Stamps offence off target

IAN BUSBY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:50 AM ET

The way No. 85 was so open, they could have called him 7-11.

Henry Burris couldn't cash in.

The pass for an easy touchdown sailed out of the reach of Ken-Yon Rambo. On the next play, Rambo broke for the corner of the endzone, but the Burris pass were nowhere near the mark.

Fortunately for the Calgary Stampeders, there was another chance, and Burris and Rambo connected for the game-winning major after a key forced turnover by the defence.

And with a 21-20 victory over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, the Stamps are now 2-1 on the 2011 season, without actually playing sharp offensive football yet.

"They were on when they had to be," said Stamps offensive co-ordinator Dave Dickenson. "Only those two make that throw and catch.

"We feel like we went in there and got a big win. At the end of the year, that win will mean a lot.

"Offensively, we have lots of areas to improve. We're a winning football team and it's good to know you have improvement ahead of you and you are still winning."

The numbers aren't pretty from Thursday's win over the Bombers.

The Stamps had six two-and-outs, only got 40 yards from running back Joffrey Reynolds on seven carries, while Burris went just 17-of-32 passing for 183 yards.

The missed plays on what turned out to be a field-goal drive highlighted some of the shakiness.

"We were just up and down, a little bumpy, but we got it together at the end," Rambo said. "We're looking at the whole big picture. Everybody has to work together. That's what we have to do. We need to gel and work together."

"We need to communicate and talk out there.

Now the Stampeders offence will need to make an adjustment and improve with two Canadian starters out for about three weeks.

Fullback Rob Cote (knee) and receiver Arjei Franklin (broken ribs) both left the win and will be on the shelf for a period. The Stamps will look to add some bodies over the weekend but these injuries likely mean Tim St. Pierre steps in at fullback and Johnny Forzani takes a bigger role in the receiving corps.

"That will make us work even harder," Dickenson said. "We're not quite in synch but we're winning games. We were 2-1 last year. We're not making the big plays and the big catches were were making last year."

The Stamps certainly give credit to the Blue Bombers defence for its performance.

Burris was under pressure quite often and the team had to concede four sacks, but there was no excuse on some plays.

"We have to be better on offence and it's not just me," Burris said. "We've had some bad routes and bad communication things that happen.

"We didn't have interceptions last night so we did a good job of managing it. We have to get on the same page. I need make throws and the receivers have run the right routes."

Burris and Co. are confident they will figure it out and shake off the early-season sloppiness.

With a short pre-season, the Stamps are still finding a comfort zone after making some changes to their offensive line this off-season.

"In a month from now, nobody will care how we won," Burris said. "They will just care about the record. Games like this come back to help you down the stretch."

twitter.com/ianbusby57


Videos

Photos

Canoe Top Headlines