There’s an old saying in football that a team makes its biggest improvements from its first game to its second.
The Edmonton Elks better hope that’s true, or they might be in for another long night Saturday when they host the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Edmonton’s season opener on June 11 was truly one to forget. The Elks were plastered 59-15 in Vancouver by the B.C. Lions, falling behind 42-6 at halftime. They allowed 469 total yards and permitted four sacks, to name two of their biggest problems.
“If you want to look at it negatively, yes, there were tons of things that we could go on and on about,” head coach Chris Jones said, per Canada’s Global News. “We’ve chosen to correct those issues, change the things we did wrong, and choose to accept those things.”
At least publicly, one player who isn’t reading too much into the Elks’ performance is Saskatchewan quarterback Cody Fajardo.
“The biggest jump for a team is usually from Week 1 to Week 2,” Fajardo said. “There is a lot that goes into the first game like playing fast for the first time so you don’t put too much stock into it. Watching and knowing their defenses, that’s big, but they will be much better.”
Fajardo may have some extra incentive to put up some big numbers on Jones and the Elks. Jones created waves over the winter when he told Postmedia that he didn’t see Fajardo as a top-five passer in the CFL.
For his part, Fajardo didn’t take the bait when it was dangled in front of him earlier this week.
“It’s good for the media because it writes stories,” he said. “I’m taking it as any other game. I just want to go out there, put good tape on it and give our team an opportunity to win this game.”
Fajardo certainly did that on June 11 in the Roughriders’ 30-13 home win over Hamilton. The Nevada product hit on 22 of 32 passes for 311 yards and a touchdown, finding nine different receivers.
Defensively, Saskatchewan completely shut down the Tiger-Cats’ running game, allowing only 26 yards on 11 attempts. It also registered a pair of interceptions against starter Dane Evans.
–Field Level Media