This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.cfl.ca/games/6293/calgary-stampeders-vs-bc-lions/
How healthy is Rourke?
Will Maier rise to the occassion in his first post-season as starter?
How full is BC Place going to be?
I don't know the answer to the first two questions but BC Place will be filling it's upper bowl this week. That place will be rockin'!
Glad to see someone fixed the chart. Must have been embarrassing for dude involved (or he should have been embarrassed anyway)
Well let's hope BC packs it out and play better than they did this weekend!
It was a fan on Twitter who fixed it. I copied it from him.
A fan? Hire him, fire the guy who made it (off with his head!) I'm in firing mode until the caffeine kicks in.
And they've opened up parts of the upper deck for sale today.
I like Jake Maier’s game and think he’ll be highly effective, but the Stampeders attack goes through their ground game for the most part right now. If Kid Canada looks anything like he did in the first half of the season then BC has the advantage.
The biggest question here is whether those pair of deep ball misses from Rourke in his Week 21 tune-up at Winnipeg were a sign of things to come or a simple recalibration in live reps.
In a matchup between two best running backs this season this one is really difficult determine, with respect to Jamal Morrow and Frankie Hickson in Saskatchewan.
James Butler has an uncommon burst and will be sure to get some check down touches where he could make a big difference in the game. However, Ka’Deem Carey and Peyton Logan are difference makers at a position that is typically an afterthought in the pass-heavy CFL.
Calgary entered the final week of the regular season with 25 more rushing yards per game than BC and a ridiculous 6.0 yards per carry. Butler and fullback David Mackie will have their say, but BC’s travel plans to Winnipeg rest on Rourke, where Calgary’s largely depend on Carey.
This is a total toss up for me. Not just because I respect both groups immensely, but with Rourke re-setting his rhythm I wonder how the Lions receivers will be affected.
For Calgary, Reggie Begelton’s average depth of target is way down this year and he’s being used as a bubble screen target consistently. Malik Henry has exploded onto the scene amidst Kamar Jorden’s mid-season struggles fighting the football.
If Rourke can get on the same page with his receivers in short order with home field advantage, you have to think they’re the better unit. Especially factoring in support from Keon Hatcher, Jacob Scarfone and Butler. However, Calgary’s Canadian contingent of Richie Sindani, Luther Hakunavanhu, Colton Hunchak, Jalen Philpot and Tyson Middlemost each have the ability to make a game-changing play.
Even without Derek Dennis I believe Calgary’s line play holds the slight edge over BC. Which is quite the statement considering how far the Lions pass protection has come. A few short years ago I would have plainly called their unit eons behind Calgary.
Coach Pat DelMonaco has done a great job with the Sean McEwen led group and they will be the key to controlling game flow in a rowdy BC Place on Sunday.
I love Obum Gwacham and the Canadian combo of Mathieu Betts and David Menard has been great this year, but that Stampeders front is arguably the best in the entire CFL right now.
Shawn Lemon has had a season to remember while Mike Rose, Derek Wiggan and Folarin Orimolade have all played their part in setting the tone.
With Rourke getting all the hype this week and tickets sales flowing in Vancouver, that fearsome front-four will be flying off the ball Sunday.
Cameron Judge was acquired in the offseason to give Calgary’s core a burst after losing Darnell Sankey to Saskatchewan. All he’s done is stuff the stat sheet with sacks, interceptions, forced fumbles and a league leading five fumble recoveries.
Jordan Williams has put together another special year for BC as the top overall pick from 2020 looks to be a long term home run. But given the variety of plays made and the knowledge possessed by Judge, he’ll likely be tasked with playing multiple roles to help stop Rourke on Sunday. Which has me giving the slight lean towards defensive coordinator Brent Monson’s group. Oh, also that guy named Jameer Thurman has looked pretty good alongside Judge.
This BC secondary gets after the ball as well as any unit around the league.
Led by Garry Peters and his five interceptions, Marcus Sayles strengthens an already talented group who will be buzzing around the turf looking to make Maier pay for the smallest of poor decisions. Something defensive coordinator Ryan Phillips‘ group has so many times this season.
In a matchup of Peyton Logan versus Terry Williams we have a standout rookie and a mid-season acquisition, each of whom could break the Western Semi-Final wide open in a moments notice.
Williams leads the CFL in total kick return yardage while Logan boasts the longest kick return of the season (99-yards) and a couple scores to his name. What this comes down to is coverage and Mark Kilam’s tacklers are rarely if ever out of position. Give me the Stamps here.
Rene Paredes and Cody Grace versus Sean Whyte and Stefan Flintoft.
