Stamps in cruise control

Calgary Stampeders receiver Ken-Yon Rambo get tackled by B.C. Lions defender Tad Crawford during...

Calgary Stampeders receiver Ken-Yon Rambo get tackled by B.C. Lions defender Tad Crawford during the second half of CFL play at Empire Field in Vancouver. (CARMINE MARINELLI/QMI Agency)

WES GILBERTSON, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:16 AM ET

Wait, which one was the bye-week?

The Calgary Stampeders have now sandwiched convincing victories on either side of their breather, feasting on the sad-sack Edmonton Eskimos and B.C. Lions in back-to-back blowouts.

Heading into the annual home-and-home set with their provincial rivals, there are two more perceived freebies on the calendar.

“We don’t want to get it confused — Edmonton and B.C. are both very good teams,” insisted Stamps defensive halfback Brandon Smith.

“We just feel, once we’re hitting on all cylinders, it’s up to us. We don’t worry about the opponents. We worry about ourselves.

“Once we’re hitting on all cylinders, we feel we’re a tough competitor and we’re tough to beat.”

Smith wasn’t the only guy rushing to the defence of the last-place Lions after Friday’s 48-35 triumph at Empire Field, a game that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score might suggest.

For the second consecutive outing, the Stamps controlled the clock, eating up almost two-thirds of the time of possession (38:30) despite committing four turnovers.

Including a record-setting 56-15 romp over the Eskimos, they’ve now scored more than 100 points in a two-game span for the first time since 1998.

Question is, are the Stamps that good, or are the Lions and Eskimos simply that bad? We might have to wait three more weeks — a Sept. 17 showdown in Saskatchewan — to find out.

“We’re not worried about (the schedule). I mean, we’ve gotta play games,” said Stamps receiver Ken-Yon Rambo. “When the chance comes, we’ve just gotta go out and win. It doesn’t matter who we play.”

It’s worth noting John Hufnagel’s Horsemen have also topped the Toronto Argonauts, Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Saskatchewan Roughriders — three teams with at least as many wins as losses.

The Lions are the only team they’ve tamed twice. Calgary’s other victories have come at the expense of the Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Their only blemish was a 27-24 loss in Toronto, the back half of a rare two-game road trip.

As several Stamps pointed out after Friday’s victory over the Lions, you can’t pick your schedule. You can, though, control your win-loss record, and theirs is tops on the eight-team loop.

“The difference between the top in the CFL and the bottom in the CFL isn’t that big,” said Stamps safety Wes Lysack. “Those naysayers can say whatever they want. Wins are hard to come by in the CFL. I’ve been around a long time, and I know that to be the truth. We beat Saskatchewan and they beat Montreal, so all those guys worried about all those stats, obviously we’re one of the top teams and we’re just continuing to climb the ladder.”

Isn’t that all you can ask for?

After all, one of the knocks against the Stamps over the past couple of seasons is that they lacked a killer instinct, letting their opponents stick around and make things interesting.

Not lately.


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