What has caused this 4 game losing streak

Hey guys and gals I know I'm new here but have been posting for a few years now on a certain sports network forum using the same name. I have defended the Riders the best I can from all the trash talk that now fills those forums but honestly there is some truth to what some are saying.
I read the thread here about "what is your favorite thing about a four game winning streak" and looking at the replies which had very valid points and reasons for the team success.
Now here we are after four straight loses left scratching our heads in bewilderment as how a team that was fundamentally so sound become so bad? So I ask what has caused this Jekyll and hyde scenario that we are witnessing? Was the team over achieving or were other teams just that flat out of the gate? I would like to hear what others feel has lead to this 180 in performance,discipline,coaching and of course results.

Cortez' can't deal with the blitz.

Period.

That is the only reason for this losing streak.

Inconsistency from quarter to quarter, half to half (Been a problem all year)
Teams have adjusted and are sending more pressure (Bombers set the trend)
The loss of Kory Sheets, Rey Williams and Chris Best.
Off field distractions and resulting legal battles.

No.

It is the complete lack of ability to deal with a blitzing defense.

Riders D is still great. Riders o-line still makes blocks. Riders receivers still make circus catches. Durant is just forcing his throws and ignoring his reads because he has 1-1.5 seconds to throw the damn ball.

Period.

Deal with the blitz like all - I say ALL the other teams in the league do and all the other stuff goes away. Montreal blitzes EVERYBODY, all the time, and they have lost 8 games, some of them BADLY. Why do the Riders have so much trouble with them with all the talent that they have?

If it was a court case then the defense would suck too.

Injuries are a lame excuse, the depth chart is stacked deep. Calgary is banged up too.

It's the offensive scheme. It's BULL SHIT, and it's inexcusable. Fix it and everything else gets fixed too, because it's the root of EVERYTHING. Everything else is just symptoms. Fix the root and make the symptoms disappear. Don't fuck around wasting time trying to deal with all the symptoms.

Deal with the blitz and win games again. Simple.

Totally agree with Prairiedog .

Exactly. This team has gone away from what made them successful; running the football and having a balanced attack. Running the ball opens up the pass and slows down the pass rush. You cannot expect an offensive line to sit back and pass block for 40-50 plays and not give up sacks when teams are rushing 7 or 8 guys.

:thup:

That and Durant is either not recognizing blitz at all, or not audible at minimum...but those are all married with Cortez on some level as well.

It seems to me after the break a lot of the trouble started. They lost to Calgary and looked flat, then a couple of narrow wins but still seem to be lacking focus. could this be contributed to the off field issues? No doubt it has had some effect but to the extent that it may have divided the team a bit is what I'm wondering.
There just seems to be a lack of intensity or urgency on offense. When they were winning the O line was firing off the line opening holes for Sheets but again after the break and Sheets was still playing this wasn't happening.

The bad part is we're finding out the hard way we don;t have the depth we first thought.

Best - sorely missed at guard. We haven't been able to fill that spot. I think if Neufeld can get healthy and back to tackle you can put Heenan at right guard. But the changes to the O-line just have not gone well.

Sheets - apparent we don;t have any depth at RB behind Sheets.

Rey - McCullough looked okay last week. But maybe the field general is gone and nobody has stepped up. That is why I really want to see the D line take charge. Loaded with vets up front and they need to help their LB's and DB's. Too many vets in that group to not takeover games.

So we have depth problems. People going down and the next guy stepping in isn;t happening. That is the GM and scout? Everyone is sounding off on coach Cortez and the coaches............how about the guys that bring in the talent.

New DB - we signed some NFL cut and he comes with 3 yrs experience in the CFL. That is not bad and we'll what he can bring. But Russ, Prince Miller and Carlos Thomas have not overwhelmed? Need Macho back from injury. Anderson and Maze are playing well but we need that 5 guy unit playing better on a consistent basis.

Off field - yes. Happy that all has died down but it is still there.

And offensively they need to figure out a blitz read. Sorry but 4 games straight they just look deer in headlights. BC will bring it hard because everyone has had great success blitzing us with ridiculous amounts of guys.......7-8 guys sometimes! Think of the space behind the blitz?????? They just have not answered it. Now confiedence is way down and this might be the biggest probelm of all because they get desperate and try to do too much, DD alot of INT's all of a sudden.

