106th Grey Cup Preview

gcpreviewiiThe CFL is headed to Edmonton and a team just down the road has become the focus of all of the talk heading into the biggest game of the year.

Although the home team isn’t there and the local fans are not too happy about seeing the Calgary Stampeders in the Grey Cup they are the focus for this game.

There is no doubt that in the last few seasons the Stampeders have been the best team in the league by far.

They are rarely out of the hunt and it has been more than a decade since they last missed the playoffs.

If there is a model franchise in the league Calgary is the one as they continue to be a team that seems to find their way to the top.

For years they have been able to find and replace talent in order to remain the best team in the league.

For all of that dominance since they last missed the playoffs in 2004 they have only been able to take home two Grey Cup titles.

The most shocking part of all of those years is the most recent as few teams have been as good as the Stampeders have been in the past few years.

In 2016 they had one of the greatest seasons by any franchise in league history and last year they looked just as dominant throughout the year.

In both of those years, they found themselves in the Grey Cup as the clear favourites in an era where the west was far superior to the east.

In 2016 they were going to play the Ottawa REDBLACKS who won the eastern crown with an 8-9-1 record.

In 2017 they faced the Toronto Argonauts who took the eastern title with a 9-9 record throughout the season.

The Stampeders were easy favourites in the championship games as it seemed clear that the Stamps were going to win in both of those years.

2016 did not work out for them but it wasn’t as big of a surprise with the two teams had tied during the regular seasons and were closer than their records had shown.

The REDBLACKS were able to get by the mighty Stamps with a quarterback playing through injury and a team that wasn’t as talented on paper.

2017 was their chance at revenge as they were going to go into Ottawa and handle unfinished business against the Argonauts.

Once again though they struggled to put the game away in a massive surprise win for the Argonauts.

Two years in a row the Stampeders were heavy favourites heading into the Grey Cup and two straight years they failed to take a championship.

Now in the third straight year, the Stamps are headed to the biggest game in the season and once again there is unfinished business.

Now the Stampeders are running the risk of gaining a label that no franchise wants and one that one team, in particular, is known for in the NFL.

During the 1990s the Buffalo Bills went to four straight Super Bowls and in all of those games, they were unable to finish.

They are still a team without a Super Bowl win and are known as the franchise that couldn’t finish when it mattered the most.football-sidebar

The Stampeders will get their third straight crack at getting a title in the Bo Levi Mitchell era and if they can’t come out on top they will be known as a team that couldn’t get it done

Despite the level of talent on this team, there are the doubts that those great players just don’t have the ability to be great.

Although Bo Levi Mitchell will go down as one of the best quarterbacks of the era and was the western nominee for the MOP this team is led by their defence.

The Stamps have struggled more than usual on offence although they have talent but with a stifling defence led by Alex Singleton, the offence doesn’t always have to be on.

They will get a true test against the REDBLACKS this year as Trevor Harris seems to be coming into his own throwing a CFL record six touchdowns in the eastern finals last week.

Although he is not likely to have the same performance with players like Micah Johnson bearing down on him it is going to be hard to stop an offence with so many weapons.

The Stamps defence will do their part but a bigger question will be whether or not Mitchell can keep up with a good output.

The Stamps are here because of a defensive performance after managing 22 points against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

They are going to need more than 22 points to win this one and the talent is there but they have struggled to truly find their groove especially in the latter part of the season.

The potential is there for this group and Mitchell is more than capable of taking over the game to win this game.

If the Stampeder defence holds out and Mitchell can take over the game, the third time could be the charm but this is a better REDBLACKS team than they lost to in 2016 giving some doubt to whether or not they can finish this season off.


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