Stamps and Lions – CFL Semi Finals

The Lions were the underdogs (or cats) and had enough people hopeful to make this a game I wanted to watch. I predicted a Stamps win but couldn’t have seen the level of beat down that would come in a 35-9 win for Calgary. Here are some thoughts and breakdowns.

Calgary vs BC

  • Early in the game it looked like we had the makings of a close one. Harris and Messam were running hard and Jonathan Jennings was getting time to throw. The Stamps looked flat and were missing Charleston Hughes and the pressure he can put on opposing offenses. Then Keon Raymond happened. With an interception return for a TD the slumbering giant of the Stampeders woke and flattened the outmatched Lions.
  • Before getting pulled for Travis Lulay (who I think should have started) Jonathan Jennings was starting to remind me of Darian Durant, an athletic gunslinger who takes chances regardless of whether he should. Don’t get me wrong, like him a lot and I think that given time he can develop, like Durant, into a darn good CFL quarterback. However in this game Lulay should have been the starter. He has experience and poise, even if he was rusty, and gave the Stamps more to worry about (albeit not much more).
  • Before people jump on me I know  previously posted that the Argos should have gone with their athletic backup and let the experienced and poised Ricky Ray sit, this situation is very different. Harris was a legitimate MOP candidate for much of the year who faced good teams and won. Jennings had a phenomenal game against a very bad Rider team who has made nearly every QB they faced look like an All Star. Jennings has struggled against top tier teams (Though he did have a good game against the Ti-Cats in week 18) and predictably struggled against a John Hufnagel coached playoff team.
  • Speaking of Huff, what a job that man has done with this team. Lose two offensive linemen, well we can throw in some defensive linemen and be fine (credit to OL coach Pat DelMonaco as well). Need a premier receiver, hello Eric Rogers! Jon Cornish not feeling well, yeah I see you Jerome Messam. Some people may not like it (including the Rider Fan in me) but Huff and the Stamps are the CFL version of Bill Belichick and the Patriots, they find ways to be great when people want them to fail.
  • Finally, the only weakness I can see in this Calgary team (aside from the injuries) is their tendency to neglect the run game at times. In the past and even this season they go for stretches where they ignore their best weapon (Cornish most times, but even Messam a couple times this game). When your running game is averaging around 6 yards a carry you keep doing it until someone stops you. With Edmonton’s strict D coming up I can see Calgary shying away from the run game if the first few carries get bottled up. Keep with it Calgary.

Extra Point(s)

  • Juwan Simpsons beard makes him look like a Viking Warlord…and that terrifies me.
  • Andrew Harris has had a heck of a career in BC, I hope they see that and try and hold on to him
  • While some people are calling for his head I hope Wally Buono gives Jeff Tedford another good season before making a change at HC. He wasn’t given a whole lot at the seasons start and I think he can continue to make good changes.
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