Skip to content

It all comes down to Riders vs. Argos

Riders Gameday Preview: Saskatchewan Roughriders must not lose this afternoon’s game against the Toronto Argonauts, or the 2023 season is toast.
It’s Fan Appreciation Day at Mosaic Stadium for the Riders’ final home game of the season.

REGINA - It all comes down to this for the Saskatchewan Roughriders this afternoon against the Toronto Argonauts.

The Riders host the Argos at Mosaic Stadium in their final regular season game of 2023, and it is a game the Riders must not lose if they hope to be in the playoffs this year.

Despite a six game losing streak, the thinking had been that the Riders could still make the playoffs even if they lost to Toronto, but the season is now in peril after developments Friday night at BC Place Stadium.

The Calgary Stampeders went in and laid an unexpected beating of the BC Lions, by a final score of 41-16.

The win gives the Stampeders an identical 6-11 record to the Riders, but the Stampeders hold the tiebreaker after their win over the Riders the previous week.

The result means the job at hand for the Riders in getting to the playoffs is now in sharp focus. It means the Roughriders must win or at least tie after overtime against Toronto, and the Stampeders must then lose next week to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers for the Riders to make the playoffs. Control of their own destiny is still out of the Riders' hands. Making a bad situation worse for the Riders is that the Bombers have now wrapped up first place in the West and could potentially rest several of their starters.

So the Riders season would still be up in the air even if they were to pull off an upset of the 14-2 Argos, currently with the best record in the league.

A loss, however, would bring clarity and finality to the playoff situation for the Riders, and possibly set the table for a host of sweeping changes within the Riders organization, with heavy speculation this week about the futures of head coach Craig Dickenson and general manager Jeremy O’Day. 

Also somewhat up in the air is the Riders’ quarterbacking situation for this game. Jake Dolegala will get the start but with playoffs on the line and an all-hands-on-deck situation, most observers expect coach Dickenson will bring out the hook and put in Mason Fine if things go south.

The other storyline is whether rusher Jamal Morrow will be able to top 1,000 yards on the season. 

There has been an expectation that the Argos, with first place in the East all locked up, might decide to rest their starters in anticipation of the playoffs. But based on the depth chart on the game sheets, the Argos are giving every indication they are still playing to win. Chad Kelly is again starting for the Argos, though it is possible the team could insert their backups later on in the game.

Today is the 13th Fan Appreciation Day at Mosaic Stadium, and the weather is expected to be almost perfect for this afternoon’s contest with sunny skies and temperatures of 11 degrees Celsius. However, with the Riders mired in a six game slump and on the brink of playoff elimination, a larger than usual amount of no-shows are anticipated.

Game time is 2 p.m. this afternoon.

You can no longer count on social media to deliver important news to you. Keep your news a touch away by bookmarking's homepage at this link.

Subscribe to newsletter to get our daily news to your inbox.