass from Durant to Rob Bagg provided the winning points. It was a perfect throw.

However, too many two-and-outs and some errant throws incited considerable anger amongst the rabid Rider fanbase in attendance and watching on national television. Kicker Chris Milo missed two field goals as well, one of which was returned 122 yards by the Alouettes’ Duron Carter for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Hey, the team is not without its problems right now and they know that. They also know they’re winning games and feel that should be enough to appease the restless fanbase.

"The offence is a concern," Rider coach Corey Chamblin admitted after the game on CKRM radio. "We want to be a high-flying offence, but we'll look at it and make the necessary adjustments."

"It was a tough game on offence.  (Montreal coordinator) Noel Thorpe does a good job of defensive football. It was good defensive football, and both teams had troubles on offense."

It certainly seems to be the early-season trend in the CFL in 2014. For the most part, there aren’t many points on the board in football stadiums across the country.

However the Riders aren’t concerned with putting on a show. Yes, the game was bad, but it wasn’t all bad.

"There will be a time when the offense is lights-out and we'll need the defense to pick it up," Chamblin continued, noting the length of the gruelling CFL season.  "We'll come along offensively and we're playing really well on defense. I saw some sparks on offence. We'll work it into a flame."

Just how they’ll do that remains a mystery but that’s why they get the big bucks. Having receiver Weston Dressler magically appear from the NFL would certainly be a God-send but the Riders can’t count on that.

Who they have is who they have and, in all honesty, they’re still pretty good. The off-field problems of embattled wide receiver Taj Smith have thrown a wrench into the process, along with first-year receivers Brett Swain and Ryan Smith who are still grasping the Canadian game.

People were upset when the team was losing early in the season and for some reason a lot are upset now that they’re winning.

And as far as the heat on Darian Durant goes, the team continues to have his back. He is the reigning Grey Cup champion pivot after all.

"I think he's the best quarterback in the league," receiver Rob Bagg asserted on CKRM after Saturday’s game.

"Sometimes numbers don't tell everything but just his leadership in the locker room and his ability to make the play when it most matters. I think that speaks volumes about him. I would rather play for him than anyone else in the league so I'm not really complaining about our offense and as long as we're winning games I don't think anyone else should either."

About Rod

Rod Pedersen is the Voice of the Saskatchewan Roughriders on 620 CKRM. You can check out his award-winning blog at Follow Rod on Twitter @sportscage.

Fan Comments
Orange & Black
Lets see how those watermelons will look after they have completed the second half of the season against mostly Western Conference teams!
August 23, 2014 - 4:31am
GC Bound
I'm sure the Riders will loose a game or two before the season ends. They did last year also and well we all know how that turned out!!!!!!
And after seeing other CFL signature Unis, Winnipeg, Ottawa, well the Riders Uni ain't looking so bad!
Go Riders GO!
August 20, 2014 - 9:55am
Losses? ok whatever, good luck to Crompton with the dimwiddie master at the helm. The Riders replaced how many players and got the GC hangover, and still despite the tough Als game are gonna get stronger. They showed in Winnepeg they ll be ready for the west teams. they ll be back in 1st by week 12.
August 19, 2014 - 10:13pm
I don't know if they'll be first because the stamps are great in the regular season. Second is very possible. But I'd almost prefer if they finished fourth so they could cross over and face the riff-raff out east until the grey cup.
August 20, 2014 - 12:10am
Orange & Black
Its okay to dream!
August 24, 2014 - 4:25am
als rule
ugly ugly ugly uniforms!! don't worry green the losses are on there way to regina!!
August 19, 2014 - 7:08pm
1-6 ringing any bells? Somebodys bitter cause his Als are sputtering with no sign of picking it up anywhere in the near future.
August 19, 2014 - 9:24pm
I'd bet that Weston Dressler will be back in green, by Labor Day!!
August 19, 2014 - 3:20pm
Dressler isn't available till september the 6th the earliest with the 10 day window after cuts. Meaning maybe he'll play against Hamilton on the 14th. That's if he doesn't make second cuts.
August 19, 2014 - 6:47pm