WEEK 8 | STRONG FAN SHOWING; UNWANTED OUTCOME IN TOUCHDOWN ATLANTIC
In Week 8, the Saskatchewan Roughriders faced their biggest challenge yet – an encounter with the undefeated Toronto Argonauts in Halifax’s highly anticipated Touchdown Atlantic game. Unfortunately for the Roughriders, history repeated itself, and they fell short against the Argonauts for the second straight year in Nova Scotia, with a final score of 31-13. The loss marked the Roughriders’ third consecutive defeat this season.
HIGH YARDS, LOW SCORING
Saskatchewan’s offensive struggles persisted during the game, particularly in the passing game. Quarterback Mason Fine, making his second start of the season instead of the injured Trevor Harris, faced a formidable Argonauts defence that held the Riders’ offence to just one touchdown and forced two interceptions. Despite Fine’s impressive 302 passing yards, his inability to find the end zone remained a concern.
Backup quarterback Jake Dolegala provided a brief spark when he entered the game late, leading the team to its only touchdown of the night. However, it was too little too late, as the Argonauts had already secured a significant lead by that point.
FAN SENTIMENT REFLECT MIXED EMOTIONS
After the tough loss, Rider fans took to social media to share their emotions. Despite the 3-game losing streak, Rider fans had many positive things to say, including the incredible support that showed up in Halifax to support the Roughriders. Roughrider fans sure noticed the green and white cheering on their Riders. Further, fans believe the defence is playing great this year and that the backup to Fine also made a strong appearance.
The word cloud for their Week 8 performance was a mix of fan reactions depicting disappointment, frustration, and concern. While some fans expressed their discontent with the team’s performance, others acknowledged the potential displayed by Mason Fine and maintained their faith in the team’s ability to rebound.
EVALUATING STRENGTHS AND AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT
Based on the updated statistics and fan sentiments, the Roughriders’ top strengths and areas for improvement have evolved since the previous week. Here’s a breakdown of how fans currently perceive the team:
Top 3 Strengths:
- Defensive Line (33%): The defensive line’s dominant performance remains a bright spot for the Roughriders. With their ability to register quarterback sacks and force turnovers, the defence remains formidable on the field.
- Special Teams (20%): Saskatchewan’s special teams unit, led by the impressive Mario Alford, remains a game-changer. Alford’s punt returns provide valuable field position and momentum for the team.
- Defending the Pass (17%): The Roughriders’ pass defence, led by a skilled group of defensive backs, has proven to limit opponents’ passing game.
Top 3 Areas for Improvement:
- Stopping the Run (41%): Fans have identified stopping the run as a significant area for improvement. The Roughriders must address this concern to limit opponents’ rushing yards effectively.
- Defending the Pass (29%): While the pass defence is considered a strength, fans recognize that further improvement is necessary to enhance overall defensive performance.
- Turnovers (27%): The team’s ability to secure possession and limit turnovers remains crucial for maintaining a competitive edge.
GREY CUP CONFIDENCE INDEX (GCCI) – WEEK 8
Following the challenging game against the Argonauts, the Roughriders’ Grey Cup Confidence Index (GCCI) stands at -147. Despite this setback, fans remain hopeful that the team’s potential, combined with Mason Fine’s growth as the starting quarterback, will position them for success in the pursuit of the Grey Cup.
FAN MAIL: HEY, COACH!
This week, we asked Roughrider fans if they could give Coach Dickenson a piece of advice. What would it be? Things like offensive line concerns, exploring the quarterback rotation, building player confidence and discipline, efficient play calling and supporting the team were common among their feedback. Here’s a breakdown of their feedback:
LOOKING AHEAD AT WEEK 9
As the Roughriders prepare for their upcoming matchup against the Ottawa Redblacks, fans eagerly await the team’s response. The Redblacks’ visit to Mosaic Stadium presents an opportunity for the Roughriders to bounce back and regain momentum in the CFL season.
While the road ahead may be challenging, Rider fans’ unwavering support and belief in their team’s potential will undoubtedly continue to fuel the Roughriders’ pursuit of success. As they face adversity, the team’s determination to improve and adapt will play a pivotal role in shaping their season’s outcome.
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