Eskimos benefiting from Kevin Glenns experience … Mosaic always an experience … Special-teams a team effort

Eskimos benefiting from Kevin Glenn\s experience ... Mosaic always an experience ... Special-teams a team effort
Western Division rivals clash on Thanksgiving Day as pressure mounts for Edmonton Eskimos
Eskimos receiver Duke Williams speaking with reporters after practice on The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium.

Five games ago the Edmonton Eskimos hit the halfway mark of the 2018 CFL season with a 6-3 record, which was good for second place in the Western Division.

“Our offence certainly has had its struggles, as have our other two phrases, as was evident last week on a couple of plays where we gave up some big plays,” said Jones. “Were a football team, we dont sit there and point fingers and do that type of thing. Everybody has got to continue to work, everybody has got to continue to improve and thats all were really worried about.”

Since that time, the Eskimos have lost four of their five games and the team is now clinging to the last playoff spot in the league. The Eskimos will look to improve their playoff chances on Thanksgiving Day when they visit the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium in Regina.

The 26-year-old Shaw caught five passes for 75 yards in his debut. It was his first regular season game since tearing three ligaments in his knee against the B.C. Lions on Aug. 25, 2017 while playing for the Ottawa Redblacks. Shaw began his CFL career with Toronto in 2015 and had a breakout season in 2016 with 1,004 receiving yards on 77 catches.

Roughriders not listening to critics ahead of Eskimos game

With the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the B.C. Lions winning their respective games this weekend, the Eskimos are tied with the Lions for the crossover playoff spot in the Eastern Division. The Eskimos technically hold the final playoff because tie-breaker scenarios are in their favour at the moment.

Edmonton leads the CFL in passing yards with 4,427 while the Calgary Stampeders lead the league in passing touchdowns with 30. The Riders are eighth in both categories with 3,136 passing yards and 11 passing touchdowns and have yet to score a receiving touchdown from a wide receiver this season.

Listen below: Head coach Jason Maas says the team got themselves into the predicament they are currently in and they have to found a way out

Quarterback Mike Reilly saw his 42 consecutive game streak of recording at least a passing or rushing touchdown end. He was held to 164 yards passing and has average 220 yards passing over the last two games. The Eskimos have turned the ball over 12 times in their last two games and have only scored 18 points.

The addition of quarterback Zach Collaros, signed as a free agent in the off-season, along with an influx of new receivers to replace Bakari Grant, Chad Owens and Duron Carter, has resulted in an inconsistent passing attack.

After leaving last weeks game against the Bombers in the second half with a suspected shoulder injury, receiver Duke Williams will play on Monday. He missed the first two days of practice this week but says hes good to go.

PIVOTAL GAME: If the Riders win, theyll create separation between themselves and the bottom three teams in the West Division. If not, it will be very bunched up heading into a Saskatchewan at Winnipeg game next weekend.

Its just a little tweak here and there but Ill be alright. This is one of the most important games of the season right here against Saskatchewan. They are a good team but were looking to come in and come out with a win.

“Catching that first ball, once I got in the groove early, it was like, OK, I feel like Im back. But after a while, the only thing that shocked me a little bit was the amount of yards I ended up with,” said Shaw.

Williams is the CFLs leading receiver with 1,337 yards and 10 touchdowns. Offensive lineman Justin Sorensen was limited in practice this week and has been listed as a backup centre behind David Beard on the Eskimos depth chart. Receiver Sam Giguere has been placed on the one-game injured list, fullback Pascal Lochard has been added to the 46-man roster.

“Its one game at a time thing,” said Shaw. “The CFL is a funny game, you never know what can happen and what you need to make a playoff run. Were just taking it one game at a time and this week its Edmonton.”

The Eskimos beat the Riders 26-19 back on Aug. 2 in Edmonton. Since then, the Riders have won six of their last seven games and sit in second place in the Western Division with a 9-5 record.

The offence led by quarterback Zach Collaros has come to life over the last two games, scoring 34 and 30 points respectively in wins over the Montreal Alouettes and the Toronto Argonauts.  Collaros is 7-3 this season as a starter, his .700 winning percentage is the second-best mark in the CFL.

