After a thrilling last-second field goal to earn their 3rd win of the season just five nights earlier, the Toronto Argonauts will head into Saskatchewan on Saturday night looking to stay in first place in the Eastern Conference. If Marc Trestman and his Boatmen are to continue their early season success, these will be the 5 keys to the game.
Take out the rambunctious crowd early.
The Argos have won two straight in Saskatchewan and four of the last five contest. A big reason for this is the Argos not being intimidated or overwhelmed by the sea of green often seen in the stadium. Some stadiums are naturally harder to play in then others, and Mosaic has always fit the bill. In order for Toronto to have success on Saturday night, their offense will need to put points up early and continue to protect the ball. If the Argos “Dreaded D” can cause some havoc as well, the Rider faithful may begin to lose hope.
Shut down Naaman Roosevelt.
It is rare in this day of age in the CFL to have one primary target who offense’s gameplan around. But that is exactly what the Riders have done with Roosevelt so far this season and rightfully so. Though his numbers may not suggest it, Roosevelt is still having a very productive season and could once again be the vocal point of the Riders offense on Saturday. The man likely tasked with stopping Roosevelt is Argos defensive back Johnny Sears Jr. who has been enjoying a nice bounce back season after coming over from Hamilton. Sears Jr. offers the size and physicality to knock any wideout off their route and disrupt many pass plays. The winner of this one-on-one match up will likely hep propel their team to a victory.
Let Ricky be Ricky
Though you likely don’t want your 37-year old QB to be throwing the ball 50+ times a game, if that is what it’s going to take to win the game, then so be it. Last week after it appeared the Argos were ready to run the ball all game, Ray ended up passing it 55 times including 16 times in the 4th quarter and 6 on the game winning drive. It is no secret that Trestman’s offense brings out the best in his players, regardless of age or ability and Toronto should roll with that. The Riders D is not very good at causing turnovers, with just 2 interceptions and 1 forced fumble on the year (Toronto had two FF and 1 INT in last weeks game alone). If Ricky can get on a roll with the plethora of weapons at his disposal, the Argos could begin to run away with this game.
D-line depth will be tested
Despite the win, last weeks game did come with some bad news. DE Victor Butler and DT Cleyon Laing both suffered knee injuries that will cause them to miss at least this weeks game and likely more. The Argos are likely to go with a committee approach to replace these stalwarts, which will mean lots of substitutions. DE Troy Davis was one the replacements last week and he didn’t disappoint, nabbing three tackles and a sack. Defensive linemen Jeffery Finley and Justin Tuggle will also need to step up in a big way to help take pressure of Mr. Lemon Drops, Shawn Lemon, and Dylan Wynn who hope to build on the Argos league leading sacks.
Make Kevin Glenn win the game
Some consider Kevin Glenn a Hall of Fame QB, and eclipsing 50,000 career passing yards last week certainly didn’t hurt his chances. But Kevin Glenn also has a tendency to throw the ball to the wrong team at very crucial points in the game. Glenn has thrown 4 interceptions this year already, and the Argos D will be looking to add to his total this Saturday. Argos LB Marcus Ball always seems to be in the right place at the right time, but has dropped multiple potential interceptions. Last week however he got his 1st of the season and Toronto can only hope that was like a shark smelling blood in the water, and more is to come. Glenn is a good quarterback and can make every throw, but he too often relies on his arm strength and makes a poor decision. The more often the game is on the line for Glenn and his Riders, the better it will be for the Argos.
Kickoff is at 6:30 EST and a win Saturday in Regina would ensure the Argos remain alone in first place in the East when they come home Thursday August 3rd to take on the Calgary Stampeders.
The Game Plan
|Kickoff:||6:30 PM ET||Mosaic Stadium|
|TV & Online:||TSN 1, 3, 4 / ESPN3 / TSN Go|
|Radio:||TSN 1050 & SirusXM 167|