It has all been settled. Every playoff spot has been clinched and playoff teams are only playing for seeding while teams going home will have one last hurrah before they look towards 2019.
It has been a regular great season to watch, full of ups and downs and ebbs and flows. But all good things must come to an end. After this week, there will only be 2 games at most being played on the weekends and they will all be on Sundays and on ESPNews or ESPN2.
That means everyone can look at the unique essence and utter brilliance of the CFL playoff atmosphere, which I share to people at any given opportunity. The unique style of football played in Canada is unlike any other and should be appreciated by football lovers everywhere. Let’s take one last look at the regular season.
All games are shown on ESPN+ unless otherwise noted.
Toronto Argonauts vs. Ottawa Redblacks, Friday (11/2) 7:30 PM ET
With a 1st round bye locked up and half of Ottawa’s starters sitting, this is the perfect time for Toronto to get one last W and give a little hope for next year. The defending Grey Cup Champs had high hopes rolling into the season, but those hopes were dashed when Ricky Ray sustained a brutal hit and was lost for the season.
Ottawa had an up-and-down season to start, but they got on a late roll and are in the Eastern Final awaiting the winner of Hamilton and BC next week. For now, they have the Argos in a seemingly meaningless game for Ottawa, and a pride and experience game for Toronto.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Edmonton Eskimos, Saturday (11/3) 4 PM ET
*Big sigh* If only Edmonton had won their last couple of games. This game could’ve been a showdown for the last playoff spot in the West with these two high octane offenses. But nope. The Esks have had a terrible slide over the 2nd half of the season. They could not overcome their lack of discipline and blunders, and it cost them a chance at a potential championship-winning season. Now they are playing for Mike Reilly’s MOP nomination and Kwaku Boateng’s Most Outstanding Canadian nomination.
Winnipeg is hot right now, and they are looking at resting Matt Nichols — which they should. They will be playing Calgary (if Calgary loses) or Saskatchewan (if Stamps win) in the Western Semi-Final next week. These teams were heading in opposite directions at the midway point of the season: the Esks were relishing in the Mike Reilly-Duke Williams connection and Bomber fans were calling for Matt Nichols’ head.
Yet here we are in week 21: Winnipeg is in the playoffs and Edmonton is not. What a wonderful world.
Montreal Alouettes vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Saturday 7 PM ET
WOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Along with being a University of Georgia and Atlanta Falcons fan, Ric Flair is also a Hamilton Tiger-Cats fan. And he will be at the game. No way The Fighting Johnnys win this game.
Johnny Football got his first CFL W as a starter last week and maybe there will be more to come. But I don’t see anymore Johnny Ws in 2018.
Calgary Stampeders vs. British Columbia Lions, Saturday 10 PM ET
I definitely did not see BC in the playoff picture at the midway point of the season. I thought they had talent on both sides of the ball, but Jonathon Jennings was not going to get them far. Then along came a healthy Travis Lulay and all was well, as he led BC to the Eastern semifinal vs. Hamilton next week.
Lulay practiced with the starters, but Wally Buono says J.J. will probably get some time this week. It is also Wally Buono’s last game on the sidelines for BC. The legacy of Wally Buono is well known throughout the CFL, and the Lions will look to send Coach Buono out of BC Place with a W.
Calgary also knows the legacy of Wally Buono, as he led them to a 3-3 Grey Cup record during his 13 years there. That being said, Calgary still has a #1 seed to play for and they are on a 3 game losing streak. Bo Levi and this offense has to find some chemistry before the playoffs or this whole season will be for not.
Enjoy the games folks! Playoffs start next week and I. Am. Salivating.