CFL West Division Final: Lions at Stampeders live stream

November 27, 2011; Vancouver, BC, Canada; BC Lions players pose with the Grey Cup after defeating Winnipeg Blue Bombers 34-23 at BC Place Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
November 27, 2011; Vancouver, BC, Canada; BC Lions players pose with the Grey Cup after defeating Winnipeg Blue Bombers 34-23 at BC Place Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /

CFL’s top two teams meet in Calgary when the Stampeders host the BC Lions

The Calgary Stampeders finished the CFL regular season as the best team, and one of the best teams in league history. In the west final the Stampeders host the BC Lions.

After electing to rest key starters in the season finale, the Stamps finished 15-2-1. Calgary is simply a team that does not have any major weaknesses. Making Calgary even more dangerous is that they are well rested. Calgary has not played in three weeks. Last season Edmonton had three weeks off before the West Final and went on the win the Grey Cup.

Offensively, Calgary can move the football and beat opposing teams in many different ways. Quarterback Bo-Levi Mitchell should unanimously win Most Outstanding Player, after finishing second in passing yards and first in touchdowns. Left tackle Derek Dennis should win Most Outstanding Lineman, after Calgary surrendered the league’s fewest sacks. The Calgary offensive line also paved way for the league’s leading rushing Jerome Messam. Messam could walk away with the league’s Most Outstanding Canadian.

Part of what makes Calgary difficult to stop is that teams can not pinpoint a receiver to game plan to take away. Calgary had just one 1000 yard receiver in Marquay McDaniel. But had 6 other players record more than 400 yards receiving. Receiver DaVaris Daniels will likely walk away with Most Outstanding Rookie after recording 885 yards and nine touchdowns in just 11 games.

Much like their offensive, defensively and on special teams, Calgary is without many flaws. Charleston Hughes led the CFL in sacks. Jamar Wall is a ball hawk in the secondary. Rookie middle linebacker Alex Singleton makes plays all over the field. If there is a flaw to point to it’s the Stampeders special teams. Kicker Rene Paredes made 87.5 percent of his field goal attempts. But Paredes also missed seven converts. Punter Rob Maver averaged 46.9 yards per punt. But Calgary’s punt coverage unit has been prone to give up big returns.

Don’t count out BC, they have two advantages over Calgary

In the first week of the CFL season, the BC Lions beat the Stamps 20-18. Calgary would then go 15-1-1 the rest of the way. But there is two clear advantages the Lions hold over Calgary.

Wally Buono is the greatest coach in CFL history. His career record is 266-145-3, with five Grey Cup victories. Buono has been a head coach for 23 seasons, coaching the Lions for 10 seasons and the Stampeders. During his stints with Calgary and BC, Buono had Dave Dickenson as his quarterback. Dickenson is in his first year as the Calgary head coach.

The second major advantage for BC comes in the return game. Chris Rainey is a threat to break a return touchdown every time he touches the football. With one of Calgary’s weakness being their punt coverage team, Rainey could instantly flip field position.

Offensively, the Lions are a well-balanced attack. Quarterback Jonathan Jennings is one of the CFL’s best young dual-threats. But the Lions could be without top receiver Manny Arceneaux after he was concussed by Winnipeg’s Taylor Loffler in the West semi-final. The Lions could have Canadian receiver Shawn Gore back after he suffered a concussion late in the season. If the Lions do have Arceneaux, Gore and breakout star Bryan Burnham, the Lions aerial attack will be a tough to stop.

Defensively, BC has been able to create confusion for opposing quarterbacks and blocking schemes off of the multiple different fronts they run. Alex Bazzie recorded 11 sacks. Adam Bighill is one of the league’s best linebackers. Solomon Elimimian will win his second most outstanding defensive player award after his 129 tackle, eight sack season. Elimimian and Bighill will be responsible for limiting Messam’s production. If BC can stuff the run game, and force Calgary to win through the air, their chances of winning improve.

Previous meetings:

Calgary won the season series 2-1. BC won 20-18 in week one. Calgary won July 29, 44-41 and August 19, 37-9. In the BC win, they shutdown the Calgary running game. Calgary won the second game in a shoot-out behind one of Bo-Levi Mitchell’s best games of the season. In the third game, Calgary blew BC out, but Jonathan Jennings was injured and did not play in the second half.

Keys to victory:

For BC the key to victory is simple, stuff the run and get to the quarterback. If they can put pressure on Mitchell they will have a chance at winning. BC also needs to win the turnover battle and time of possess. Unfortunately for BC, Calgary allowed just 20 sacks and turned the ball over just 26 times. Both the best marks in the CFL.
For Calgary to win, they need to run the football. Get Messam rolling and that will open up their passing attack. Defensively, Calgary needs to contain the running threat of quarterback Jonathan Jennings. If Jennings breaks contain, it will put extra pressure on the Stampeders defense and could eventually wear them out.

Next: All live stream info in one place

Game information:

Date: Sunday November 20, 2016

Kick-off time: 4:30 EST

Location: McMahon Stadium, Calgary, Alberta Canada

Canadian TV: TSN 1/4/5 – French RDS

USA, Australia and South America TV: ESPN3

UK and Ireland TV: BTSports

Live Stream: Yare Media

Gambling information:

Line: BC Lions @ Calgary Stampeders (-7)

Over/Under: 54.0