1) Brampton bulldozer: Calgary came out with a clear game plan to pound the ball on Chris Jones’ defence and Jerome Messam did that with authority. The Canadian back had a career-high 28 carries for 135 yards and a touchdown. It was just the second time in Messam’s eight-year career that he notched 20 rushes or more. 17 of them came in the first half as Calgary controlled the tempo of the game. Messam – six-foot-two, 255 pounds – inflicted physical punishment on the Riders ‘D’. All the frustrations from being ejected in Montreal were taken out on Saskatchewan.
2) Stamp Machine: Charleston Hughes put his mark on Riders offensive lineman Derek Dennis and quarterback Kevin Glenn. The all-star pass rusher, returning after missing two games with a leg injury, used inside moves and a relentless motor to beat Dennis on a number of occasions. In total Hughes put up a hat trick of sacks and put himself right back in the race to lead the league in that category. Hughes’ presence allowed rookie defensive end James Vaughters, who recorded two sacks, to get one-on-one matchups and pressure Glenn. With Cordarro Law possibly out for the season, Vaughters has made a strong case – in just two games – to keep the bookend starting spot with Hughes for longer.
3) Coffin corner: Nuanced special teams play can often fly under the radar, but Rob Maver’s punting performance was stellar. He punted seven times for 320 yards (45.7 average) that resulted in 276 net yards (39.4 average) in change of field position. Some around the Stampeders felt it was among the best outings of Maver’s career. Duron Carter and Nic Demski were hemmed in right from the catch point on punts due to Maver angling the ball with deft touch. Those two playmaking Riders were held to 44 yards on seven opportunities, under seven yards per return. That was a large reason why Saskatchewan was fighting an uphill field position battle all game long.
4) Jorden continues emerging: Calgary’s fourth-year receiver has arguably become Bo Levi Mitchell’s go-to target. Kamar Jorden snagged a team-high eight balls for 88 yards and if not for a close miss by the Stamps’ pivot – there were a few throws Mitchell would like to have another chance at that were barely off target – it would’ve been over 100 yards with a touchdown. That said, Mitchell went to Jorden consistently, second down conversions especially stood out. It seems as though Jorden’s on an Eric Rogers-type trajectory, break out late in the season and follow that by entering the league receiving leaders.
5) Lock down: Tommie Campbell and Ciante Evans smothered Duron Carter for 60 minutes – Campbell matches up well with Carter due to his size (six-foot-three, 203 pounds). The enigmatic receiver crossed the centre line during warm-ups and instigated an incident with safety Josh Bell. Other than that Carter went unnoticed at McMahon Saturday. Campbell saw more time on Carter and he was held to two catches for 12 yards. Rookie Patrick Levels made a training camp and early season push for Campbell’s spot, but the former NFLer has seemingly reclaimed his starting job and all-star form from 2016.