105th Grey Cup 2017

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105th Grey Cup 2017



    Calgary Stampeders vs. Toronto Argonauts

    From TD Place in Ottawa

    Sun 6:30PM ET / 3:30PM PT on TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, TSN 4K



With the annual Grey Cup festivities well underway in our nations capital, the Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts get set to go head-to-head this Sunday in the 105th Grey Cup championship. Heading into this weekends tilt, the Stampeders are heavy favourites to knock off the Argonauts and claim their 3rd Grey Cup in the last ten years. Calgary, coming off a loss in last years Grey Cup, was the class of the Canadian Football League this season setting the pace with a league-best 13-4 record while finishing first in an overpowered CFL west division. Toronto on the other hand, won the East Division despite finishing with a mediocre 9-9 record and barely squeaking past the Saskatchewan Roughriders 25-21 in last Sundays East Final.

The Riders, who made the East Final after beating the Ottawa RedBlacks in their cross-over game a week prior, came up just short of giving CFL fans an all western Grey Cup for the first time ever after a season that saw the West rule over the East. The Stamps however, had a much more difficult foe to slay on their way to this years Grey Cup, as Calgary narrowly defeated their provincial rivals the high-powered Edmonton Eskimos 32-28 to secure their ticket to Ottawa. In two meetings head-to-head against Toronto this season, Calgary breezed past the Argos on both occasions, outscoring them by a total of 64-31 and looking dominant.

Despite Calgary finishing the 2017 CFL season putting up 523 total points as opposed to the Argonauts 482, the Stamps and Argos both match up evenly on offence heading into this weekends CFL final with both teams possessing their fair share of weapons. On the ground, the Stampeders are difficult to contain. Implementing a tough rushing game to grind down their opponents, Calgary’s rushing is their key strength. Running-back Jerome Messam, who started his CFL career with the Lions, had another terrific campaign in 2017 rushing for over 1,000-yards while adding nine majors on the year while Roy Finch, who on 73 returned kicks this season rushed for a stunning 1,200-yards.

While the Argonauts don’t have anyone who can compete with those rushing totals, they do have CFL veteran quarterback — Ricky Ray. After spending the prime years of his career as a member of the Edmonton Eskimos, Ray looks to take home his fourth Grey Cup Championship in what could be his final game. Besides being a three-time Grey Cup champion, Ray is also fourth all-time in passing yards in CFL history and completed more passes than any other QB in CFL this year. Calgary QB Bo-Levi Mitchell is also a strong pivot, but at this point in his career he has a long way to go to reaching the pedigree of Ricky Ray. Ray, now 38, has also enjoyed a strong on-field connection with wide-receiver S.J. Green. Green, in his tenth CFL season, hooked up with Ray 104-times this season for a total of 1462-yards receiving. With Calgarys dominance on the ground and Torontos strong executive in the air, the key to victory on Sunday for both teams could very well come down to defence and special teams.

For the Stampeders dominant secondary, linebacker Alex Singleton will be a player to watch this weekend. Singleton, 23, was second in the entire CFL (only to BC’s Solomon Elimimian) in total tackles, registering 125 on the year to go along with four sacks. Besides setting the bar for the leagues most potent offence, Calgary also led the entire CFL with 349 total points allowed all season, nearly 100-yards less than the second best team in that category. Look for both QBs to be under pressure this Sunday as Toronto and Calgary both totaled 50 sacks each this CFL season. Calgary also holds the slight edge on special teams, with kicker Rene Paredes having completed 91% of his attempted field goals this season compared to Lirim Hajrullahu of the Argos who finished the 2017 season with an 81% completion rate. In addition to that, the Stampeders are also slightly better on punt returns. With the numbers telling of an uphill battle for the Argos, do the Stamps have enough left in the tank to avoid the upset?

Who’s hot for their respective teams heading into this weekends Grey Cup? For Calgary, RB Roy Finch had 81-yards rushing on four carries with one TD in last Sundays win over Edmonton while for Toronto, corner linebacker Akwasi Owusu-Ansah had six tackles and one interception when the Argos beat the Roughriders last weekend. Kick-off for this Sunday’s Grey Cup is scheduled for 3pm Pacific time at TD Place in Ottawa.

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