The playoff fate of the Calgary Stampeders (11-6) will come down to the last game of the season, as they travel to Vancouver to face the B.C. Lions (5-12) Saturday night. The Saskatchewan Roughriders (12-5) host the Edmonton Eskimos (8-9) in a Saturday matinee, the results of which could leave the door open for the Stampeders to take first place and host the West final.
Here are five things to watch for as the Stampeders finish the regular season:
- What’s the point? Will the Stamps have a shot at top spot or just a shot at avoiding a trip to Winnipeg? They’ll know by game time. If Sask loses, a win in B.C. gives Calgary a ticket to the Western final. A Riders win means the fight is for home field advantage in the semi.
- Run! The Stamps running game has been lacklustre most of the year, and just awful the last couple of weeks. Don Jackson gets one more shot to start, thanks to injuries dictating three Canadians start on the O-line. Time to step it up.
- Time to be special: The running game escaped a lot of criticism last week simply because the special teams were so terrible. From missed converts turned into two points for the other team, to rolling punts picked up inside the ten, to a generally anemic return game, special teams were brutal in the season finale. That can’t continue if the Stampeders want to win.
- Mitchell’s Midas touch: Bo Levi Mitchell was just named one of the league’s top performers for October — rightfully so. Mitchell had a 72.3 per cent completion rate, throwing for 1449 yards and 10 TDs with only 3 interceptions in the month. He’s also hit 3,000 passing yards for the sixth time in his career. He tells me he’s feeling unstoppable. Good time of the year for that feeling.
- Play Safe: No more injuries. Please. Calgary already has 20 players on its injured list — 12 alone on the 6-game — and doesn’t need any more going into the playoffs.
Join me and the entire Calgary Stampeders broadcast crew as the Stamps take on the Lions on Saturday, Nov. 2. The pregame show gets underway at 6:30 p.m. with kick-off at 8 p.m. on the radio home of the Calgary Stampeders — 770 CHQR.