It won’t get much love, but this is an iconic playoff kicking matchup. Paredes has the most attempts and makes this season, while Whyte leads the league with a 91.7 field goal percentage. Grace leads the CFL in net punting, while Flintoft has the longest punt of the year (89-yards) and has been near the CFL’s best all season.
There is no advantage here, it’s simply a question of who makes the right kick at the right time, and usually that means Paredes’ smooth swing plays hero, but only time will tell.
WESTERN SEMI-FINAL SPOTLIGHT
Calgary Stampeders at BC Lions
Sunday, November 6 at 4:30 p.m. ET
At a glance:
If the trio of regular season meetings between the BC Lions and Calgary Stampeders are any indication of what’s to come in the Western Semi-Final, CFL fans are in for a real treat at BC Place on Sunday.
The battle for second place in the West was an exciting one between Calgary and BC that went right down to the second last week of the regular season. The Lions, who had the won the season series against the Stampeders, locked up home field advantage with a win over the Elks in Week 20.
Sunday’s Semi-Final is as close to evenly matched as you can get as both finished the regular season with identical records 12-6. It also features the top two running backs, and two of the top defences in the league.
» Head to Head: Who has the edge in the Western Semi-Final
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Week 10 was the first of the three regular season matchups and the Lions clawed their way back to win on the foot of a Sean Whyte game-winning field goal with five seconds left on the clock to win 41-40.
Nathan Rourke had a sensational outing that evening, breaking his own record and career-high in total passing yards from the week prior, completing 39 of his 53 attempts for 488 yards and two touchdowns. Despite the loss, Bo Levi Mitchell added more to his HOF-worthy resume in this contest. With Mitchell’s first completion of the game, the pivot passed Henry Burris to become the franchise’s all-time leader in passing yards.
The next time the Leos and Stamps met was a few weeks later in Week 15, but it wasn’t Rourke and Mitchell behind centre for either team. Vernon Adams Jr. took over as the Leo’s signal caller with Rourke sidelined with a foot injury, while the Stamps decided to roll with Jake Maier instead of Mitchell for the remainder of the season. Butler was a major factor in the 31-29 overtime win for the Lions as he totalled 83 yards and two touchdowns (including one in extra the extra frame) on 13 carries in the contest.
The third and final outing was a 25-11 Stampeders victory where a pair of running backs helped propel them into the win column. Carey rushed 12 times for 84 yards and a major score while Peyton Logan also got in on the scoring with a 19-yard scamper into the end zone late in the contest.
With three exciting matchups between these two already in the books, there’s no doubt Sunday will be on the same level. Here are three storylines to follow as the BC Lions get set to host the Calgary Stampeders in the first round of CFL Playoffs.
NATHAN ROURKE IS SET TO LEAD THE LIONS TO BATTLE AGAINST THE STAMPEDERS THIS WEEKEND (BCLIONS.COM)
Kid Canada. The Next One. Whatever you want to call him, Nathan Rourke is the biggest storyline to watch heading into the Western Semi-Final.
After suffering a Lisfranc sprain in Week 11, there were many questions surrounding the Canadian pivot and if he would make a return this season. Incredibly, the 24-year-old was ready to go for the team’s regular season finale and played in the opening quarter of Week 21’s contest against the Blue Bombers, where he got back into game action and tested his foot and his mobility ahead of the playoff matchup against Calgary. In 15 minutes of work, he completed seven of 11 passes for 68 yards.
Rourke finished the regular season sixth in passing yards with 3,349 despite only playing in 10 games, and ended the year second in passing touchdowns with 25, just behind Zach Collaros (37). He also added 304 yards and seven majors on 39 carries on the ground.
Ahead of the Canadian sensation is the biggest test of his young career. The Lions will be hoping Rourke will look like the quarterback he did prior to his injury – accurate, mobile and quick to get the ball out of his hands after the snap. And if he does, Calgary’s defence will need to be at their absolute best.
If you’re looking to watch the top two backs to run the ball in 2022, the Western Semi-Final features them both.
The league-leader, Ka’Deem Carey, will be the feature back for the Stampeders, but he isn’t the only one that is a threat to the Lions defence. Dedrick Mills and Peyton Logan are also both dangerous anytime the ball is in their hands. Mills has racked up two touchdowns to go along with 228 yards on 31 carries in the final two games of the regular season. Over the course of the season, Logan has amassed 365 yards and three major scores on 58 carries, averaging 6.3 yards per carry.
Despite all three being able to make plays when they hit the field, all eyes will understandably be on Carey, who finished at the top of the league with 1,088 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground on 164 carries in just 14 games.
His counterpart, James Butler, was just behind in total yardage (1,060) on 210 carries while finding the end zone seven times in 17 games. The balance of both the aerial attack and the rush attack was key for the Lions throughout the season and Calgary’s linebackers will have their hands full trying to stop the run on Sunday.
