The Calgary Stampeders offence is scary based on the amount of weapons available to them. They scored 27 points against the Redblacks Thursday night in a game that saw Bo Levi Mitchell fall victim to a very late and low hit that took him from the game late in the second quarter.
When thinking of the Stamps offence, you have the league’s leading rusher Don Jackson, who is averaging 99 yards per game. The Stamps feature the league’s deepest receiving corps which didn’t miss a beat despite Eric Rogers sitting out due to knee tenderness. The plug-and-play offensive line is chugging along opening gaping holes and keeping their QB’s safe averaging just one sack allowed per game.
And yet, they don’t even matter. That’s how good the Stampeders defence is. The Stampeders offence could have stayed home and the Stampeders still would have won this game. All they needed on this night was the defence and the special teams unit.
The game against the Redblacks featured three interceptions that were in Ottawa territory. Those drives started at the Ottawa 40, 52, and 18 yard line respectively. Now given the premise that the Stampeders had left the offence at home, Coach Dave Dickenson likely goes for the FG’s even on the 52, hoping that Rene Paredes can at least make 2/3 from these distances. That strategy would have led to enough points for the Stampeders to win this game even though you don’t account for the offence at all.
DeVone Claybrooks decision to stay in Calgary this season has proven to be the right one as the season hits the quarter-pole.
Now some other thoughts following a dominant Calgary victory:
Singletons stats take a beating
There were only 34 defensive tackles to go around in this game. Alex Singleton won the CFL’s Most Outstanding Defensive Player last season and had several 10 plus tackle games. If voters look purely at stats, Singleton will appear to have fallen off this season. However, the rest of the defence has played to Singleton’s standard so far, which mean fewer opportunities to make the play. Percentage of tackles will have to be the stat that Singleton relies on come the year-end voting.
The late hit
The hit from former Stampeder Danny Mason was late and was penalized as such. Expect Mason to be fined this week as well. The hit came just above Bo Levi Mitchell’s knee and caused him to leave the game. At the rundown yesterday, Mitchell was a non-participant as well, but according to longtime Stampeder play-by-play man Mark Stephan, that is par for the course for players feeling soreness following any game. Stamps fans will be glued to developments regarding the health of their starting QB.
The kid was alright
Nick Arbuckle wasn’t asked to do much in relief of Mitchell, but he did go 8/14 for 87 yards and a TD to Lamar Durant. Arbuckle did have a little wobble on some of his throws but also looked calm under pressure when the Redblacks sent blitzes his way. Stamps coaches may look towards Arbuckle next week given the opposition to give Mitchell’s knee more time to heal.
Johnson plugs the hole
Micah Johnson is absolutely dominant. Not only did he have 3 sacks in this game but he was instrumental in shutting down William Powell who had more than 130 yards against Calgary a few weeks ago but was limited to just 17 yards this week. Johnson also caused two fumbles. Look for him to grab a player of the week nod.
Hebert doubles down on despicability
Following a dirty hit that caused him to be suspended for a game, Hebert made comments prior to the rematch regarding consent. “Before every play, I’m going to ask the running back and wide receivers if it’s ok, if I have consent to tackle them. I’m going to ask for permission.. .and when I hit someone or tackle them I’m going to help them up, I’m going to rub them on the butt, and I’m going to tell them good job.” the Redblacks linebacker told Don Brennan of the Ottawa Sun. Considering his history of domestic violence, Hebert shouldn’t be joking with reporters about consent. Just another example that shows Hebert just doesn’t get it. The last suspension wasn’t nearly long enough to address player safety, will these kinds of comments see Hebert drop a few more dollars? Your move, Mr. Commissioner.
The Stamps play Montreal next on July 21 before a run of six straight games against divisional opponents. Coming out of this weekend the Stampeders will be the only undefeated team in the league, and the only team with fewer than two losses.