Darkening skies

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

It seems like black clouds have constantly followed the Edmonton Eskimos this season.

But if the reigning Grey Cup champs lose to the Calgary Stampeders tonight, a very ominous looking cloud will suddenly appear in the southern sky.

A Stamp victory at Commonwealth Stadium will mark just their third sweep of the back-to-back Labour Day week series since its inception in 1989 -- and after every sweep so far, Calgary has advanced to the Grey Cup.

The Cowtown crew is definitely aware of the intriguing scenario and feel they haven't come close to showing their best hand this season, which isn't exactly good news to the struggling Eskimos.

"I really think we will improve (tonight) ... because last week was a horrible game for us," said slotback Jeremaine Copeland.

"When we went back and watched film there were a lot of things that could have been done a lot better."

PASTED BY 21 POINTS

That's saying something considering the Stamps pasted the Eskimos by 21 points on Labour Day, much to the delight of 35,744 at McMahon Stadium.

"We saw so many people running wide open last game when we watched film," said fellow slotback Nik Lewis.

"There are a lot of things we can capitalize on."

Quarterback Henry Burris is still having trouble coming to grips with the fact he missed a stunning opportunity during Monday's slaughtering of the Green and Gold.

"I can't believe they blitzed and they left a guy uncovered and I didn't take advantage of that," said Burris.

"We saw a lot of things we left out there.

"We have receivers that we should have had more yards from."

The improvement list doesn't stop there.

"We still got a problem with penalties, turnovers, stopping ourselves on drives," continued Copeland, knowing his team turned the ball over three times on Monday, including twice in scoring territory.

"Whenever we come together as one cohesive unit, everybody out there is going to know it.

"It's not going to be a game where we put up 30 or 40 points. It's going to be a game where you see 60 points on the board."

SIMILAR STORY ON DEFENCE

On defence, it's a similar story.

"I don't think we have played close to our capabilities," remarked Calgary defensive end Rahim Abdullah.

"We need to tackle better, we need to make bigger plays and we need turnovers."

In Abdullah's eyes, he also believes his crew must play better tonight.

"I am pretty sure (the Eskimos are) going to come out with everything they have," he added.

And the last thing the Stamps want to do is give the Eskimos a breath of life.

"We don't want to give these guys any wind in their sails and give them an opportunity to get some momentum," explained Burris.

"If they do (get that), it's the same team that won the Grey Cup last year and embarrassed us at home in the playoffs."


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