Game 7 Preview – Stampeders at Argos

It’s game 7 of the year for the Boatmen who can look at this year’s 3-3 record and see that as a better record than last year when they 4-2 after 6 games.  Yes I truly believe the way they’ve played close in the three losses is a great sign of progress under the new management. It’s hard to believe how strong the West is compared to the East so any victory you can get against a Western team is a big 2 points. Here’s your breakdown of game 7 in less time than it takes to get through the morning drive thru. Will the weather play a big part in Thursday’s kick-off to week 7 of the CFL?

Butler and Laing Remain on the IR

The Argos played a strong game on the defensive front in Saskatchewan which surprised some as they played their first game with-out Victor Butler and Cleyon Laing who were injured in the Ottawa victory.  Butler was named Defensive player for July even if he missed one game due to injury and leads the CFL in sacks. Laing and Butler have shown that yes the D stats look great but it’s those second tier stats like pressures and containment that can stymie a QB. Laing has developed into a mobile defensive player who has more than just one move while Butler has been a power rushing beast.  This test against the best offence in the CFL will push Jeff Finley the Guelph product who is getting a full-time chance in Toronto after three years in Montreal and Dylan Wynn who started 44 of 50 games at Oregon State into a bigger role on the DL.  The Stampeders put a lot of money and time into protecting Bo Levi Mitchell and the height and length of Butler is hard to replace.

Sack Attack Leaders Collide

Toronto leads the CFL with 19 but like we said have two very good players out with injury while Calgary is second with 15 sacks.  That makes Calgary the leader in sacks just based on health. We know Ricky Ray won’t leave the pocket so will he have enough to time to throw away a couple of passes to save on lost yardage?

Sears Jr. Out, Can they still Ball Hawk?

In the last minutes of the Saskatchewan loss we saw Johnny Sears Jr. go for a strip of the ball  rather than land on a Roughrider for a tackle.  The end result was a big gain and a few fans crying the ‘aw shucks’.  I get it but more importantly that play was an example of the aggressive Argo defensive backfield that’s been great and entertaining.  Sears Jr. is out but let’s hope the Dreaded D keeps playing aggressive.  I can’t believe that Marcus Ball wasn’t given a chance to succeed in the NFL at least in 3rd and long defensive schemes but it’s ultimately a gift the Argos couldn’t turn down.

Fantasy World

I’m sticking with Ricky Ray, Calgary will force Toronto to create offence and the leader in passing yards will be asked to move the ball with the most accurate arm in the CFL. Yes he really is 6th in pass completion but he has also attempted 266 passes with next closest competitor at 225 pass attempts.

Calgary’s Offence

Ok double blue keep him under 60 points! I know the Stampeders 60-1 victory over Hamilton last week wasn’t just the offence but this team is second in passing touchdowns and second in rushing touchdowns.  Throw in the fact they lead the CFL in sacks allowed with only giving up 4 and you realize how amazing it was that the REDBLACKS beat them in the Grey Cup last year. Jerome Messam leads the CFL in rushing yards and also has been great catching the ball.  How great is it to hear teams say they need to stop that Canadian kid on offence? The Toronto born Messam is a product of Graceland University which is scary because of the school’s size and that it plays in the NAIA, a lower tier of the NCAA. Still I wonder did all the CFL teams know to look at a small time school to find a big time Canadian talent? He is now on his 6th CFL team so maybe teams are making up for not giving his talents that big respect in 2007.

The Game Plan

Kickoff: 7:30 PM ET BMO Stadium
TV & Online: TSN
Radio: TSN 1050 & SirusXM 167

Argo Depth Chart

Stampeder Depth Chart

By Peter T. Kourtis

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