Green isn’t Alberta’s favourite colour after the first two weeks of Canadian Football League action.
In Week 1, the Saskatchewan Roughriders knocked off the Edmonton Eskimos 39-18 in Commonwealth Stadium.
But since the victory came against the Eskimos, a young and inexperienced team, it seemed premature to view their opening win as a sign of things to come.
Week 2 at Mosaic Stadium was a different story. Up against the Calgary Stampeders, a team viewed as a contender, the Roughriders topped them 36-21 following an impeccable second half.
It is starting to seem as though the Roughriders are the real deal.
George Cortez’s play calling seemed to be a major difference maker in the Roughriders’ fluent offense. Saskatchewan consistently mixed it up with running and throwing plays, making it tough for Calgary’s defence to predict what play is coming next.
The Darian Durant doubters have zipped their lids, at least for now. The 5-foot-11, 214-pound quarterback shinned bright in the back-to-back contests, maintaining a 123.3 QB rating and completing 40 of 56 passes for 429 yards. Not to mention, he didn’t throw a single interception.
Durant used Weston Dressler more often against Calgary following only connecting with him twice the week before. He hit the 5-foot-7, 179-pound wide receiver 10 times for 108 yards.
“We’ve got plenty of guys that can make plays so you’ve just got to be ready for when your opportunity comes,” said Dressler on his Calgary showing.
Slotback Chris Getzlaf also had his 2013 coming-out party after only snagging three balls against Edmonton. He received eight passes for 97 yards, including a 32-yard reception in the second quarter.
“When our offensive line is playing as good as they are, you’re getting holes, Kory Sheets is running the ball, when all that is going well it makes it really hard to cover the pass game because the (line)backers have to be involved,” said Getzlaf. “They have to respect the run game.”
Head coach Corey Chamblin was pleased to see Getzlaf reach his full potential.
“He’s taken a lot of criticism here and there and some of it’s warranted but at the end of the day he’s a guy that I want to see turn into an all-star superstar in this league because he’s got the potential to do that,” said the head coach.
Geroy Simon missed both games because of a leg injury. He was on the field in spirit, though. After Kory Sheets ran for a touchdown against the Stampeders, he celebrated by doing Simon’s famous superman pose.
“I was just doing that as a tribute to my man,” said Sheets. “I told him, ‘Hey, I’m going to draw the box and hit the Superman pose if I score.”’
Sheets followed his outstanding 131-yard performance against the Eskimos with an even better showing in Week 2. The 5-foot-11, 208-pound running back rushed for 133 yards on 26 carries.
Drew Tate stood tall for Calgary, connecting 19-of-25 passes for 231 yards. But he left the game in the final quarter with an arm injury. Kevin Glenn took his place with the game almost out of reach.
The Stampeders somewhat shot themselves in the foot a couple times late in the game. With the Roughriders only up by a couple scores, Calgary took a too-many-men and unsportsmanlike penalty.
The Roughriders go on the road for Week 3 against the Toronto Argonauts on Thursday.