In the end it was an anemic Roughrider offence and an elusive rookie quarterback that ended the Roughriders four game winning streak with a 19-14 loss to Montreal.
Vernon Adams Jr. did not prove to be the best pocket passer, completing just 11 of 24 passes for 177 yards but he was certainly quick on his feet evading the Roughriders defence all game long.
“I thought he did a good job getting out the pocket, I thought we could have done a better job containing,” linebacker Greg Jones said after the game.
“That’s one of the things we talked about earlier this week is that we need to tackle this guy, get him on the ground.”
It’s not that the Riders didn’t get to Adams at all, in fact, AC Leonard and Willie Jefferson each sacked him twice, and Henoc Muamba and Kacey Rodgers each got to him once – it’s just that there were so many other opportunities to wrap him up that Adams Jr. turned into vital completed passes or first downs.
It was something the head coach Chris Jones was worried about when they found out they would be facing Adams and something he saw in the tape they watched of his preseason play.
“You can’t be out there freewheeling, you have to know where these (quarterbacks) are and you got to keep them in the pocket because if they beat you in the pocket, so be it, but let’s don’t let them get out there where they have their comfort zone,” he said.
But the Rider struggles didn’t end there. After a first half that ended with a score of 6 to 5, the Riders remained scoreless through the third quarter, not getting a touchdown until well into the fourth.
Darian Durant went 25 of 27 for 208 yards passing. He also ran in the Riders only touchdown, but he admitted the team didn’t have the production they would have liked to have.
“I think there (are) a lot of factors that came into play today, but we just got whipped as an offence. We had our defence on the field way too much … we just couldn’t move the ball,” Durant said.
Adding to the trouble, the offensive line had issues keeping Darian Durant protected. He was sacked five times during the game, just one less than Adams Jr.
Left tackle Thaddeus Coleman said the frustrating part was that the Montreal defence didn’t show them anything they weren’t expecting.
“They ran some good stuff, some good blitzes and we didn’t pick them up like we usually would,” Coleman said. “We just didn’t pick it up plain and simple. No excuses, we got to do a better job.”
The Roughriders play their last game at old Mosaic Stadium next Saturday against B.C.
They resume practicing on Tuesday.
- Joe McKnight had another strong performance getting a combined 134 yards – 62 rushing and 81 receiving. He was also at the heart of a controversial helmet-to-helmet hit at the end of the game that wasn’t called. McKnight was unavailable for interviews after the game ended and head coach Chris Jones said he didn’t have an injury update.
- Montreal’s defence forced five fumbles throughout the game.
- Tevaughn Campbell notched his first interception of the season.