BLOG: Did the Argos win or did the Stamps lose?
This is an interesting question and one that’s dogged analysts attempting to break down a championship (or any other) game for years.
Last year in the Super Bowl won by the New England Patriots 34-28 over the Atlanta Falcons, the Falcons led at halftime 21-3. All they really had to do in the second half was burn clock with the running game, not turn the ball over and hold the Patriots to short passes. It’s the NFL and running the clock in that league is far easier than doing the same in the CFL.
I’d say in Super Bowl 51 the Falcons lost the game. They let the Patriots up off the mat and that was it.
In last night’s 105th Grey Cup it was the same sort of story. The Stampeders owned the game from a statistical vantage point for example:
- The Stamps had 24 1st downs, the Argos only 12.
- The Stamps had 74 rushing yards, the Argos 16.
- The Stamps had 373 yards passing, the Argos 297.
- The Stamps took five penalties for 50 yards, the Argos six penalties for 71 yards.
- The Stamps had the ball for 37 minutes, the Argos only 23.
From these stats it certainly looks like the Stamps should have won this game handily.
However, one of the biggest stats in football as any coach or player will probably tell you, is turnovers.
The Stamps had two crucial turnovers late in the game, the Argos didn’t have any. Twice late in the game the Stampeders had the ball deep in Argo territory. In one instance Kamar Jordan fumbled the ball on the Argo seven yard line which was recovered by the Argos Cassius Vaughn who ran it back 110 yards for a touchdown. Then after the Argos had taken the lead with 49 seconds left in the game with a field goal the Stamps were driving once again deep in Argo territory. They were in field goal range when Bo Levi Mitchell threw into double coverage in the end zone. That ball was picked off and the game was over.
Those two turnovers were both self- induced. Jordan was fighting for more yardage when he shoulda/coulda gone down on the play and Mitchell threw a hope and a prayer into double coverage when the Stamps could have kicked a field goal to send the game into overtime. Maybe last year’s overtime loss to Ottawa left a bad taste in Mitchell’s mouth and he didn’t want to go down that way again? I don’t know.
Whatever the case, the Stampeders lost another Grey Cup game they were supposed to win and they have nobody to blame but themselves.
All the Argos had to do for the most part, was be in the right place at the right time and wait for Calgary to make a mistake. Which they did.
The sting of this loss might just be too much for the Stampeders to get over in the off season(it’s two years in a row now) but somehow I don’t think so.
2018 prediction: The Stamps win the Grey Cup but they’ll barely make the playoffs with a 9-9 record. It’s so much easier to win, they say, when the pressure is squarely on the shoulders of the favoured team.
Just ask Bo Levi Mitchell or Kamar Jordan. They’ll tell you.
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