We in the media are sometimes criticized by football coaches for putting too much emphasis on defensive numbers.
I found Chris Jones’ response to a question about fast starts interesting.
Let’s look at this recent three-game win streak: Saskatchewan had a 29-point first half against B.C. on Aug. 13, A 26-point first half against Edmonton on Aug. 25 and a 24-point first quarter against Winnipeg in the Labour Day Classic.
Jones immediately pointed to the play of his secondary as a reason for strong starts.
The secondary is the most improved part of this football team since Jones took over a year and a half ago.
Six games into this season, Saskatchewan’s secondary had just two interceptions and a 2 and 4 record.
During this three-game win streak, the Riders have nine interceptions. Part of the reason for that is increased pressure on the quarterback.
Saskatchewan has seven sacks in the last three games.
At times we may be too analytical, but in the case of this three-game win streak – the numbers don’t lie.