I don't think you're giving my Als the credit they deserve. Yes, we have lost 8 games, but the D has NOT been the reason we lost. We have killed ourselves with turnovers and penalties, ST has been an issue, and the offense has been horrid. That's why we've lost. The D has kept us in games week in and week out. On Sunday, our offense protected the football well for once (barring the Messam fumble) and we won the turnover battle to squeak by you guys on the last play of the game. Like I said in the game thread, both Ds played well, but we did just a little bit more to win, just like you did a little bit more to win when we faced you in Regina. :wink:

If the Als had blown you out on Sunday, I would understand the concern, but they didn't. You lost a close game to a desperate team on the road. It sucks because it's your fourth consecutive loss, but Cortez is too good a football mind to stay mired in this coaching slump (yes, coaches have slumps too, just like players). As an Als fan, I saw him run Hamilton's offense last year and he is absolutely capable of using the screen game to blunt QB pressure / blitzing. The man knows offense and he didn't suddenly lose his football acumen overnight. He'll right the ship IMO.

The thing is though the Riders have played and lost 4 straight not to teams that has their starting quarter back but 2nd and 3rd string quarter backs. That just shouldn't happen and is not acceptable. Yes the games were close but if those teams had their starting quarter backs then things could have been really ugly. It doesn't matter if it's a loss by one or 10 points they all still add up.
Sure the opposing teams have been desperate but so should have been the Rider's, especially the BC game and the Al's game. Their place at the top had been taken from them and facing the Lions that was a very important game. The Al's game was also important as they have a short week and face the Lions again so getting the points from the Al's game would have helped. so not really buying the "other teams were desperate" arguement.

Je n'ai pas suivi les parties des Roughriders d'aussi près cette saison que par les années passées, mais pour moi, l'élément-clé est la blessure à Sheets.

L'efficacité de Sheets permettait d'enlever une partie du fardeau de l'attaque des épaules de Durant. En ayant une attaque comportant beaucoup de jeux au sol, les défensives adverses ne pouvaient pas se fier au blitz pour déranger Durant. Mais ce n'était possible qu'avec la présence d'un porteur de ballon hors-pair comme Sheets. Or, ceux qui l'ont remplacé n'ont pas été près d'avoir la même efficacité.

Une fois Sheets parti, les Roughriders ont dû s'en remettre à plus de jeux aériens. C'est là que les choses se sont vraiment compliquées car toutes les équipes connaissent la tendance de Durant à forcer le jeu lorsqu'il est soumis à beaucoup de pression. Durant n'avait lancé aucune interception avant le mois de septembre. Il en maintenant 8. Disons 7 parce que celle que Brown lui a prise dimanche relève du miracle. Mais c'est une indication que le changement à l'attaque qu'a forcé la blessure de Sheets a eu un impact sur le terrain.

On dit que les blessures ne doivent pas être une explication, mais il vient un temps où elles peuvent être une explication très valable.

En terminant, je dirais qu'un des points tournants a peut-être été la première partie entre les Alouettes et les Roughriders. Lors de cette partie, les Alouettes avaient bien maîtrisé Sheets et par le fait même, réussi à demeurer dans la partie même si, selon toute vraisemblance, on s'attendait à un massacre par les Roughriders. Cette prestation des Alouettes a pavé la voie aux autres équipes sur une stratégie efficace pour contrer l'attaque des Roughriders, dont les effets se sont amplifiés lorsque Sheets s'est blessé.

Riders are in for a surprise when the 1st string starters come back for the playoffs.

when is Cortez on the field? Durant can't handle the blitz because he takes forever to find his receivers

Cortez was calling nothing but long balls. a 15 -20 yard pass takes 3-4 seconds to progress. That is not Durant's decision to call those plays, and in fact you could see him shaking his head at Cortez on some of those. Durant was not getting 3 seconds so there is no chance of those plays working, and he was going to get hit almost every time. Further, when you see DD look at the sideline rotating his hands...that is him saying lets run no huddle, because A- he is calling a better game, and B- the defensive package on the field is what they want to go up against. Not a coincidence that when they started passing over the middle in those games and doing quick passes they moved the ball. Not a coincidence that they did a pile of that against BC and not only won, but Durant looked good. Setting a CFL record for most pass attempts in 3 games doesn't help either. That is ALL Cortez, not the QB.