Some thoughts on the Riders’ 17-1 victory over Edmonton:
– Need more confirmation that the 2012 season is the antithesis of 2011. Last season, the Riders LOST 17-1 to Edmonton.
– The Roughriders had not limited an opponent to one point (or fewer) since Aug. 15, 1976, when Ron Lancaster went 23-for-27 for 290 yards in 2 1/2 quarters to propel Saskatchewan to a 40-0 home-field victory over Edmonton. The Little General had so many brilliant games, but that was his best.
– Six quarterback sacks for Saskatchewan. That was unimaginable last summer. In fact, that might have BEEN last summer!
– The Riders’ offence hardly resembled the season-opening edition, but there was one notable similarity. No turnovers.
– The critics are going to be all over Edmonton quarterbacks Steven Jyles and Kerry Joseph — and, by extension, Eskimos general manager Eric Tillman. But, honestly, the Riders’ pass rush would have made life miserable for any opposing passer on Sunday.
– Kory Sheets reminds me of Kenton Keith. There were many games in which Keith was held under control, only to finally find a sliver and go the distance on a big run. Sheets has the same big-play capability.
– The early portion of this season reminds me of 1988, when another Rider revival took place. In 1988, the Riders travelled eastward and won the opener in a walk (48-21 over Art Schlichter and the Ottawa Rough Riders) before beating Edmonton 26-15 at Taylor Field. In the latter game, the offence did not score a touchdown, but eight Dave Ridgway field goals came in handy. Not a precise parallel, but …
– If there was any debate about whether Shomari Williams was a bona-fide middle linebacker, it was erased on Sunday. He had five tackles and a quarterback sack while being part of a defence that limited Edmonton to 137 yards of net offence.
– Chris Getzlaf keeps chewing up yardage on meaningful plays. He had four receptions for 74 yards on Sunday.
– Chris Milo averaged 49.0 yards per punt. When he was drafted, the Roughriders thought he was more of a placekicker than a punter. He proved last season that he can do both.
– One cause for concern: The Riders surrendered four quarterback sacks. Brendon LaBatte’s shoulder injury did not help matters.
– Riders are idle until they resume practising on Tuesday. Now I resume my holidays. I’ll be back on Friday. In the interim, I will be part of an online live chat (in conjunction with CBC’s Glenn Reid) on Monday from noon to 1 p.m.