The Edmonton Elks had a bounce-back victory last week in the return Labour Day rematch vs. their Provincial Rivals the Calgary Stampeders.
For the Edmonton Elks, this was a game in which they were on the opposite end in a come-from-behind victory by beating the Stamps 25-23. The Elks took a page from the Calgary Stampeders with their Labour Day Classic victory in week 13 in which the Edmonton defence squandered a 22-point lead in the fourth quarter where they would be victorious over the Elks 35-31. But this time, the Elks had their comeback in the form of an 18-point deficit to return the favour in week 14.
The Saskatchewan Roughriders sit in a comfortable postseason spot at a 6-6 record with six games remaining to try and punch their ticket for the playoffs. The Edmonton Elks will try to win as many games as possible down the stretch with their respected 3-10 record with five games remaining.
One thing will happen in this game. Will the Saskatchewan Roughriders be complaisant, or will the Edmonton Elks be resilient stealing a victory away from the Saskatchewan Roughriders?
Date / Location: Friday, September 15th, 2023 / Mosaic Stadium / Regina, Saskatchewan
Kickoff Time: 9:30 PM EST
Channel: TSN / TSN+
Temperature: 21 Degrees Celsius, feels like 20 Degress Celsius.
Wind Gust: 46 Kilometres per hour.
Percentage of Precipitation: 2%
Spread: Saskatchewan Roughriders -2.5 (-122) / Edmonton Elks +2.5 (-101)
Money line: Saskatchewan Roughriders (-145) / Edmonton Elks (+125)
Over / Under: Over 45.5 (-106) / Under 45.5 (-108)
Edmonton Elks Week 15 Depth Chart at Saskatchewan Roughriders
Saskatchewan Roughriders Week 15 Depth Chart vs. Edmonton Elks
Injury Reports: Edmonton Elks and Saskatchewan Roughriders
The Edmonton Elks suffer a loss of starting talent on both sides of the ball. Most notable will be WR Steven Dunbar Jr., who will be inactive with a rib injury. DB Marloshawn Franklin Jr. will be inactive with a hamstring injury.
Players to Watch: Edmonton Elks
Tre Ford: Tre Ford will have to beat the Saskatchewan defence in making them think to run and then pass, and vice versa. There is no doubt about his natural skill set as he has been a pleasure to watch week-in-week-out this season with only six games played. However, there were some bad passes thrown this season that could have been costly on some occasions. But that comes with more playing time for Tre Ford as he has been gaining valuable experience in what it is like to play the quarterback position in pro football. If Tre Ford can shake off a second or two in getting the Saskatchewan defence to flinch or move another way, he will be a big reason if the Edmonton offence engineers productive points on the board.
A.C. Leonard: If there is going to be a time to halt the running game that has been a burden from the Elks’ defense for the majority of the season, then it cannot happen at a better time. A.C. Leonard will be a key factor in keeping Jamal Morrow in check for this week’s game. He is also a player who can make a game-changing play to stir an emotional spark the Elks will need against a run-heavy team. A.C. Leonard has to also create as much pressure as possible to disrupt Jake Dolegala on Saskatchewan’s passing game.
Player to Watch: Saskatchewan Roughriders
Jamal Morrow: He is one of the league’s electrifying running backs in the game. He currently sits in 5th place in the CFL with a total of 634 rushing yards in 12 games played. The Edmonton defence knows all too well that Jamal Morrow is capable of keeping the ball in the latter parts of the game to seal a victory as was witnessed in both week 1 and week 5. The Edmonton defence has been playing better since the last time these two teams squared off in week 5 in regards to stopping the run.. They will have to be as good as they did during the Labour Day Classic against Ka’Deem Carey minus the Calgary comeback. In that game, the Elks’ defence was able to contain Ka’Deem Carey and make him a non-threat on the offence. It will be tough to contain Jamal Morrow. This will be a big test for the Elks’ defence.
Jake Dolegala: Jake Dolegala in one of these feel-good stories as is the case with both Dustin Crum in Ottawa and with Tre Ford in Edmonton. When you display value to a football team, it will only be positive in having a respected team with a good problem to have at the quarterback position. Jake has done well enough to display his talents which has come to fruition in a short span. Not bad for a third-string quarterback who already has a Labour Day Classic victory under his belt with a stunning 32-30 win in overtime against Winnipeg. On the flip side, Winnipeg answered back last week with a 51-6 thumping to return the favour. Jake Dolegala went from the ultimate high to the ultimate low in emotions. And that is what football does. Each week is different. For the Edmonton Elks, they cannot take him for granted as he is capable of stretching a defence.
We can look at this game in two ways. The first is that the Edmonton Elks let the last two meetings with the Saskatchewan Roughriders slip away in a week 1 loss (17-13) and a week 5 loss (12-11). This was also a time before Coach Chris Jones decided to replace Stephen McAdoo as Offensive Coordinator with Jarious Jackson, along with Jarious Jackson announcing Tre Ford would be the starting quarterback during a week 9 bye week.
Since then, the Edmonton Elks have played an overall better brand of football in the last five weeks of play. Some CFL fans will argue that all of their respected wins came across all subpar performance teams thus far.
And that is true.
Week 11 at Hamilton, won (24-10)
Week 12 vs. Ottawa, won (30-20)
Week 14 vs. Calgary, won (25-23)
But we can examine the points for and against thus far in which Saskatchewan Roughriders are not that far different than the Edmonton Elks. As of now, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have played 12 games, with a total of 248 points for, and a total of 353 points against.
On the other hand, the Edmonton Elks have played 13 games, with a total of 244 points for, and a total of 338 points against.
So, now you have two teams that are fighting for jobs next season, along with fighting for a playoff spot simultaneously this season. The Roughriders have the upper hand at the moment with three more wins over the Elks. But down the stretch in the CFL, a lot of strange finishes have occurred in the past of teams that have just done enough to squeak in a playoff spot, while bouncing out another.
Edmonton Elks: 27
Saskatchewan Roughriders: 23
The Edmonton Elks go into a hostile environment at Mosaic Stadium at Taylor Field and shock the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
The Elks find a way this time not to give a game away and play a more consistently executed game than the previous two meetings.
Tre Ford finds a way to work his magic and catches the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ defence flat-footed beating them with his arm on a few plays that will be costly for Saskatchewan.
On the defence, the Edmonton Elks will make enough plays to disrupt Saskatchewan’s offence.
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