There’s an old saying in football: the game is won and lost in the trenches. So what I’m about to say is hardly a hot take, but when it comes to the Saskatchewan Roughriders chances of winning the East Final on Sunday in Toronto, it’s especially true.
There’s no question that Riders quarterback Kevin Glenn has struggled over the last month or so when it comes to dealing with pressure from the opposition. So much so that Glenn has actually been yanked from a number of games in favour of the more athletic Brandon Bridge. Glenn has been unable to escape pressure, while Bridge’s second best skill (after his cannon of an arm) is his ability to use his legs, both by design and in scrambling situations.
It’s what’s made them a good combo for the Riders down the stretch. Whatever they are seeing from the defence during any given game, Chris Jones has the option to make the switch from Glenn to Bridge if the pressure is becoming too much for Glenn to handle at this point in his career. While there are legitimate questions on whether Bridge should just start ahead of Glenn, since he’s seen a good chunk of the time when times got tough the last few weeks of the season. It’s clear that Jones isn’t going to do that and I don’t blame him, the setup he has with his pivots is working for the most part.
Last week, as it’s been all season against the Ottawa Redblacks, Glenn both started and finished the game. I still can’t wrap my head around Ottawa’s defensive game plan in the East Semifinal. More often than not, they rushed just three on first down and rarely was Glenn under any kind of pressure. If you give Glenn time, he’s going to have a good game and he did at TD Place.
Pressure has been the key to taking down Glenn to date, that’s pretty obvious based on what we’ve seen for the most part this season.
What we can be sure of this week against the Argos is that Toronto’s defensive coordinator Corey Chamblin won’t give Glenn that kind of time if he has his way. He’s already said as much. So now the pressure falls squarely on the Riders offensive line, which should line up the same as in the East semifinal.
If they can’t give Glenn time, then it will either be a long afternoon for the pivot or we’ll see Bridge before we know it. If that’s the case, the Riders better hope that Toronto’s offence hasn’t found their groove or it might be too late.
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