Bruh. I shouldn’t even have to tell y’all what time it is. Every rep, every sprint, every play, every critique from their coaches, every single W and L each team took this season. Every countdown day, every time you checked cfl.ca for news, every time you checked Breaking Football for my CFL coverage, every game, every second you took in all 120 yards of glorious green. It has all led up to this.
The 106th Grey Cup. The Canadian Football League’s Super Bowl. The last CFL game before June.
Ottawa Redblacks vs. Calgary Stampeders, Sunday (11/25) 6 PM ET, ESPN2
So many story lines surrounding this game.
- Jonathon Rose: You can’t push a ref, man. Now if the ref is attacking you that’s a different story; but Rose went wild during that fight last week and pushed a ref in the process. Fans can cry about players not getting fined for big hits but that’s a whole ‘nother issue. I knew from the jump that Rose would get suspended for the Grey Cup, but I hope he plays. If so, great. If not, it’s his own fault.
- Trevor Harris is HOT: 6 TDs in the rout vs Hamilton, and a new record for passing TDs in a playoff game. Last week’s W makes Harris 1-1 in the playoffs, despite the talk of Harris being bad in the playoffs. I think Harris is ready to take the next step to insert himself into the elite QB conversation. A Grey Cup W as a starter will certainly do that.
- Bo Levi Mitchell + Stamps Back Again: This will be Calgary’s 4th GC in the last 5 years. Guess how many rings Bo has. Uno. Because of this, the Stamps have been called “chokers” by fans throughout the league. Call them the Falcons of the CFL. The only reason the Stamps won in 2014 is because Brandon Banks ran a punt return back for a TD with 37 seconds left in the game, but it got called back because a Ti-Cat blocked someone in the back. In 2016, Calgary battled their way back from 23-33 with two-and-a-half minutes left to tie the game and go to OT, but they could not score in OT and Ottawa won 39-33. Last year the Stamps had the ring in their hands but Kamar Jorden fumbled at the goal line and Cassius Vaughn returned it 109 yards to take the lead in the 4th; then Bo threw a pick in the end zone to seal another L. So the Stamps have something to prove, to put it lightly. Also, look at the comparison of rosters between 2016 and now.
2016 depth charts with players on current roster highlighted. pic.twitter.com/UBdGu7lSQW
— (Jon)ny Foozball (@jonathanwhudson) November 21, 2018
With all that said, this game is going to be incredible.
Ottawa’s OL is going to have their hands full with Micah Johnson, Ja’Gared Davis and the rest of that Calgary DL that gets sacks without blitzing. If Ottawa can keep Harris clean, he’s lethal. If Harris gets pressured, turnovers happen; and Calgary leads the league in takeaways.
I’ve been harping on it for a while but it’s true; the injuries to the Stampeders’ WRs is hurting Bo Levi Mitchell. Before Kamar Jorden was injured, Mitchell averaged almost three completions of 30+ yards per game. Even after Kamar Jorden was injured, the offense still average almost three such completions.
But after Reggie Begelton’s injury, the completions plummeted to 1.2. Bo Levi has said that he looks for his deep threats as his first reads and without receivers to take the top off for him, the Stamps lose the big play impact of their offense. Getting that aspect back for the Grey Cup would be a huge advantage for the Stamps. If Ottawa is without Rose, the deep ball is definitely possible.
This is going to be such a great game. So much on the line for both teams in a celebration of the best that the Canadian Football League has to offer. As you Americans embark on your Thanksgiving festivities and Black Friday shopping, spread the good word about the CFL and its wonders that make football such a great sport to be a part of.