It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. Two points is two points and you need all you can in a 9-team league. The Calgary Stampeders opened their fresh 2018 season at home versus the Hamilton Ti-Cats. There are a lot of question marks coming into this season with some of the highest veteran turnover in recent memory. Key pieces from defensive line, running back, and the secondary, have been replaced with younger, cheaper, and just as talented versions.
Calgary is the team to beat once again this season, despite what pundits may try to tell you. The CFL is dominated by the West, and the Stamps will lead the charge. Of course, in the CFL all of that doesn’t matter since any crap team can play 3 good games and win the Grey Cup. See Toronto from last year. That’s the nature of a league that’s so small.
For the Stampeders, it’s the same story. Exciting dominant football, and the team being their own worst enemy. The first game rust was evident. Look no further than the opener storyline–red-zone production.
Bo Mitchell completed less than 50% of his passes, brought the team to the red zone 5 times, and scored 1 TD. He was constantly missing sure TDs all game. This is something that will be ironed out of his game, but 21-28 points were left off the board by bad throws. With arguably the most talented receiving corps (and under appreciated league wide) there are weapons at his disposal, if he can hit them.
You may have not noticed the team playing much different. Even at running back with two new faces, Jackson and Williams, the team didn’t seem to miss a beat.
Because of the Stampeder misses, Hamilton stayed in the game longer than they should’ve. The veteran (Are they still veteran?) Stampeders held on to pull away mid0-way through the 4th with veteran (pretty much the only one) Brandon Smith picking off Masoli for a crucial INT.
Lots to iron out for this team, particularly behind centre, but all in a win, and that’s all that counts.