WEEK 18 | UPHILL BATTLE FOR THE RIDERS
Greetings Rider Nation! Week 18 brought another challenging match for our Saskatchewan Roughriders, this time against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Let’s dive into the game’s dynamics and evaluate the team’s performance.
DEFENSIVE STRUGGLES PERSIST
The Tiger-Cats’ air attack proved a significant hurdle for the Riders. Bo Levi Mitchell and Matthew Shiltz combined for an impressive 400 passing yards, exposing vulnerabilities in the Riders’ pass defence. Returning from injury, Mitchell showcased his prowess early, throwing for 129 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter alone. Shiltz continued the onslaught, completing 16 of 19 passes for 271 yards and two touchdowns.
The Riders’ offence faced difficulty sustaining drives, resulting in stalled plays and turnovers. Quarterback Jake Dolegala threw for 154 yards, completing 16 of 25 passes and enduring three sacks. The unit struggled to find rhythm and consistency, emphasizing the need for improvement in offensive execution.
STRENGTHS AND AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
Let’s assess the updated statistics to shed light on the strengths and areas demanding improvement for our beloved Riders in Week 18.
Top 3 Strengths:
- Special Teams (24%): The Riders’ special teams continue to demonstrate proficiency, maintaining consistency even in the face of adversity.
- Offensive Running Game (18%): Despite challenges, the running game showcased moments of effectiveness, led by Jamal Morrow’s impressive 120 yards and a crucial touchdown.
- Team Chemistry (13%): Building synergy among players remains crucial for the team’s success.
Top 3 Areas of Improvement:
- Defending the Pass (47%): The pass defence faced significant challenges, demanding a concerted effort to tighten coverage and limit opponents’ aerial attacks.
- Defensive Line (39%): The defensive line must focus on exerting pressure and disrupting opponents’ offensive plays, particularly in pass-rushing situations.
- Offensive Line (39%): Protecting the quarterback and opening running lanes are essential for the offence to operate effectively.
GREY CUP CONFIDENCE INDEX: -165
The Riders’ Grey Cup Confidence Index maintains a challenging position, underscoring their uphill battle. Resilience and strategic adjustments are imperative to regain confidence and momentum.
FAN SENTIMENT WORD CLOUD
Following the disappointing loss to the Tiger-Cats, fan sentiment reflects mixed emotions. Terms like “Embarrassing,” “Frustrating,” and “Disgusting” now dominate the word cloud, mirroring the disappointment among Rider Nation.
With the Riders’ record now at 6-10, finding solutions to the ongoing challenges becomes even more pressing. The upcoming clash with the Calgary Stampeders presents an opportunity to regroup and refocus. Rider Nation’s unwavering support remains crucial in steering the team towards success.
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