The Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions should thank the CFL schedule maker for making Saturday night’s game nine days apart from their most previous outing. Simply put, McMahon Stadium needed that much time to stop vibrating after last week’s inspiring performance.
|Where the Heart Is|
Should the Calgary Stampeders defeat the Lions on Saturday night, it would be just the second time since the 2000 season that they won their first three home games.
The Stampeders staged one of the most memorable rallies in recent memory, coming back from 17 points down with five minutes to play to defeat the Roughriders 41-38.
The game is still being discussed in Calgary.
But once the emotion is stripped away from the win, several very encouraging trends have emerged for the Calgary.
Regardless of how beneficial the emotional aspect of the game may have had on the team and the fans alike, there were several encouraging trends from a tactical standpoint that emerged as well.
The first trend is that they were able to establish themselves on home turf. Entering this season, the team identified that improving their performance at McMahon to be a priority.
So far the Stamps are 2-0 at home, registering 79 points in the process. Should they defeat the Lions on Saturday night, it would be just the second time since the 2000 season that they won their first three home games.
Calgary has also proved that they do indeed have a strong offence. Heading into this weekend, the Stamps have averaged a league-best 36.8 points per game. They share the league lead in touchdowns with the Tiger-Cats.
Quarterback Kevin Glenn, taking over for the injured Drew Tate, has finally started to find his stride. In the Saskatchewan game, he was 27-42 with four touchdown passes and did not throw an interception.
Now, his biggest challenge will be to start stronger. Glenn has a QB rating of 77.8 during the first half, but that total balloons up to 125 in the final two frames.
While Glenn has been very solid in his work, receiver Nik Lewis has been the driving force. The ninth year Stampeder leads the league in catches, second in yards and first in touchdown receptions. More than anything is his tenacity after catching the ball. Fifteen times this year he has made first downs on his catches, extending Stampeder drives. It also helps explain why the team has the best second down conversion rate.
While Glenn has been very solid in his work so far this season, it’s receiver Nik Lewis that has proven to be the driving force of the offensive attack.
Special teams have also been a plus through the first four games. Kicker Rene Paredes is pounding the ball through at a 90 per cent clip, while returner Larry Taylor has been dazzling in chewing up yards and giving the Stampeders opportune field position.
Mark Stephen is Sports Director of CHQR Radio in Calgary and has broadcast Calgary Stampeder games since 1996. Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkonFootball.