So what are the keys to beating WPG? Last game in Week 7, no offensive touchdowns and Milo kicks 3 for 5 on field goals. We know Etcheverry runs a crazy style defence with different formations and schemes to confuse QB's, and it worked on Durant. Only 115 yards passing. The two keys to beating WPG last game was pounding Messam through the middle in the second half, and not one, but TWO defensive touchdowns.... We all know that 2 defensive touchdowns does not happen every week in the CFL.
I think defensively, the Bombers will gameplan heavily to try stop the run of the Riders.. If Durant's hand is not 100% and it affects his ability to throw the deep ball, do the Winnipeg DB's cheat a bit to help plug things up more? Or do the Riders counter with Sunseri, who showed us last week that a deep threat can stretch defenses out? It has been written in this forum that the Riders and Cortez does not address the blitz very well... And no deep threat doesn't help that aspect either...
IMO, the Riders are going to need quick hitters, and hitch screens to the wide sides of the field to get the WPG Defence spread out. Use Ford's speed to run outside, use Allen or Messam (or both) to run up the gut. And maybe run some double back sets with both those guys to keep the defence guessing as to who may get the ball. Maybe with all the injuries at FB, Messam or Allen could get used as an FB? Maybe, just maybe, they could do a nice little end around play to that newly signed SB wearing #7. A successful end around play could also open up a trick play with a reverse to catch the defence going the wrong way - start the end around one direction and do a double hand off... I'm not an offensive genius by all means, but I think the key is to get the WPG defence spread out. Then the middle can be opened up and attacked..,
The Other key will be for the Riders to finish off drives.. Over the last few weeks, they seem to move the ball decently downfield at key points in the game, but fail to punch it in. If they are going to continue to have success and take the next step towards becoming a Championship Team, the offence has to start scoring more than 2 Touchdowns in 50+ possessions
On teams, I think with some of the injuries to teams players, they will need Bartel to angle punt toward sidelines to help cover teams limit the damage on kick returns
Defensively, they need to keep doing what they are doing! And contain Grigsby. If they can make Willy one dimensional with pass only (like they did in WPG) they increase their odds of success.
Lastly, if the Riders can get a fast start to get the Labor Day crowd going, it could be a long day for Willy. If you can get him trying to force the ball downfield, he will likely make mistakes as he did last game.
Once again, I will make no predictions. Since I have stopped making predictions, the Riders are 5 wins and 0 losses! So I'm not about to jinx that streak!