THE REDBLACKS WIN IF ...
1 THE BIG-GAME LETDOWN
In both the 2016 and 2017 Grey Cups, the Calgary Stampeders went in as the better regularseason team and were whopping favourites. They won neither. In 2017, the Stampeders gave up a 109-yard fumble return for a touchdown on a Kamar Jordan fumble as the Toronto Argos beat Calgary 27-24 in Ottawa. In 2016, the Redblacks charged out to a 20-point lead, surviving a fourth-quarter Calgary rally and winning 39-33 in overtime. History has to count for something. It says here the big-game failures continue today and coach Dave Dickenson will still be looking for his first Grey Cup win.
2 THE ABC EFFECT
Anybody but Calgary seems to be popular in Edmonton this week. Count on a large portion of today’s crowd to be cheering for the Redblacks — basically because any sports fan in Edmonton hates everything about Calgary … and vice-versa. Hard to believe that the westerners can’t get on the same wavelength, but Ottawa should get a boost from the fan noise that’s directed at Calgary’s offence, making it difficult for QB Bo Levi Mitchell to communicate with his players.
3 STATISTICS CAN LIE
In two regular-season games, Calgary outscored Ottawa 51-17 — with the gap (plus-34) primarily made up of points off turnovers (26 of Calgary’s 51 points). Ottawa QB Trevor Harris did not complete either game and had passing totals of 135 and 93 yards with three interceptions and no touchdown passes. Bo Levi Mitchell passed for 251 and 166 yards with three touchdown tosses. Expect a much more dynamic Ottawa offence today. Harris and his talented receiving corps were rolling in last week’s East final win over Hamilton. Harris set two all-time playoff records with six TD passes and a 90.6 completion percentage.
4 OH, WHAT A RUSH
Redblacks running back William Powell is a difference maker. Powell finished second in CFL rushing, with 1,362 yards (28 behind Andrew Harris). Powell would have won the title, but was rested the final two games of the season. Of the past eight Grey Cups, seven have been won by the team that had the most rushing yards. Toronto defied that trend last year by winning with only 16 rushing yards. Since 2010, winning teams have averaged 21.4 rushing
attempts, losing clubs just 13.2 per game.
5 HERE’S TO THEIR HEALTH
As unbelievable and difficult to do as it is, the Redblacks go into the game healthy. Really healthy. Sure, some players are banged-up, but nobody expected to make significant contributions is sidelined. So there will be no injury excuses.