Unit d-feated but not d-flated

IAN BUSBY, CALGARY SUN

, Last Updated: 7:44 AM ET

The numbers are ugly.

The film-review session wasn't pleasant.

But the Calgary Stampeders defence isn't going to get blown up over one offensive shootout with the Edmonton Eskimos.

So in the aftermath of Thursday's thrilling 34-31 loss to the Eskimos at Commonwealth Stadium, defensive co-ordinator Chris Jones is nowhere near the panic button.

"They did nothing more than what we knew they were going to do," Jones said yesterday. "We repped a lot of the plays they ran this week.

"They did a good job. Ricky Ray did as good a job as I've ever seen him. They need credit. They made throws and catches."

It could be argued Ray has never been better, but this is a two-time Grey Cup champion we're talking about.

The Eskimos pivot went 27-of-41 passing for 446 yards and three touchdowns, and he never made one glaring error.

When Ray was a bit off, his receivers made outstanding grabs, especially the one-handed go-ahead touchdown grab Jason Tucker made in the final minute.

"Ricky's one of the best in the league, and he showed that," said Jones, whose defence allowed 474 net yards.

"We took a safe call (on the Tucker catch) and rushed just four. We knew where the ball was going, and you saw that. We had a couple guys over there.

"Anytime they make a 40-yard throw and a one-handed catch, you need to give it to them. I would take that scenario nine times out of 10.

"That's how often it would be incomplete."

As much credit as the Edmonton squad deserves, Jones said his group needed a bit more intensity.

Linebacker JoJuan Armour, who had one of the two sacks of Ray, agrees he could see in the game review the Stamps maybe took the Eskimos lightly.

"Film sessions always suck after a game like that. We started to buy into our own hype and expected Edmonton to lay down," Armour said.

"We were kinda surprised they had a lot of fight in them. Cheers to them."

Armour said the biggest thing the Eskimos did to catch the defence off-guard was to line up in similar formations, although the plays were different.

The Eskimos didn't really get a running game going, but that seems unnecessary when they had 11 plays covering more than 15 yards apiece.

After holding the B.C. Lions to just 295 yards in the season-opener, the Stamps defence was flying high heading into Week 2.

So this is a good wakeup call, Armour said.

"You try to take the positives with the negative, and this one positive is it happened early in the season," Armour said.

"It will knock us down a couple notches. Hopefully, we come out hungrier.

"This is a long season, so one loss doesn't kill you," Armour added. "Two losses don't kill you. You need to get whatever the problem is remedied early. That's the positive we're taking from this.

"The mistakes we made, we won't make them again."


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