For only the second time this year, the Riders will try to win their second game in a row as they take on the Lions at B.C. Place in Vancouver.
Even though the Riders come into the game with a 2-11 record, they remain mathematically alive in the playoff chase. Thanks to the Ottawa Redblacks beating the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday and a Rider win – the talk of a “miracle” run to the playoffs could actually be on the table in Saskatchewan.
“They know this is a great opportunity because they know this is a team right in front us,” said interim head coach Bob Dyce who feels his team’s confidence is starting to grow.
“The light at the tunnel is a little bit brighter that amps it up a little bit more.”
Even with a victory over the Lions, the Riders face an incredible steep hill to reach the playoffs for the fourth-straight season. The Riders have already lost the season series to the Lions and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, meaning both of those teams hold the tie-breaker over them should they finish with the same number of wins.
The crossover is also in play with the Alouettes sitting at five wins on the season.
Not only do the Riders need those teams to lose a lot of football games, they need to win at least four of their last five – if not all five – to have a chance. That in itself won’t be an easy task for with trips to Hamilton, Calgary and Montreal, along with a home game against Edmonton, on the horizon. That’s not an easy schedule for any team, let alone one with just two wins on the season.
However, the team isn’t looking that far down the road.
“You have to be locked in on your focusing in on this week,” said Dyce.
“I don’t think it’s that they don’t know the situation. I never say that, I never say that we don’t know the situation that we’re in. We just have to focus on the opponent we face that week.”
A NEW QB
One thing the Riders had to focus in on this week was a quarterback they haven’t seen live in a Lions uniform.
Jonathon Jennings will make his second career CFL start on Saturday afternoon and his first against the Riders.
“He’s been on the road against two good teams. This will be his first start here,” said Lions head coach Jeff Tedford.
“I don’t think it really matters the circumstances because you have to treat every circumstance the same.”
The Riders won’t have a whole to go off of when it comes to Jennings. Because of that, the focus this week has been more on learning about the overall scheme they think the Lions will roll out offensively rather than what the first year quarterback may or may not know.
The good news for the Riders is they know the Lions’ offensive coordinator quite well.
“(George) Cortez is a great offensive coordinator. We’re familiar with his style of play,” said defensive back Macho Harris.
“We just got to focus on film study and continue to pick up on tendencies.”
After making no changes last week, the Riders have tinkered with their lineup for this one.
Added to the 46-man roster:
-Linebacker Jake Doughty
-Offensive lineman Levy Adcock
-Defensive lineman Tim Agbaje
Removed from the 46-man roster:
-Running back Steven Miller (released)
-Fullback Matt Rea
-Defensive lineman Rory Connop
Kick-off is at 5 p.m. on TSN.
The Green Zone 10-Hour Game Day begins at 1 p.m. on News Talk Radio with Game Day with Wray followed by the Green Zone Pre-Game Show.
During the game, stay up-to-date and entertained with Scotty and the King on the Fan Zone.
After the game, it’s your turn to be the star by calling the Green Zone Post-Game Show at 1-877-300-7275.