A lot can change in a week in the CFL. Last Saturday, the Saskatchewan Roughriders marched into McMahon Stadium with a 5-2 record looking to pile more misery on the 2-5 Calgary Stampeders who were truly in desperation mode.
23 Stampeders points and some questionable final drive play calling from Jason Maas later, and the complexion of this weekend’s game has changed. Now with momentum behind them, Calgary finds themselves just two games back from Saskatchewan, looking to shake up the playoff race in the west division.
For Saskatchewan, this game is a chance to exercise some demons for this team against their Alberta bogey man. Roughriders’ head coach Craig Dickenson is 0-3 against his brother Dave Dickenson on the Stampeders’ sideline, and his QB1, Cody Fajardo also shares the same record to go along with a one-to-four touchdown-to-interception ratio in this fixture. Fajardo himself will be very eager to bounce back on Saturday, after making headlines for calling out his receivers followed by a public apology and now will want to focus on the game in hand.
A lot of this game depends on the Stampeders’ quarterback, Bo Levi Mitchell. Fresh of yet another knock (this time his shoulder), Mitchell will be looking to prove his doubters this season wrong. Mitchell had one of his better games this season last week against the Riders, particularly early on with two first quarter touchdowns, doing his confidence the world of good.
We know how good he can be when he is at his best and he is capable of winning games like this. However, it has been a trying season for the two-time Grey Cup MVP with eight interceptions through five games and many fans calling for his backup Jake Maier to start. If his play on Saturday is reminiscent of his season so far, against the Riders’ defence with eight interceptions and 25 sacks looking for revenge, then the Stamps can expect a long evening.
Saskatchewan should be favourites for this game, expect their offence to come back with a point to prove after just seven points in three quarters. If this materializes it’ll be tough for Calgary to keep up. We’ll know a lot more about the destiny of these two teams after this weekend. Games between these two are always entertaining and this shouldn’t prove to be different this weekend.