CFL Week 11: Calgary Stampeders @ Toronto Argonauts Preview
- Location: BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario
- Date: Saturday, Aug. 20, 2022
- Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
- Spread: Stampeders favored by 2.5 points. Over/Under: 50 points
- TV: TSN/ESPN+
- Weather: Potential for Thunderstorms. Low 68F. Winds SE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 20%.
This is the Stampeders’ first visit to Toronto since a 23-16 Calgary victory on Sept. 20, 2019. The Stamps and Argos’ last meeting came in Week 1 last season, with Toronto claiming a 23-20 win at McMahon Stadium.
There is a great deal of familiarity between these teams as the Argonauts feature several individuals who either played or coached with Calgary, including Ryan Dinwiddie, Corey Mace, Joshua Bell, Kris Sweet, William Fields, Edwin Harrison, and Pete Costanza. In addition, Toronto’s roster features ten former Calgary players, including linebacker Wynton McManis and safety Royce Metchie, who was acquired in an off-season trade for linebacker Cameron Judge.
The 2022 versions of Calgary Stampeders and Toronto Argonauts mirror each other in many ways heading into Week 11. It goes beyond all the former Stamps currently coaching and playing for the Argos.
Both teams are trying to rebound from tough divisional losses in Week 10. The Stampeders, losers of three of their last four, lost 41-40 in a thrilling but frustrating fashion to the BC Lions last weekend. The Argonauts are coming off a demoralizing 34-27 defeat to the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton.
Injuries have hit both teams hard this season. Calgary and Toronto are trying to regroup, reshuffle their decks, and regain control as they approach the midway point of their seasons.
The Stamps are in a brutal fight in an ultra-competitive West. After facing the Boatmen, they will head to Winnipeg next Thursday to square off with a Blue Bombers team that has beaten them twice this season.
The Argos are in a tenuous position trying to maintain their fading grip on the East. The Stampeders are a brief detour before they resume parts 3 and 4 of their Battle of the QEW with the Tiger-Cats next Friday.
Calgary Stampeders Week 11 Depth Chart
One of the best offensive players in the CFL. Star RB Kadeem Carey won’t return to Calgary’s lineup after sitting out the last two games.
The good news for Calgary’s offense is that Receivers Reggie Begelton (head) and Jalen Philpot (head) practiced fully at the end of the week. And will be suiting up on Saturday night. Richie Sindani and Malik Henry will sit this game out. But Luther Hakunavanhu is coming off the six-game injured list.
Defensively, the Stamps are thin in their secondary. Calgary is already without DBs Tre Roberson, Marcellis Branch, and Branden Dozier. You can add last week’s starter at boundary corner Dionte Ruffin to the list, and he will miss Week 11. Natrell Jamerson is up from the practice roster to start at CB.
Toronto Argonauts Week 11 Depth Chart
Toronto’s backfield has an entirely different look in Week 11. Out are RB Andrew Harris and FB Declan Cross. Into the lineup in their stead are RB AJ Ouellette and FB Joe Carbone. Rookie Daniel Adeboboye will back up Ouellette at tailback. Javon Leake comes off Toronto’s six-game injured list to provide depth and contribute in the return game.
WR Juwan Brescasin sees his first action of the 2022 season. Brescasin’s return couldn’t come at a better time for Toronto with Cam Phillips and Eric Rogers on the shelf. Damonte Coxie is up from the practice squad and will start on the outside at receiver.
Defensively, the Argos are down to Option C at boundary halfback. Robert Priester, who replaced an injured Shaq Richardson, is out with a hamstring injury. Maurice Carnell IV will make the start in the back end of Toronto’s defense. Caleb Holden has been elevated from the practice roster to provide depth.
2022 Second-Round draft pick DT Deionte Knight makes his CFL debut. He comes off the injured list and will back up in the interior of Toronto’s defense.
Keys To A Calgary Victory
A week ago, the Argonauts’ defense struggled against the run, allowing seven yards per rush to Hamilton. Even without Carey, The Stamps are one of the better running teams in the CFL. Particularly on first downs. Kadeem Carey is averaging 6.5 yards per rush. But Dedrick Mills averages 7.3, and Peyton Logan averages 5.5. Calgary will look to get to the second level of Toronto’s defense and spring big plays.
The Stampeders’ offensive line has allowed only one sack in their last three games. Creating manageable passing situations on second down is a big reason for that.
Bo Levi Mitchell has got some of his weapons in the passing game back. The Stamps have shown the ability to spread the wealth in their passing attack.
Defensively, Coordinator Brent Munson will try to exploit Toronto’s issues on their offensive line. Munson has always been an aggressive play caller, and look for him to create confusion.
In the last three weeks, the Argos have allowed ten sacks. Toronto has had trouble with stunts and blitzing from opposing defenses, and they have also struggled against elite pass rushers. Shawn Lemon against the out-of-position Philip Blake at LT could be a mismatch on the outside. Mike Rose could also be licking his chops lined up against rookie Gregor MacKellar.
The Argos have struggled to push the ball downfield. And with no Andrew Harris to worry about, Calgary might flood the underneath passing areas to force Toronto to play against type.
Calgary would love to repeat what Hamilton did in their return game last week against Toronto on special teams. Lawrence Woods is on pace to break CFL records thanks to his herculean efforts in Week 10. Peyton Logan is no slouch in this area. He is currently second in the league in kick return average (29.1) and is near the top of the leader board with 12 yards per punt return.
Keys To A Toronto Victory
McLeod Bethel Thompson will need to shoulder the load more now that Andrew Harris is gone. The focal point for opposing defenses will be MBT from this point forward.
A week ago, Calgary’s defense fell apart as the game progressed. And that’s partially due to the greatness of Nathan Rourke. However, a ravaged Stamps secondary is a significant reason why the floodgates opened up late.
Duplicating what Rourke and BC did last week to the tune of nearly 500 passing yards is not realistic for the Boatmen. After all, Toronto does not have the elite receiving talent that BC does.
Notwithstanding that, Calgary’s depleted secondary is an area that can be exploited. It’s a big week for Kurleigh Gittens Jr, DaVaris Daniels, and Brandon Banks. The trio struggled against Hamilton’s formidable secondary to create separation and make big plays. To have a chance to beat Calgary at home, the Argos receivers have to win their matchups.
Toronto’s coaching staff knows a lot about Calgary’s operation. Defensive coordinator Corey Mace has seen the Stamps offense up close in the last few seasons. He will need to slow down the Stamps rushing attack to shorten Calgary drives. Getting Bo Levi Mitchell to turn the ball over is a tall task. But keeping him uncomfortable by disguising coverages could help slow down the Stamps’ offense.
CFL Week 11: Stampeders @ Argonauts Prediction
This is Calgary’s third trip to Ontario this season, and they have already beaten Hamilton and Ottawa on the road. And when it comes to playing the East. The Stamps are undefeated in 2022, and the East division has been an elixir for what ails them.
Toronto has hit a rough patch in their season, and injuries have caught up to them.
Being at home could help set them back on the right course. But they are encountering an angry football team on Saturday night that’s better than they are right now.