The Weekly Say: Is the Riders’ offence legit?

CFL

TORONTO — After struggling with the league’s worst passing attack the first two months of the season, the Riders’ air raid broke out in a Week 10 win over the Calgary Stampeders.

The Green and White piled up 270 passing yards against the league’s top defence, stunning the previously-undefeated Stamps. In the process, Zach Collaros flashed signs of his 2015 self in completing 25 of 34 passes, but also attacking Calgary’s defence vertically.

All the more, Shaq Evans and Jordan Williams-Lambert continue to emerge as dynamic receiving options, as the team’s young receivers step out of the shadow of recently-released star Duron Carter.

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With a dominant defence and an improving offence, things are looking up in Riderville — but is the team’s newfound offence sustainable or more of a one-off?

More in The Weekly Say.

The Riders’ offence vs. Calgary: Legit, or mirage?

Zach Collaros had his best game as a Rider in an upset win over the Stamps (Matt Smith/CFL.ca)

 

Matthew Cauz: I’m going with legit. You put up 381 yards against that defence, that’s pretty damn good in my books. I liked the fact that Collaros was not sacked and completed over 73 per cent of his passes.

Davis Sanchez: Legit.. they were solid, not great. I think that is what we can expect and they would expect as well.

Chris O’Leary: It leans toward legit but isn’t quite all the way there. Zach Collaros played well and Jordan Williams-Lambert had the game of his CFL life as the team moves past Duron Carter. Collaros also threw for zero TDs and the offence only had one touchdown. But it’s a start for the offence and something to build on.

Jamie Nye: It’s not like the Riders offence was unreal against Calgary. They still have room to improve and I think they do so. Zach Collaros looks more comfortable behind centre and, adding to the building chemistry with receivers, I think there are more positive steps to make in Saskatchewan.

Jim Morris: I think it was a bit of a mirage. Now if they do it Saturday night against the Lions I will be convinced.

Marshall Ferguson: Mirage, I’ll become a believer when they put together a couple games against Adam Bighill and the Bombers.

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The Riders' offence vs. Calgary: Legit or mirage?

Legit
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Mirage
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Is Shaq Cooper a threat to C.J. Gable’s job?

The Eskimos could have a running back battle brewing between C.J. Gable (pictured) and Shaq Cooper (Adam Gagnon/CFL.ca)

 

Cauz: Absolutely. This is nothing against Gable but he is 30 years old, has a long history of injuries and has already been sidelined this season. I think we will have a better idea after this week against Hamilton. If Gable is ready to go surely he will be motivated to play against his former team.

Sanchez: Sure. Any time you give somebody younger and cheaper a chance to show and they have some success they are always a threat. More likely they can use both.

Ferguson: What have you done for me lately? Gable has immense talent but the Eskimos will run with who is healthy and productive.

O’Leary: Two things to consider here. Shaq Cooper had a great game against the most welcoming defence in the league. Gable is the better pass protector, which always carries weight with coaches. A third thing: His production isn’t the same as it was when he joined Edmonton last season, but Gable is on pace to rush for 1,000 yards this year.

Morris: One game a career does not make. Let’s give him a couple more games and see what happens.

Nye: Not until his pass protection improves. Gable is so good in all three phases and with protecting Mike Reilly a high priority in Edmonton, I’d find it hard to believe the coaches will side with Cooper and give up better blocking, especially with the passing game far more important than the run game in Edmonton.

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Is Shaq Cooper any threat to C.J. Gable's job?

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Better chance of hosting a playoff game: Hamilton or Toronto?

The Ticats have played better than their record indicates, but now they’re in a tie with the Argos (Johany Jutras/CFL.ca)

 

Morris: I picked the Tiger-Cats to make the Eastern Final, so I say Hamilton. Eighty per cent confidence.

Ferguson: Hamilton, 80 per cent. They play three times in the second half. Hamilton has all the potential to own their destiny. The first half falters were either a painful sign of things to come or an anomaly that the Ticats will laugh at come November.

O’Leary: Hamilton, 70 per cent. They’re disappointed with their 3-5 start but the Ticats still seem like the more complete team as we hit the midpoint of the season.

Sanchez: Hamilton, 65 per cent.

Nye: Hamilton, 60 per cent. Without Ricky Ray wins will be hard to come by week in and week out, while Jeremiah Masoli has shown he can air it out and I believe, defensively, the Tiger-Cats have been much more consistent, which will be important when these teams face three times in the back half of the season.

Cauz: Hamilton, 60 per cent. Love what has happened the past two weeks for Toronto but eventually these last-moment wins can come back to haunt you. Hamilton is a far better team than the record would indicate.

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Which team has the better chance of hosting a playoff game?

Hamilton Tiger-Cats
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Toronto Argonauts
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