CFL Preview - Winnipeg (2-11) at Calgary (10-3)
From The Sports Network
By Gregg Xenakes, CFL Editor
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 5, 6:30 p.m. (et).
GAME NOTES: Not only does Calgary have a spot in the postseason already sewn
up, the team also owns the best overall record in the CFL, but don't expect
the Stampeders to take it easy on Winnipeg when the Blue Bombers drop in at
McMahon Stadium on Saturday.
With five games remaining in the regular season, Calgary leads the Western
Division standings over British Columbia by two points, while Saskatchewan
lingers in third, four points behind. There's still plenty of football to be
played before final seedings in the playoffs will be set, so now is not the
time for the Stamps to take their foot off the gas.
Winners of all but one of their six home games this season, the Stampeders
were out on the road last week picking up their fifth victory in the last six
outings overall with a 35-11 triumph versus Hamilton. It was a bit of a slow
start for Calgary, the team going scoreless in the first quarter, but the pace
picked up in the second with 17 points and another 10 in the third frame to
send the Tiger-Cats back to the loss column.
Kevin Glenn handled the quarterbacking duties for the Stamps, converting 17 of
his 26 pass attempts for 238 yards and three touchdowns, offsetting his one
interception and two sacks. Although he caught a total of just four passes,
Jabari Arthur turned those receptions into a game-high 103 yards and a pair of
majors for the visitors.
For his efforts, Arthur was named the CFL's top Canadian last week as he
helped fill the void created by an injured Nik Lewis. A two-time winner of the
award, Arthur has already established new career highs in receptions (34),
receiving yards (445) and touchdowns (three) in a season.
Backup quarterback Drew Tate stepped in to register a touchdown on one of his
four rushing attempts, while Jon Cornish continued his pursuit of the league
lead in rushing as he produced 114 yards on just 15 attempts. Cornish now has
1,207 yards on 183 carries this season, second only to Saskatchewan's Kory
Sheets (1,222 yards) who has been out of action with injury.
Defensively, Calgary registered five interceptions, two of which came from
Jamar Wall. Because of the huge effort, the Stamps are first in the league in
turnover margin at plus-18, tied with three other teams for the most
interceptions with 17.
While the Stampeders have made it a habit to take the ball away from the
competition and limit their own mistakes, the same cannot be said for the Blue
Bombers who were throttled by British Columbia in Week 14 action, 53-17, at
home. Winnipeg threw three interceptions in that outing and lost possession of
three of its five fumbles, as almost nothing went right for a team which has
lost three straight and all but two games this entire season.
The quarterback tandem of Max Hall and Jason Boltus combined to hit on 19 of
their 37 pass attempts for 228 yards and two touchdowns, but they also
suffered four sacks. The supposed rushing attack for Winnipeg manufactured a
mere 32 net yards on 12 carries.
Perhaps the only bright spot for the Winnipeg offense was Clarence Denmark who
caught six passes for 118 yards and both TDs for the club.
While Calgary is the best in the business when it comes to turnovers, the
Bombers are all the way at the other end of the spectrum with a staggering
minus-26 in that department. The team has the fewest interceptions (seven) on
defense and has thrown the most (22) on offense, numbers that go a long way in
explaining why the squad is struggling so much here in 2013.
Thankfully, there is at least one player that the Blue Bombers can get excited
about, that being defensive end Alex Hall who leads the league in sacks with
15. Hall, who broke into the CFL last year with nine sacks, has done his
damage this year on only 30 total tackles.
By all means, Hall is someone the Bombers should be celebrating, but if he is
not careful he could easily be overtaken in the sacks department by either of
a couple of Calgary players. Sporting 13 and 10 sacks, respectively,
Charleston Hughes and Cordarro Law bring the pressure for the Stampeders, and
that should cause some concern for the Winnipeg offensive line and whomever
might be handling the quarterback duties this week.
In a series that includes 190 regular-season meetings dating back to 1945,
Calgary has a 101-89 advantage over the Bombers. Not only did the Stampeders
win the most recent matchup in convincing fashion (37-24) in late July, the
team has taken eight straight in the relationship now and nine of the last 10
With the season already lost, this is a time for Winnipeg players to prove
that they deserve to be kept on the roster and considered for a position next
year, so consider this game to be on-the-job training for the Blue Bombers
while they are being taken down by the Stampeders.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Calgary 35, Winnipeg 17
10/02 10:45:35 ET
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