Day by day, week by week, game by game; the season is flying by.
Last week we saw the CFL Undertaker’s streak come to an end, the Blue Bombers get bombed out of their own stadium, an Alouettes QB who was actually decent, and MBT’s storied career continue to build. We are now officially at the halfway point of the season and 2nd place in the East is still up for grabs. Plus, Saskatchewan is closer to the top of the West now that they have competent QB play.
The CFL landscape is as wide open as an open world video game as we get closer to playoff time week after week!
Edmonton Eskimos vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Thursday (8/23), 7:30 PM ET, ESPN+, Hamilton’s efficiency
Matthew Cauz of CFL.ca called Hamilton “the greatest 3-5 in the history of the league“. Cauz argues that “…dumb mistakes, turnovers, penalties and a league-worst average starting position for their offence has led to a losing record.” I can’t help but agree. Hamilton has been one of the most prolific offenses in the league this year.
They. Can. Not. Finish. Whether it’s turnovers, penalties or just failure to execute, the Ti-Cats just cannot score majors in the red-zone.
Masoli had his streak of 300+ passing yard games but notice his TD-INT ratio is 8-8. Edmonton’s offense is what Hamilton’s offense would be if they could score.
The last time these 2 met, Hamilton wiped the floor with them and shut down Mike Reilly in the process. Let’s see if they can do it again.
Toronto Argonauts vs. Montreal Alouettes, Friday (8/24), 7:30 PM ET, ESPN+, Alouettes
Oh Montreal. Still no Johnny; Antonio Pipkin ain’t bad though. Last time I saw him was at the Senior Bowl in 2017 and he was pretty forgettable. No longer is he that. 14 for 25, 217 yards and 1 TD plus a rushing TD have made Pipkin forgettable no more. Pipkin has made CFL people around the league stand up and take a look at him. If he can play well and Montreal can play defense, they may be able to come up with their first home W of the season. AND Pipkin maybe able to supplant Johnny Manziel as permanent Als starting QB.
Maybe. Don’t count out MBT and the Argos though.
And let’s not forget Als DE John Bowman is expected to play 3 weeks after tearing his bicep. 3 WEEKS AFTER TEARING HIS BICEP. That’s what the young people call “built different”.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Calgary Stampeders, Saturday (8/25), 3:30 PM ET, ESPN+, Winnipeg Offense (My Game of the Week)
Last week, Winnipeg got blown out at home. And Matt Nichols cried about getting booed off the field.
The organization and fans say they love you all they want; at the end of the day it’s a business. Winnipeg fans are some of the rowdiest in the league. If they don’t like the product on the field, they’re going to boo. It’s not personal, just business. Don’t want to get booed? Get a W. And if you really want to shut the fans up, light up this number in the league Calgary defense.
They’re coming off their first lost of the season. Go shock them and make them keep falling. Winnipeg defense ain’t built for that though. Unless they show something I haven’t seen.
Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. British Columbia Lions, Saturday (8/25), 10 PM ET, ESPN+, BC Offense
Knocking off number one teams?
THAT’S HOW RUFF RYDERS ROOOOLLLLLL!!!!!!
After weeks of inconsistent offense and having the defense carry the weight of the team, the Riders finally got all 3 phases of the game to work in their favor in a big way for the W. Now, they must do it again. You would think that if they beat Calgary, they could beat anybody! But this is why the game is played. Because anything can happen in any. Given. Game.
Toronto barely squeaked out a W past BC, but BC is still battling for that crossover playoff spot. The way the CFL playoffs works is the top 6 teams get a spot. But because the West division has 5 teams and the East division has 4 teams, the crossover spot was created to ensure that both divisions have 2 home playoff games. And so that the team with the best record of the remaining teams gets a playoff spot.
Saskatchewan currently has the crossover spot because they are 4-4 and the best team behind them is Hamilton with a 3-5 record. (You can check the standings out any time here https://www.cfl.ca/standings/#crossover )
I say all that to say, every game matters. No team is safe in the CFL. Not even the best.