3 plays Calgary Stampeders should have made in Grey Cup final
Find out where the ‘Stamps went wrong
By Sajan Jabbal, Staff Writer
The Toronto Argonauts pulled off a huge upset beating the ‘Stamps in the Grey Cup final, but it all came down to one bad play-call.
It was late in the fourth quarter and tensions were high. Toronto had just made a huge field goal to take the lead 27-24. With just 45 seconds remaining, Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stamps had to get into field goal range if they were to have any chance at tying the game.
After two great plays and a huge 37 yard pass to Kamar Jorden, the Stamps were second down and four yards remaining, on Toronto’s 24 yard line, with only 20 seconds to go.
Then, it was the play.
The interception heard from coast-to-coast that sent the Stamps home in a snowy TD Place Stadium in Ottawa. A bold touchdown pass attempt that would have given Calgary the win backfired and the ball was intercepted by DB Matt Black which he ran out of bounds, marking the end of this contest.
“I said I wanted the ball in my hands at the end of the game, and it was, and I didn’t get it done,” Mitchell said post game.
These are the top three plays that should have been called instead of the interception pass.
Run the ball
It was a snowy day in Ottawa during the 2017 final. It was wet and cold, which meant one thing, the ball is very slippery. Although passing did take over much of this game, the majority of big plays came from passes in short yardage situations, where Calgary was already in field goal range. The safe play is to run the ball.
Running Back Jerome Messam had 62 yards on 13 carries, and averaged 4.6 yards per carry. You bet your ass he’s getting this clutch short yardage situation first down. This should have been the play called.
Even if he missed the first down marker, he would have gained yards which would have put them in even better field goal position going into third down.
The second play that should have been thought to run would be a screen pass, either to a receiver or to a running back. Screen passes are meant for plays just like this where you need the first down, but are worried about running the ball.
Even with the short time, a screen pass to the side of the field would have given a Stamps receiver the option to get out of bounds quickly to stop the clock from running. A screen pass would have probably set them up with another first down and another chance to move the chains with time running out.
If you rewatch the game film, you’ll see a wide open gap for Mitchell who had an available fullback to block him down field. If Mitchell realized the amount of space on the left side and made the run for a first down, this would be a completely different story.
Not only did you have the backfield going downfield into the end zone which freed up space in the middle, he had blockers that could have helped him get the first down and out of bounds to stop the clock.