Well fifteen weeks are currently in the books and the Saskatchewan Roughriders find themselves at the top spot of the CFL Western Conference standings. They currently sit tied with the Calgary Stampeders for best record in the West at 8-6, but due to the tie breaker rules, the Roughriders are at the top spot with the Stampeders right behind.
The Roughriders beat the Toronto Argonauts on Thanksgiving day weekend (in Canada) by a score of 32-22. Roughriders' quarterback Darian Durant had what was probably his best game of the season as he threw for almost 200 yards and 3 touchdowns on 14-23 attempts. The Argo quarterbacks on the other hand did not fair as well. Kerry Joseph got the start, but both QB's played. They combined for 116 yards and 1 interception with no touchdowns on 13-28 attempts.
Both teams' run games did well as the Argo rushers combined for 145 yards with Jamal Robertson getting the most at 14 carries for 86 yards. The Riders' rushing game was also balanced among different players as they ran for 156 yards, with Wes Cates getting the bulk of the carries with 17 which resulted in 80 yards.
The biggest story of the game however was probably not the Roughriders at the top spot in the west. Unfortunately, it was the fact that the Riders' best offensive player Weston Dressler will be out for the rest of the season with a broken fibula and a severely sprained ankle.
Coach Ken Miller announced that non-import receiver Adam Nicolson will be taking his spot in the starting rotation which leaves some fans wondering why him, and not Jason Clermont. Although Clermont, the former 1000+ yard receiver won't be a starter, I'm sure he will play a lot more after the injury to Dressler.
Special teams had it's ups and downs for the Riders on Saturday. Jason Armstead had his best game as a Rider this season with 2 kick returns for 93 yards for a 46.5 average and had 5 punt returns for 67 yards for a 13.7 yard average. Luca Congi was 1-1 on field goals as well. The part of the special teams that didn't go well was kickoffs and punts. With Jamie Boreham out with injury Luca Congi handled the kickoffs and punts and did not do a very good job. He had 5 punts for an average of 26.8 yards which leaves Rider fans quite concerned.
With Weston Dressler out, rumors have been spreading that the Riders will either sign a big import offensive lineman, an import punter who can really boot the ball, or re-sign receiver Matt Dominguez back to the team. No matter which one they do, it should help better the team.
It will be a clash of the titans next week as the two teams at the top of the Western conference will play at McMahon Stadium. The Saskatchewan Roughriders will be in Calgary to face the Stampeders on Saturday October 17th.