The Calgary Stampeders were left out of the Players of the Month in August. While many would feel the Stamps were snubbed by the decisions, if you asked the players themselves, I'm guessing they wouldn't be too hurt by the choices.
The CFL has seen some very talented players making waves throughout the season, and most of them have been on teams that haven't necessarily been winning. You'd think that a team that is 7-1 and leading the league in many categories would be stacked with players leading the league.
The reality this year has been that big player performances haven't really led their teams to victory. None show this fact more than Arland Bruce III, who tied a CFL record with 16 catches to go with 272 yards receiving back on July 31. The Tiger-Cats weren't ever really in the game, losing 37-24 to the Roughriders.
Kevin Glenn had 425 yards passing in the game to go with three touchdowns. Bruce was the Offensive Player of the Week, and Glenn was the runner-up in a game that they didn't come close to winning.
It's the same for the Calgary Saskatchewan game in Week 4. The Stampeders doubled the Riders 40-20, yet Durant had 354 yards passing to the 279 yards passing Burris had.
When you look at the rushing stats for two-time rushing leader Joffrey Reynolds, you might wonder if he’s having a tough year. Reynolds has only had a 100-yard rushing game, but still sits in third place in rushing yards, although he’s 170 yards back of Toronto’s Corey Boyd.
Even the receivers haven’t blown us away. Nik Lewis is on pace for an All-Star year, but the catches have really been spread out. Although Ken-Yon Rambo missed the first four weeks of the year, he could be on pace to shine.
What is most impressive about this season for the Stampeders is the fact the whole team is doing well. The passes have been spread around, and the rushing is even being shared. Drew Tate has had only taken a few snaps at quarterback, but has been very impressive throwing 7 of 8 for 66 yards and three touchdowns with a very impressive 158.3 passer rating.
Jon Cornish has even taken some serious reps at running back, and has not disappointed with an 8.8 yard average and 274 yards rushing.
Looking at the defense, the Stamps have had everyone pulling their own weight. Calgary leads the league in sacks with 22, but no Stampeders players are close to the sack leader. Montreal’s John Bowman and Winnipeg’s Phillip Hunt lead the league with seven sacks, while both Robert McCune and Malik Jackson have four sacks each.
No Stampeder player is even in the top 20 in defensive tackles. Juwan Simpson leads them with 29 tackles, 24 behind league leader Kevin Eiben.
With all that said, it doesn’t surprise me that the Stampeders haven’t been well-represented in the Players of the Week, or the Players of the Month. The team has been playing so well together, and everyone has been pulling their weight, and making the most of their chances when they get the chance.
The Stampeders still have a long way to go before they can say they are the best team in the league, seeing as they still have two games against the Montreal Alouettes, and two games left against the Saskatchewan Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium.
That being said, playing well as a team will make it that much harder for other teams to beat them. There aren’t any huge weaknesses, and shutting down one player only leaves openings for others to step up, and so far they have. At the end of the year, they may not take home any of the hardware, but they’ve got as good a shot as any of winning it all.