Huge, if true: Riders offensive line key to Eastern Final success

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.

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson

Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.
Joel Gasson
Joel Gasson
About Joel Gasson (187 Articles)
Joel Gasson is a Regina-based sports writer, broadcaster and football fanatic.

6 Comments on Huge, if true: Riders offensive line key to Eastern Final success

  1. greenonions // November 18, 2017 at 3:21 pm //

    Very true, Captain Obvious. The Argos have an excellent D line. But the same could be said of the Argos O line. Ricky’s been under pressure all year. The difference is 50 sacks Argos, 27 Riders. The Double Blue has more success getting it done. Still – should be a close game. I don’t think either team is a pushover & both are well coached.

    • You can’t make a direct comparison in the amount of pressures given that the Riders use a 3 man front and only send 4 or more about 25% of the time. The Riders rely on limiting yardage on 1st down using those extra linebackers in coverage and takeaways to replace pressure on the quarterback. So while you point out that Argos have 50 sacks to the Riders’ 27, I point out that the Riders have 40 takeaways to the Argos’ 28, and the Riders are +12 in the giveaway takeaway category while the Argos are -3.

      And the Riders have Bridge to mitigate the Argos’ pressure while the only way to mitigate the Riders’ takeaway ability is to take few chances downfield or with intermediate passes, which means the short passing game, which would only play in to the Riders’ defense’s hands. The Argos managed to sack Bridge all of once in that game in Toronto that Bridge played.

      I expect we see Bridge relatively early in the game, and Argos’ defensive success against Bridge, if it comes, won’t really come from QB pressure.

  2. Now that’s a damn fine but of math! Goooooo Riders!!!

  3. Sources Say // November 18, 2017 at 5:39 pm //

    Can somebody please explain what Ottawa’s DC was thinking???

  4. stroker2007 // November 19, 2017 at 1:51 am //

    After Willie and dem boyz beat the shit out of ricky ray they need to put in who?figaro,good luck with that one

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