Week five of the CFL season wrapped up with an Alberta clash of rivals with the Edmonton Elks taking on the Calgary Stampeders on Labour Day. Both teams came into the game looking to find something to build on after struggling early on in the season. For the Stamps, they would need to do things without Bo Levi Mitchell once again as Jake Maier got another start, and the Elks needed Trevor Harris to be on his best. Here are four takeaways from the game!
Related: CFL Power Rankings – Week 5
This is the Trevor Harris Edmonton Needs
During his time in the CFL, Trevor Harris has earned himself a bit of a reputation of being inconsistent, and it’s not without cause. Already this season, we have seen him look incapable of throwing touchdowns in one game, and in others, he has looked like the best quarterback in the league. This is something that has continued throughout the duration of his career, and it’s unlikely that it’s going to change at this point, but for the Elks, they need to ensure that his lows aren’t as low as they have been.
The Elks do not need Harris to throw for nearly 400 yards every single game, you can’t expect him to be perfect, but they can’t have him throw three interceptions and no touchdowns anymore. Harris has so much talent but he seems unable to do it game in and game out.
He’s shown again and again what he is capable of doing, but it comes down to doing it consistently. It has become somewhat of a trend for us to talk about over and over again, but it’s true. It’s one of the only things holding Harris back from winning MOPs, Grey Cups, and Grey Cup MVPs. This game showcased what the Elks need Harris to be, but it’s up to him to produce at elite levels each week.
Stamps Need Bo Back
Jake Maier has stepped in and filled the role left vacant by Stampeders’ franchise quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell quite nicely, and while you can’t blame any of the losses suffered by the Stamps in Mitchell’s absence on Maier, it will certainly help the Stamps when Mitchell does return. Despite three games with over 300 yards passing from Maier, his lack of experience and veteran leadership presence hurts the Stamps, especially when you are comparing him to Mitchell.
This is a very similar situation to what we saw in the 2019 season when Mitchell went down and Nick Arbuckle stepped into the starting role. While you were comfortable with Arbuckle being able to give the Stamps a chance to win the games, you would rather have Mitchell as he elevates the roster by just being there.
I already know that people are going to say that he has been bad this season and it won’t help things when he comes back, but let’s try to remember that he played at least one full game on a broken bone in his leg if not more. It’s like the Tampa Bay Buccaneers without Tom Brady, the Green Bay Packers without Aaron Rodgers, or the Buffalo Bills without Josh Allen. Their success relies on those players and they need them in the lineup. The Stampeders are much the same with Mitchell.
Stampeders In Deep Hole
This one goes without saying, but the Stampeders sit at 1-4 right now, an undeniably large hole to dig themselves out of the rest of the way this season. Currently, their best possible record is 10-4, and while that would be good enough for a playoff spot, I can’t see them winning their final nine games of the season.
At this point, winning the division is more of a pipe dream than a reality, and second in the division is starting to go that same direction. They are the team fighting with the Elks and Lions for third in the West and that possible crossover spot, but there’s no guarantee that even happens. They shouldn’t even dream about a playoff spot until they can string some wins together, but I’m not sure they will be able to do that, especially without Mitchell.
Are These the Real Elks?
Are the real Elks the ones who looked terrible in their first two games? Are they the ones who looked decent against the BC Lions? Or are they the ones who absolutely kicked the you know what out of the Stampeders? To me, I don’t think they are as bad as their lows, nor do I think they are as good as their highs, but rather somewhere in the middle.
They are a good football team, but I won’t say they are great because they have had one game where they looked like they might be. This is something they need to do again and again, but I don’t think they can. That is based in history, however. I already talked about Harris’ problems with consistency, and that’s where my concerns are. I’m perfectly happy for him to prove me wrong, but for the time being, I have to roll with what I know to be true. The Elks are good, but far from elite.
Passing Yards: Trevor Harris (EDM): 398
Rushing Yards: James Wilder Jr. (EDM): 65
Receiving Yards: Kamar Jorden (CGY): 123
Touchdowns: Mike Jones (EDM), Ernest Edwards (EDM), Jalen Tolliver (EDM), James Wilder Jr. (EDM), Markieth Ambles (CGY), Ka’Deem Carey (CGY): 1
Tackles: Darnell Sankey (CGY): 9
Special Teams Tackles: Tanner Green (EDM): 2
Sacks: Jake Ceresna (EDM): 1
Interceptions: No Interceptions
13th Man Sports Player of the Game
POTG: Trevor Harris
31/41 passing, 398 yards, 4 touchdowns