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Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Far too often throughout the latter half of the 2013 season, the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ early-game offensive struggles partially masked their greatest strengths.

Particularly after Alex Hall arrived in a mid-season trade, the ‘Riders were built ideally to hold leads. The defence boasted enough elite pass-rushers to pressure quarterbacks while leaving plenty of extra coverage to . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Last week, I noted that the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ semi-final win against B.C. reflected a team just barely adjusting to an opponent who thoroughly neutralized its strengths. But in case there was any doubt whether the ‘Riders could play exactly their preferred type of game against a playoff-ready opponent, Sunday’s win over Calgary should put that . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Ideally, a football team would hope to be able to win on its own terms in the playoffs. But that wasn’t to be for the Saskatchewan Roughriders in their semi-final matchup against the B.C. Lions.

The ‘Riders’ greatest strength through the second half of the season was a devastating pass rush which forced sacks and . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Obviously the final two games of the 2013 regular season didn’t go the Saskatchewwn Roughriders’ way. But they did seem to offer a clear indication what the ‘Riders will need to do in order to advance in the playoffs.

For the ‘Riders’ defence, the issue the last couple of weeks seems to have been largely . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Halfway through the first quarter of last weekend’s contest against B.C., nobody would have been surprised to learn that the game would be decided by a team giving the ball away repeatedly until it dug a hole too deep to escape. But the ultimate outcome would have been rather more unexpected.

After a couple of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

In some ways, CFL wins don’t get much uglier than the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ narrow victory over Edmonton on Saturday. But while a 14-9 slugfest may have continued to emphasize the ‘Riders’ weaknesses as the regular season draws to a close, it also allowed plenty of room to notice the team’s strengths.

Through most of the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

After a few weeks of maddeningly bad luck, the Saskatchewan Roughriders desperately needed a win against B.C. to stay in the race for a top-two position in the West. And last Friday’s victory signalled that the ‘Riders can win in a game where the breaks mostly even out.

Yes, Saskatchewan benefited from three interceptions . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Early in the season, the Saskatchewan Roughriders frequently dug themselves into a hole at the beginning of a game, only to pile up just enough points at the end to emerge victorious.

But that kind of luck can only last for so long. And Sunday’s loss in Montreal provided an all-too-vivid example of the dangers . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Earlier in the 2013 season, the Saskatchewan Roughriders looked like they could control games with a ruthlessly efficient offence.

Two thirds of the way through the season, that theory seems to have broken down – with last week’s loss to B.C. serving as just the latest evidence. But the Lions did leave some opportunities open . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Afternoon ‘Rider Blogging

It would be nice to be able to blame the ‘Riders’ latest loss on injuries hitting a few more of the team’s key players. But that excuse would ring rather hollow against an opponent missing the CFL’s defending Most Outstanding Player and its top starting quarterback – particularly at the point in the season where . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Afternoon ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Needless to say, last weekend’s result against Winnipeg was far from what ‘Rider fans would have hoped for to start the second half of the 2013 season. And it’s particularly worth noting how a few strengths seem to have been lost just when they were needed most.

In last week’s post, I noted that Saskatchewan’s . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon ‘Rider Blogging

Once again, the Saskatchewan Roughriders faced a significant challenge from a team at the bottom of the CFL’s standings in last weekend’s Labour Day Classic. But once again, the ‘Riders emerged on top – finishing the first half of the 2013 season with an 8-1 record. And perhaps more importantly, one of the keys against . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Friday Afternoon ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Yes, Saturday’s Roughrider win over Edmonton represented another narrow victory over a seemingly struggling team. But otherwise it couldn’t have been much more different from the team’s previous game against Montreal. And the ‘Riders will need to figure out whether Edmonton has found a formula which more-talented opponents can copy, or whether its go-for-broke approach . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Thursday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Last week, I wrote this about the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ upcoming schedule: Of course, the next few games may seem to be ones where the ‘Riders can afford to experiment somewhat. And hopefully the team can keep up enough focus against a few reeling opponents to stay in the win column even if the breaks don’t . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Obviously Friday’s result against Calgary wasn’t what the Saskatchewan Roughriders hoped for – particularly since it means having only one game of separation from third place in the CFL’s West Division. But it’s worth noting that most of the problems against the Stampeders were simply a matter of the inevitable ebb and flow of luck . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Just two games ago, I noted that there was still one major question facing the Saskatchewan Roughriders: whether the team’s offence could function without Darian Durant at the controls. But at most one week later than might have been ideal, we seem to have our answer.

No, Drew Willy isn’t anywhere close to Durant’s comfort . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Needless to say, there isn’t much to question after a performance like the ‘Riders romp over Hamilton yesterday. But I’ll point out a couple of aspects of the ‘Riders’ recent play which may mean far more than the numbers receiving the most attention so far.

On that front, while “no turnovers in four games!” and . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Last week, I noted that even after a 2-0 start, the Saskatchewan Roughriders might be one injury away from some serious problems. And another impressive win later, that number may be down to zero.

But there are a few ways the ‘Riders can handle the late-game injury to Darian Durant. And I wonder whether the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Two games into the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ regular season, the “experienced team starting quickly” theory is looking fairly solid. But let’s take a look at what’s gone better than expected – as well as where there may be room for concern.

To start with, a couple of areas which looked like possible weaknesses have proven to . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon ‘Rider Blogging

I was going to post about the ‘Riders’ offseason…until Stephen LaRose said pretty much everything I planned to say. So instead, I’ll stick to pointing out where I’d question or clarify LaRose’s take.

Simply put, I think he’s right to compare the current ‘Rider team to the 1976 version as a needlessly old group assembled . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Assorted content for your weekend reading.

– Raz Godelnik challenges the all-too-conventional wisdom that corporations (and indeed individuals) should see tax avoidance and evasion as virtues: One of the most common arguments is that the tax-avoidance techniques used by corporations like Starbucks or Google are legal and therefore they’re not to be blamed, but the . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Saturday Afternoon Links

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon ‘Rider Blogging

Since I haven’t had a chance to post after the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ last two (mostly meaningless) regular-season games, I’ll quickly preview today’s West semi-final in Calgary.To start with, it’s always an open question as to whether Darian Durant… . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Afternoon ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

There were certainly some bright spots in the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ loss to Montreal yesterday, as is normally the case when a team has chance to win late against one of the CFL’s elite competitors. But the sad part of yesterday’s loss was that the ‘Riders missed a number of obvious opportunities which could easily have . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

No, the most important factor in the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ loss to Edmonton shouldn’t come as much surprise.

As I noted last week, the Eskimos are one of a few CFL teams plainly built around a model of forcing and capitalizing on turnovers. And on Saturday, the ‘Riders obliged by handing Edmonton the ball in scoring . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: Monday Morning ‘Rider Blogging

Accidental Deliberations: #withoutanewstadium

I’ve written plenty about Regina’s municipal election over the past few days. But I’ll take some time to encourage readers to join the conversation as early voting approaches.

With the City having released a stadium design concept at the start of the election campaign, it’s been far too easy to fall into the trap of . . . → Read More: Accidental Deliberations: #withoutanewstadium