SHAWN LEMON IS HAVING ONE OF THE BEST SEASONS OF HIS CAREER IN 2022 (STAMPEDERS.COM)
Defence wins championships? Well, in the Stampeders case, that may be true, especially since they boast a defence that has been a force to be reckoned with.
And one player in particular has been excellent so far in 2022 for the Stampeders: Shawn Lemon.
Lemon consistently disrupted quarterbacks in 2022, finishing the year second in sacks with 14, just three behind Ottawa’s Lorenzo Mauldin. Those 14 sacks were tied for a career-high – the last time Lemon had that many quarterback takedowns was in 2016 with the Toronto Argonauts. The 34-year-old was also tied for the league lead in forced fumbles (five), and had two fumble recoveries. Plus, he tallied a career-high in tackles this season with 29.
The BC Lions offensive line will no doubt have their hands full with Lemon, and the rest of the Stamps defence that finished the year at the top of the league in sacks (56).
The Stampeders and Lions will face off to earn a spot in the Western Division Final. This matchup should be much more Fantasy friendly, with clear-cut options at every position. QB Jake Maier will look to get the job done for his Calgary Stampeders, and he’s probably in my top two options at quarterback this week. He’ll continue to toss the ball to a stacked receiving corps led by Malik Henry (pay attention to his injury status), Reggie Begelton, and Kamar Jorden. Henry or Begelton seems like the best bet here, but it depends on the injury status of the former. RB Ka’Deem Carey is in must-start territory this week, but his price might be a little high for some CFL Fantasy players.
QB Nathan Rourke is back at the helm for the Lions, and the Canadian sensation is your best bet at quarterback for Fantasy purposes. He’s a bit pricey, but he’ll be worth it. His presence increases the Fantasy relevance of WRs Lucky Whitehead and Dominique Rhymes. RB James Butler is also the most Fantasy-friendly running back this week. Starting at least one Lion will be crucial to your success this week.
As always, thanks for reading! Be on the lookout for more great CFL Fantasy content coming your way. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram via the links at the top of this page.
I am thinking we will see some glaring problems not seen before in the BC starting QB. Calgary isa better team now then they were to the losses to BC and the Bombers
Agreed on both counts. It will be quite a story, though, if Rourke can come back from injury and lead his team over these improved Stampeders.
I'm almost as interested to see how young Maier is going to handle the playoff pressure.
BC might pull this off yet... Cowtown ain't football -gods status by any means and no matter who comes out with the win it will be a tall order to get past that team in the Peg
Yeah, I'm still picking BC. I just don't expect Rourke to dissect the Stamps D like he might have before his injury.
Fwiw, BetRegal has the Lions as favourites too.
Jamie Nye is picking Calgary:
Calgary at BC
Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET
CALGARY STAMPEDERS DEFENSIVE LINEMAN MIKE ROSE HAS RECORDED A SACK IN EACH OF HIS LAST TWO GAMES AGAINST THE BC LIONS (STAMPEDERS.COM)
Is Nathan Rourke healthy enough to go? I’m not sure that he is. What I mean by that is the ability to avoid the pressure that will be coming at him from one of the best defensive lines in the CFL.
The Stampeders got to the quarterback more than any other team in the CFL and it wasn’t even close. Calgary finished the season with 56 sacks, nine more than the Ottawa REDBLACKS and 11 more than the Lions. If Rourke can’t escape, it’s game over for the Lions unless they can get James Butler rolling.
We have a matchup of the best two running backs in the CFL with Ka’Deem Carey and Butler. They were separated by just 28 years for the rushing crown, which Carey claimed despite not playing in the final week of the season.
First down will be imperative for the Lions, so they don’t leave Rourke in too many second and long scenarios.
In Calgary, Jake Maier has been good, but nowhere near the 300-yard per game player he was when he took over the starting job for the injured Bo Levi Mitchell last season.
In fact, Maier has just one 300-yard game so far as the team has been much more efficient staying committed to the run.
The Stamps downfall in the race to a home playoff game was their 1-5 record against B.C. and Winnipeg this year, although they were competitive in every game.
This will be the first start for both Maier and Rourke in their playoff careers so we’ll see how they each handle the added pressure.
However, I really like how the Stampeders have gone into the playoffs. With their playoff standing secured heading into their final two games against the Roughriders they completely kept the pedal down, no matter who was in the game.
In the last meeting between the two teams from B.C. Place, the Stamps absolutely got after the Lions up front tallying five sacks.
I’d love to have Rourke’s comeback story become one of legend, but I’m just not convinced he’ll be the same guy who took the CFL by storm through the first nine games.
PICK: CALGARY (50 confidence bonus)