The Riders carry a 4-3 record at home into this game and a 3-2 record against Western Division opponents. The Eskimos have 4-3 record against the West this season but have a 2-5 record on the road including a four-game losing streak.

You can hear live coverage of Mondays game on 630 CHED starting with Countdown to Kick-off at Noon. The opening kick-off from Mosaic Stadium in Regina is at 2 p.m. with Morley Scott and Dave Campbell calling all of the live action. Plus, hear analysis from former Eskimos offensive lineman and two-time Grey Cup champion Blake Dermott.

The wide receiver made his Riders debut last week in a 34-29 win over the Montreal Alouettes – where Saskatchewan’s offence put up 512 yards, a vast improvement from the 323 average yards in games before that.

Shaw said players are focused on the present ahead of Monday’s game against the Edmonton Eskimos.

“That’s just outside noise,” said Shaw. “Stats can be so misunderstood. It’s like a game where you lose despite playing your best game (statistically) so I try and not look at the stats. When the clock hits zero, I just want to see that we’re ahead.”

UP AND DOWN: Since losing to Edmonton at the start of August, the Roughriders are 6-1. Edmonton is 2-5 over its past seven games.

The Riders, who are in second place in the West Division with a 9-5 record, rank eighth in the league in passing yards and passing touchdowns.

The addition of quarterback Zach Collaros, signed as a free agent in the off-season, along with an influx of new receivers to replace Bakari Grant, Chad Owens and Duron Carter, has resulted in an inconsistent passing attack.

Collaros had a strong game against the Alouettes, going 29 of 41 for 394 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Edmonton leads the CFL in passing yards with 4,427 while the Calgary Stampeders lead the league in passing touchdowns with 30. The Riders are eighth in both categories with 3,136 passing yards and 11 passing touchdowns and have yet to score a receiving touchdown from a wide receiver this season.

Collaros had a strong game against the Alouettes, going 29 of 41 for 394 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

“Our offence certainly has had its struggles, as have our other two phrases, as was evident last week on a couple of plays where we gave up some big plays,” said Jones. “We’re a football team, we don’t sit there and point fingers and do that type of thing. Everybody has got to continue to work, everybody has got to continue to improve and that’s all we’re really worried about.”

The 26-year-old Shaw caught five passes for 75 yards in his debut. It was his first regular season game since tearing three ligaments in his knee against the B.C. Lions on Aug. 25, 2017 while playing for the Ottawa Redblacks. Shaw began his CFL career with Toronto in 2015 and had a breakout season in 2016 with 1,004 receiving yards on 77 catches.

“Catching that first ball, once I got in the groove early, it was like, ‘OK, I feel like I’m back.’ But after a while, the only thing that shocked me a little bit was the amount of yards I ended up with,” said Shaw.

Despite their offensive woes, the Riders are second in rushing yards with 1,576, trailing only Winnipeg’s 1,788. The Bombers top the league with 19 rushing touchdowns with the Riders in sixth place with 11.

Tre Mason and Marcus Thigpen have combined to move the Riders on the ground. Mason has 688 yards on 128 carries while Thigpen has 402 yards on 47 carries.

A win over the Eskimos would help to increase the Riders’ gap over Edmonton and Winnipeg in the West. The Bombers improved to 8-7 with a win over Ottawa on Friday night.

“It’s one game at a time thing,” said Shaw. “The CFL is a funny game, you never know what can happen and what you need to make a playoff run. We’re just taking it one game at a time and this week it’s Edmonton.”

UP AND DOWN: Since losing to Edmonton at the start of August, the Roughriders are 6-1. Edmonton is 2-5 over its past seven games.

PIVOTAL GAME: If the Riders win, they’ll create separation between themselves and the bottom three teams in the West Division. If not, it will be very bunched up heading into a Saskatchewan at Winnipeg game next weekend.

READY TO GO: Eskimos star receiver Duke Williams practised Friday and is expected to play after injuring his shoulder last week.

STREAK BUSTED: Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly saw his streak of passing or rushing for a touchdown come to an end at 42 games last week.