Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 4)

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The Saskatchewan Roughriders are the team that every other team in the CFL aspires to be as they are home to the biggest fan base in the league.

The province loves their team and during football season the entire area turns green with pride. They how up everywhere the Riders play and when Grey Cup comes along Rider House is consistently packed.

Along with that fan base comes a lot of pressure though as the Riders are expected to be the best team every year.

That hasn’t necessarily been the case over the last few years though as the Riders have struggled to get back to their Grey Cup championship team in 2013.

Last year they looked to be on the right track as they started the year strong but when Darian Durant went down in the Banjo Bowl the team limped into the playoffs and fell short of returning to the Grey Cup.

This year the expectations were high again as Durant was back and ready to lead a team with better receivers and a great defence.

Then disaster struck as Durant went down only one half into the first game of the year. After throwing a pass Durant stepped the wrong way and blew his Achilles heel which ended his season.

The Riders had brought in an insurance policy in the off-season though as they signed Kevin Glenn, the ultimate CFL backup.

The signing so far has not worked out though as the Riders are at the bottom of the league after four weeks.

Glenn has not been able to get the Riders in the win column this year and this week it continued when he just couldn’t get them past the Lions.

BC went ahead early while the Riders attempted a comeback to no avail as the Lions held them off.

The loss was the fourth straight for the Riders and sent many to the drawing board to figure out what is wrong with the team.

There are plenty of things the Riders are not doing well but it all comes down to one big issue that the Riders need to figure out.

That is that the Riders are clearly a team that relies too much on their quarterback to set things right.

Yes, a quarterback is often the most important player on a team but when a quarterback goes down the team can’t crumble.

Injuries are a fact of sports and when a team is built so much around one player the injury of that player can end any hopes of a successful year.football-sidebar

Other teams have seen it before, just ask the Argos what happens when Chad Owens is out of the lineup.

For the Riders that player has been Durant who is clearly the linchpin of the team. It is not even that he necessarily carries the team with amazing play but there is something about him that changes the team.

Last year the Riders were not a throwing team as they kept it on the ground more often than not.

So when Durant went down not much should have changed as the rushing game should have still been solid.

Instead the Riders team changed and fell off of their pace with a new quarterback as everything seemed to fall apart.

This year it has been much of the same as Durant lasted a half of football before the Riders had to rethink.

Even with Glenn at the helm, an experienced quarterback, the Riders can’t get a win.

They may still be adjusting and still have time to get back into the fight in the West but if they can’t figure it out and they are forced to wait for a healthy Durant to return in 2016 the team is in a lot more trouble than one losing season.

Durant needs to be an important part of the team but he cannot be the team as a search for a true young star might be in their best interest for the future of the Riders.

Durant is not getting any younger and two devastating injuries in two years are not going to help his longevity in this game.

If the Riders can’t find some way of winning consistently without him the entire staff won’t be around too much longer.

Fourth Down:
(Thoughts on Week 4 in the CFL)

Riders Making Moves
This week the Riders lost another piece of the team with Weldon Brown out for the season after an injury but gained one when they signed Geoff Tisdale who was recently released from Montreal

Lions add Canadian Depth
The Lions continued to build on their great defence with the addition of Canadian safety Eric Fraser who played with the Ottawa REDBLACKS last season and now will join an already good Lions team

Grigsby Released
Nic Grigsby was a massive breakout star in 2015 but everything went south quickly when the Blue Bombers decided to start Paris Cotton and Grigsby made his thoughts known, from there he went to Hamilton and now has no team as a promising back is left out

standings-w4.fw

Week 4 Scores:
Montreal Alouettes 17 – 13 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
– The Alouettes were ready to take on a true test in their own division as Rakeem Cato was going to face a great defence in Hamilton and he proved once again that he is ready to be a star in the CFL with a win over the Ti-Cats

Edmonton Eskimos 23 – 12 Ottawa REDBLACKS
– The great start to the REDBLACKS season came to a crashing end in Week 3 when the Eskimos handed them their first loss and it was déjà vu this time around as the REDBLACKS took another loss to the Esks evening their record and preventing their third win

BC Lions 27 – 24 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Riders continue to struggle this season as they took another loss to the Lions in a home and home despite a comeback bid where they scored 13 points in the fourth quarter as the Lions returned to being the team fans are used to

Calgary Stampeders 26 – 25 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
– The defending champions have had a rough start to the year losing their last two games but they were able to squeeze by the Bombers who went ahead early but had no answer for the late surge of Jon Cornish

Week 5 Matchups:
Calgary Stampeders vs. Ottawa REDBLACKS (Friday July 24th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Stamps are trying to continue their strong effort from Week 4 as they head into what will likely be another sold out crowd in Ottawa who themselves are  trying to make steps forward as they hope to get their third win of the season, one more than all of last year

Toronto Argonauts vs. BC Lions (Friday July 24th; 10:00 pm ET)
– The Argonauts are back to work after a week off and once again they find themselves on the road this time against the Lions who have looked great this year with the return of Travis Lulay as he looks to lead the Lions to a win against the Argos

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Edmonton Eskimos (Saturday July 25th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Eskimos are still recovering from a terrible first week performance but are doing it well with two straight wins against Ottawa and now they take on the Bombers who are trying to get a win after a few close calls

Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Sunday July 26th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Ti-Cats had a good game in Week 4 but still were beaten by a rookie QB now they take on a veteran in Glenn who will try to get the Riders’ their first win of the season and make their way back to the top of the West

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