The bottom line here is that the Montreal Alouettes are essentially the same squad as they were when these two teams met at the beginning of the year in WEEK 6; the Roughriders are not. Chris Jones' team is playing a fast brand of football and executing at a much higher level in all 3 phases of the game.
Jury's out on how rookie QB Vernon Adams does. I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt because he's making his debut against a scheme that shares the same characteristics as the Noel Thorpe scheme that Adams sees every day during practise.
It's all about continued execution today for the Riders. They know what they're going to get. This is a FANTASTIC Alouettes defence, however they've simply been asked to do too much all year long. The Angry Bird defenders, need help from the other two phases of the game (Offence and Special Team) and that's where the opportunity lies for the Riders need to assert their will.
Saskatchewan has to win the special teams phase and play composed and disciplined on Defence. If the Roughriders can manufacture a clean game in those phases, it will take all the pressure off the Green and White O to the point where they'll be able to employ their game plan without feeling pressed. That calm approach will go a long way in a contest where Montreal will only go as far as their Defence gets them.
Take Saskatchewan in a 2nd half that may see the Riders pull away.
Pick: Saskatchewan Roughriders