Four teams went back to work today in preparation for the conference finals.
Today the CFL also released their selections for the Gibson's Finest Players of the Week awards. Stampeder quarterback Drew Tate was selected as the Most Outstanding Offensive Player.
Tate... seriously? Maybe Jon Cornish or Maurice Price.
Tate was obviously rusty and should consider himself lucky that he has been granted another week to improve and continue to work to establish some offensive cohesiveness - which was lacking Sunday.
He had a gutsy performance and was very good throwing the ball downfield with pressure out of the pocket, but to vote for him the best of the week, no way.
John Huffnagel's assessed Tate's performance after the game saying, "I would like for him to see the receivers more clearly before he throws it, I'm talking about long throws down field, when the receiver is going in and he's throwing it outside".
The game-winning 68-yard catch by Romby Bryant had more to do with Stampeder offensive coordinator Dave Dickenson than Tate's performance. Dickenson must have seen the young Saskaskatchewan defensive backs peaking into the backfield throughout the game and felt, given the right opportunity, the offence could take advantage of it.Poor defence help
The late touchdown had more to do with Riders corner Terrell Maze's lack of discipline, than Tate's performance too. Saskatchwan looked to be in a 4 deep zone, and Maze bit on the short-pump fake by Tate only to see Bryant jog into the endzone, ending the Riders season.
Even Dickenson conceded after the game that he would have liked to see his quarterback be tighter on his offensive reads.
People have been buying into the self initiated Stampeder hype for the past three weeks as the Stamps attempt to manufacture some team confidence.
The bottom line is that the Stampeders were lucky to have a soft schedule heading into the playoffs and they were lucky to beat the Riders.
Tate was fortunate that his slow read progression and errant throws downfield did not result in turnovers.
The Stamps QB completed only 60% of his passes and 173 of his 363 yards passing came on four plays.
He often threw the ball into coverage and took a chance, hoping that his receivers would adjust to the football and make a plays on the football.
Nik Lewis was quoted after the game saying, "I know they [Lions] were all in a prayer meeting this morning, hoping Saskatchewan won. They were probably sittin' around singing Kumbaya when Saskatchewan scored there at the end of the game, thinking it was over."
First, Lewis is the last guy that should be talking as he was utilized as nothing more than a decoy catching four passes for 28 yards.
My guess is that while watching the game Sunday, the Lions were praying that they would get another shot at the Stampeders. I believe their prayers were answered when Calgary pulled a horseshoe out of nowhere and beat the Riders with 30 seconds remaining in the game.
My thought is that the Lions are very excited to have the opportunity to erase the poor performance they had the last time these two teams met in Calgary.
I'm assuming that Andrew Harris was in the Lions "prayer meeting" hoping that he was going to get another chance to go head-to-head with Jon Cornish and the opportunity to silence those who feel that 1457 yards rushing is more impressive than 1830 yards from scrimmage.
The player that should have gotten recognition for their play offensively this past week was Argo quarterback, Ricky Ray.
Ray's performance was exactly what we expected it to be. He was calm under pressure and executed the offence with ease and in a rhythm that indicates he was in control of the game.
Ray completed 77% of his passes for 239 yards. He threw two touchdown passes and ran one in himself.
Unlike Tate, Toronto's QB threw only one pass over 25 yards and put up 31 points in one quarter of play.
Just a reminder: this is a CFL playoff record for most points scored in a second quarter EVER!
Back to accessibility links