1) Calgary Stampeders
Calgary, after looking sluggish most of last week, came out fired up for this Grey Cup rematch. Stamps quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, after a poor week one, was on top of his game against the Argos, throwing for 324 yards and 3 TDs. The Stamps offensive and defensive lines controlled this matchup from the outset.
Trevor Harris threw for 345 yards and a pair of touchdowns. William Powell found the end zone twice and Diontae Spencer showcased his dynamic ability in the win for Rick Campbell’s team, which was bolstered by a monstrous performance by its defense. The Redblacks retooled the defense in the off-season and expectations were high in Ottawa; and at least for one game, the Redblacks looked like a Grey Cup contender. The question has to be can this continue? I say yes. The Redblacks are well-coached and I think they will improve all year.
Chris Streveler’s gaudy half-time numbers told one part of Friday’s contest: 18 completions on 22 attempts, 196 pass yards, two touchdowns, with 55 rush yards and a touchdown on the ground. Streveler has come out of seemingly nowhere after the injury to Matt Nicholl’s. The Blue Bombers have one of the best rosters in the league and they look like surviving the first month of the season without Nicholls will be no problem at all.
The Ti-Cats gave the Stamps trouble last week and I thought that meant the Stamps didn’t play well, but after the Ti-Cats easy win over Edmonton, I think it maybe time to change my mind about the Ti-Cats. Quarterback Jeremiah Masoli threw for over 300 yards for the second straight week, finishing with 19 completions for 332 yards and three touchdown passes. The dual-threat playmaker also added seven carries for 59 rushing yards, and receiver Luke Tasker had a big performance by hauling in five catches for 103 yards and two key touchdown scores.
5) Edmonton Eskimos
Quarterback Mike Reilly and the Eskimos’ offense managed to put together some big plays, including an 88-yard touchdown pass. But it was not enough, in the end, to keep pace with the Ti-cats. The concern with the Eskimos has to be the defense, which did not play well in week one either. The offense is good enough to win a Grey Cup, but the defense has a ways to go.
Zach Collaros was knocked out in the first half of the game and turnovers killed the Riders. I still think the Riders are talented enough to win the Grey Cup and losing a road game the second game of the season is not a killer, but they must take better care of the ball.
The Lions had a bye week after a solid week one performance. I rank the Lions this low because a win over the Alouettes doesn’t really tell us anything. This week’s game in Edmonton should answer some questions.
Ricky Ray missed most of the second half because of an injury, but it would not have mattered as the Stamps were just better. The Argos have the bye week this week and they need to get on track quick because the East is a much better division this year, and they will not have the luxury of a slow start.
The Alouettes are terrible right now and with the roster they have, I don’t see them improving anytime soon.
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