Calgary Stampeders’ Kamar Jorden, left, celebrates his touchdown with teammate Lemar Durant, during second half CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks, in Calgary. The defending West Division champions are a stellar 16-0 after the bye week dating back to 2005. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Calgary Stampeders stellar 16-0 coming off a bye dating back to 2005

There’s something about coming off a bye week that agrees with quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell and the Calgary Stampeders.

Calgary (3-0) returns from the bye Thursday night in Ottawa against the Redblacks (2-1) in a matchup of division leaders. The Stampeders are 16-0 coming off the bye since 2005, their last loss following a bye week coming July 1 2005 when they hadn’t yet played a game that season.

Calgary has outscored its opponents 567-346 over that span, winning by an average of 13.8 points. The Stampeders’ last in-season, post-bye loss was in July 2004 at Montreal.

Mitchell, in his fifth season as Calgary’s starter, said consistency and not deviating from routine are two keys to the Stampeders’ bye-week success.

“Honestly, man, we just don’t change our approach to any game no matter the week or situation,” he said. “We stick to our schedule, we stick to what we do and I think we’re very good at what we do, it’s something the guys can trust in.

“They know exactly how the week is going to work out every single week … but this week is a little bit stressful and different for us because you’ve got a team you just played and it’s always very very hard to beat anyone twice in a row. We know it’s going to be a battle, we know it’s going to be a chess game.”

Calgary’s last game was a 24-14 home win over Ottawa on June 28 as Mitchell threw for 251 yards and two TDs with an interception. The Stampeders cemented the victory by outscoring the Redblacks 17-8 in the second half.

Calgary’s Don Jackson ran for 84 yards and a TD while DaVaris Daniels had five catches for 91 yards. But the Stampeders will be without receiver Eric Rogers (11 catches, 201 yards, three TDs), running back/returner Terry Williams and offensive lineman Spencer Wilson for this contest.

CFL rushing leader William Powell had a game-high 123 yards for Ottawa in the loss. But starter Trevor Harris was 13-of-29 passing for 135 yards and an interception before giving way to Dominique Davis (5-of-7, 41 yards, TD) in the second half.

Ottawa returns to TD Place for the first time since winning its home/season opener 40-17 over the Saskatchewan Roughriders on June 21. But Calgary has a 10-0 road record over its post-bye win streak.

Both teams boast solid defences. Calgary is tops in fewest points and yards allowed (11.7, 282.7 per game, respectively) while Ottawa is second in points (17.7) and third in yards (329.3).

Calgary holds a commanding edge in punt return average (17.9 to 6.9) but Williams (league-best 17.9-yard average) isn’t playing.

Stampeders kicker Rene Paredes has been perfect this season, going 7-for-7 in field goals and 8-of-8 in converts. Despite its start, Calgary is tied for seventh in red-zone efficiency (40 per cent, well behind the CFL average of 58 per cent). Ottawa is sixth (44 per cent) while Winnipeg is tops (81 per cent).

It’s certainly safe to assume Harris will play better this time around but so too is that Calgary won’t be penalized 14 times for 150 yards like it did in the first meeting. Another consideration is the Stampeders’ defence has allowed just one passing TD this season.

Prediction: Calgary.

Toronto Argonauts versus Edmonton Eskimos (Friday night)

At Edmonton, James Franklin looks to give Toronto (1-2) a sweep of the home-and-home series after leading the Argos to last weekend’s 20-17 win. Franklin threw for 217 yards and a TD and ran for another in his Argos debut but it was James Wilder (21 carries, 120 yards, TD) who helped anchor the win. Mike Reilly had 370 yards passing and a touchdown for the Eskimos (2-2) but fell to 2-6 all-time versus the Double Blue. Coming off a 165-yard rushing performance, C.J. Gable ran for just 39 yards at BMO Field.

Prediction: Edmonton.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers versus B.C. Lions (Saturday night)

At Vancouver, Matt Nichols looks to lead Winnipeg (2-2) to the home-and-home sweep. Nichols threw for 162 yards and a TD in last week’s 41-19 win, his ‘18 debut coming off a knee injury. But he got help from running back Andrew Harris (109 yards rushing) and former Lions linebacker Adam Bighill( six tackles, two interceptions, one 55-yard TD return). It’s unclear if Jonathon Jennings or veteran Travis Lulay will start for B.C. (1-2). Lulay, 34, is coming off major knee surgery. Jennings hasn’t thrown for over 200 yards this season and was 15-for-24 passing for 105 yards last week.

Prediction: Winnipeg.

Last week: 2-2

Overall: 10-6

Just Posted

Trump-Putin summit opens without talk of election meddling

HELSINKI — With a wink and a slouch, respectively, President Donald Trump… Continue reading

Ultra-light helicopter pilot killed in crash near High River

Police say the pilot of an ultra-light helicopter is dead after crashing… Continue reading

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

Westerner Days parade set for Wednesday in downtown Red Deer

Over 30,000 people are expected to line up the streets of downtown… Continue reading

Storm rips through Central Alberta

Hail pelts region causing damage to farmland, plus communities in Ponoka, Bashaw and Stettler

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Croatia gears up to give heroes’ welcome to World Cup team

ZAGREB, Croatia — Fans are pouring in from throughout the country as… Continue reading

Statelessness a hurdle for some rescued Thai boy

MAE SAI, Thailand — The 12 boys and coach of the Wild… Continue reading

Lobbying commissioner rejects complaints against firearms panel member

OTTAWA — A federal watchdog has dismissed complaints that a mass-shooting survivor… Continue reading

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of homes… Continue reading

Red Deer Royals place second at Calgary Stampede parade

Royals depicted life in forest and portrayed destruction by human beings

Muslim candidates running in record numbers face backlash

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A liberal woman of colour with zero name recognition… Continue reading

Former UK Cabinet secretary seeks new Brexit referendum

LONDON — A former U.K. Cabinet minister from the ruling Conservative Party… Continue reading

Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

CHICAGO — A man killed by Chicago police had a gun in… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month