By Staff Writer – Jason Langvee
Saskatchewan Roughriders @ Calgary Stampeders
Friday, October 24th – 9:30PM EST
Saskatchewan: 9-7, 4-game losing streak, 348 points for, 384 points against
Calgary: 13-2, 3-game winning streak, 425 points for, 286 points against
Previous results: Week 15 – CGY won 31-24
The Roughriders are now the owners of the league’s 2nd worst string of game results with 4 consecutive losses. Since the beginning of that slide, there have been a few notable changes; none more glaring than the dismissal of Will Ford and the addition of Kerry Joseph. Last week, as Joseph started at quarterback for the first time in 2014, the Roughriders began making some tough plays and seemed to have expanded the play-calls from what had been seen with rookies Tino Sunseri, and Seth Doege. With another week under his belt, expect the veteran quarterback to be making well-informed decisions. Sasktchewan’s defence has re-gained strength as Ricky Foley added 3 sacks to his 2014 totals last week. To stop the Calgary rush, the Riders’ defensive line will need to be explicitly aware of their assignments. Jon Cornish is dangerous the instant he breaks the first level of a defence, so Saskatchewan needs to set a precedent against that game plan immediately.
Calgary has put together one their strongest seasons in a very long time. The depth of the Stampeders roster truly is as good as it gets in the CFL with injuries playing very little effect on the success of their organization. Bo Levi Mitchell will be playing his second game since being sidelined, which means that if any rust was present, it won’t be on Friday. Jon Cornish continues to walk through defences due largely in part to the incredible blocking exhibited by Calgary’s offensive line. They will have their hands full against the Roughriders’ defensive line, but expect the push to be in Calgary’s favour. Defensively the Stamps simply need to continue doing what they have from day 1 of 2014, and that is a balanced attack on the pocket and in the secondary. It would be uncharacteristic for blitzes not to come from everywhere in the Rich Stubler defence, so expect more of the same.
Calgary has already secured a home playoff game in the second round of the post-season, so what they are now playing for is momentum. Football is very much an energy-driven game and with a week off coming to start the playoffs, Calgary needs to remain on an upward trajectory as the team they will inevitably host on Sunday, November 23rd will have the taste of victory still in their mouths. Saskatchewan has secured a playoff spot too, but their fates are much more uncertain. They are now only 2 points ahead of BC (who currently sits in the crossover position). Should Saskatchewan want to begin a successful push to the Grey Cup, it needs to start now against the best team in the league.
Calgary owns an offensive shootout 35-20.