Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 14)

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The Calgary Stampeders became the first team in the CFL to take a playoff spot this week with a big win and with their rivals in Edmonton taking a loss.

The Stampeders always seemed to be the team that was going to be the top in the league as they have been a top team for years.

Last year they put together one of the greatest single seasons in CFL history with a stifling defence and a potent offence.

It never seemed like anyone was going to be able to beat them as they ran through the entire league on their way to the playoffs.

They even found their way to the Grey Cup where it was pretty much assumed that the Stamps would win the title.

For the Stamps, it was supposed to be easy as they were the best team in the country and taking on a team that won the east with a losing record.

The Ottawa REDBLACKS seemed to be hitting their stride at just the right time though and they were able to solve the issues that the Stamps presented.

Calgary took the loss in one of the greatest Grey Cup games of all time and their amazing season was over.

Now they are on the verge of another amazing season and already have their playoff spot locked up.wk14

They remain the best team in the league and are entering the end of the season looking to finish their business.

As they prepare for another playoff run and hope to finish holding the Grey Cup in Ottawa and getting that title that they need to solidify their legacy as one of the best teams ever.

There have been some great teams in the CFL including the golden standard in the 1978-82 Edmonton Eskimos.

That team won five straight Grey Cups becoming one of the most dominant teams the CFL has ever seen.

That is the legend that the Stamps are chasing and although they have a long way to go before coming close to that group they are still considered one of the best teams.

The era is different though as teams are far closer than they were before despite the regular season records.

It was proven last year as the REDBLACKS proved that the regular season doesn’t really matter.

The Stampeders know this all too well and they despite their great season so far they understand that there is a lot more work to do.

They have all of the skill to do it as well with Bo Levi Mitchell leading the charger from under centre and Jerome Messam having a career year in the backfield.

That offence is second in most points this year and has been able to get through almost everyone in the league.

What is more important for this team though has been their ability to stop other teams from scoring.

They are by far the team that has allowed the least amount of points in the season allowing a total of 231 points, the next closest is Saskatchewan with 309 points allowed.

They also rank second in sacks and second in interceptions making them the consensus top defence in the league.

football-sidebarWith the final few weeks of the season getting ready to start the Stampeders now have to try to figure out a way to take their great performance into the most important part of any season.

Last season they failed to manage their expectations in the biggest game of the season.

If they do that again they will be in a rough spot as the best team in this new era of football will become the best team that couldn’t finish things off.

How they do that will be up for debate as not many people know exactly how they lost last year.

The REDBLACKS simply weren’t afraid of the big bad Stamps and they went after the best team in the league.

They never backed down and eventually took the overtime win which leaves questions but little answers for the Stamps.

They will look to make sure that nothing can get them off track this year and for the Stamps, it might be simply realizing that they aren’t unbeatable.

When the REDBLACKS challenged the Stamps they seemed to all of a sudden realize that they might actually lose the game.

That can be a tough spot for a team that seemed so unbeatable as they go from being invincible to being mortal.

With that lesson in mind, the Stamps begin preparing for the playoffs and hope to keep the fire throughout the end of the season and into the playoffs.

 

Fourth Down

Protests Head North

The NFL was a little shocked when the President of the United States began speaking about the protests taking over the league. After President Trump said that teams should fire the protesting players the NFL reacted with more protests than ever before. The news was not missed by American players in the CFL especially in Saskatchewan where the team linked arms during the national anthem. The protest brought the debate to Canada but both the Riders team and the league left it as a practice of free speech that the players are free to express.

Doubling Down

The Edmonton Eskimos have had a bit of a rotating door at the kicker position with three different kickers on the team. They doubled down when Hugh O’Neill struggled in Week 13 signing Swayze Waters and Brett Lauther. They will look to someone to find some stability in at the position and depending on where each kicker ends up the most successful one will take the job. As they struggle down the stretch the Esks are clearly looking for something to help them get out of the slump and a great kicker can do just that.

Partnering to Grow

The NFL and CFL continued to increase their partnership as they launched a new program that will create flag football leagues throughout the country. The NFL’s flag football program has grown to be a big part of the youth football program in the USA and with more concerns over head injuries in contact, the move could help enrollment. Flag football is a far less dangerous version of the sport and with enrollment drastically down the both leagues are hoping that this move can help grow the sport north of the border.

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