What up, what up, what up minions!! As the summer rolls on, so does the CFL! This week we only saw one game per day but they were packed with action; the two last games gave a little suspense and came down to the wire. Three games, three days and all the takeaways coming at you!

It takes 2 to watch the Redblacks get stomped!

A bye week only made the Calgary Stampeders stronger as they continue their undefeated reign of terror over the CFL.

Calgary has a great offense but man this defense just GATA. All. Game. Long. I know I sound like a fan boy but this Calgary team is doing numbers and beating teams down.

While the defense was the highlight of the night, controversy sparked over a low hit on QB Bo Levi Mitchell that put him out of the game.

The first thing people think when they see a late hit is that it was dirty or the player that committed the crime is instantly called a dirty player; I don’t think that’s the case here. It’s hard to tell from that angle but it looks like the defender’s momentum got the best of him and he fell forward into Mitchell’s leg. It put Mitchell out of a stellar game that he was playing but the win did help him become the fastest CFL QB to 60 wins with only 72 starts.

And backup Nick Arbuckle didn’t do so bad in spot duty.

Watched Arbuckle for 2 years at Georgia State; his rhythm with that offense was astounding in the Sun Belt Conference (watch out for GSU WR Penny Hart). It’s great to see Arbuckle continue his career with Calgary. Calgary continues to be Trevor Harris’s kryptonite that he won’t have to see again until most likely the Grey Cup (if they both make it that far).

Travis Lulay saves BC from the gutter!

After beating a depressing Alouette team in Week 1, QB Jonathon Jennings stunk it up the next 2 weeks after fast starts vs. Edmonton and Winnipeg. The defense is also to blame for giving up 41 points in two consecutive games (LOL!!). In steps QB Travis Lulay who is the same QB that led BC to their last Grey Cup in 2011. After Winnipeg flew out to a 17-0 lead in the first half, BC came storming back in the 2nd half  and answered 20 unanswered points; including the walk off Richie Leone FG to end the game.

It’s about time BC gave Chris Rainey the ball! Y’all remember Chris Rainey; one of the most electric players in the history of college football for the Florida Gators. Yes, he’s still electric but he’s been relegated to the return game for the Lions. Until now. 43 rushing yards, 6 catches and 71 receiving yards. About time.

It’s sad that Winnipeg let the game go because Andrew Harris had a spectacular game.

2 TDs, 139 yards on 13 carries. Mostly in the 1st half. That’s one thing I don’t understand about Canadian football. If your run game is working, why go away from it? I understand you only have 2 downs and you have to get yards but if you’re getting yards running the ball, why stop? Use what works until they stop it coaches.

Alright got on a tangent, back to the game. BC’s defense shut down Winnipeg in the 2nd half.

Forcing Matt Nichols to throw 3 picks and giving him pressure all 2nd half contributed to this W for BC.

When BC needed it, its best players stepped up and made plays. That’s how you get out of a slump.

Redemption Time for Edmonton

Mike Reilly and the Eskimos got their revenge back against the defending Grey Cup champs. Another tight game that almost saw Toronto coming back for the W again but the Eskimos ran the last 2 and half minutes down.

Mike Reilly is undoubtedly the toughest, fiercest leader in all of the CFL. He takes and dishes hits like no other QB in the league; absolutely lays his body on the line every single game. That’s the prototypical QB that GMs talk about; a QB that makes his teammates want to run through a brick wall.

While Mike Reilly had a good day, James Franklin also had a good day and he has started a connection with 11 year vet SJ Green. 131 yards on 10 catches for Green. James Wilder Jr. ran wild vs. Edmonton last week but they held him to 26 rushing yards on 12 carries; he did make his mark in the passing game with 62 yards on 6 catches tho.

This is a great play by Ronnie Yell that came at a key time in the 2Q. The rain effected both teams differently; Franklin and the Argos didn’t seemed fazed by it while Reilly and the Esks dropped balls and struggled to make plays at times. But you have to know, in rain, sleet or snow, Duke Williams will come to play.

The TO of the CFL is here ladies and gentlemen. And let’s not forget the great halftime show that Ludacris put on!

The Esks get past their slow start and penalties again but it’s going to bite them again if they don’t correct it.

Prayers for CJ Gable and his family

I absolutely love CJ Gable’s aggressive running style. If you don’t want to tackle, do not get in this man’s way.

But the life of a RB does require constant violent contact and sometimes damaging head to head contact can be injuring.

This was looking like it was going to be another really good run by Gable but those hits were very violent and it sent him out of the game. Thankfully, he got up and walked off the field on his own power. Troy Davis initial contact was legal despite it being head to head but Dylan Wynn’s late hit at the end was absolutely unnecessary and uncalled for. He was immediately suspended one game the next day.

It’s injuries like these and the Ricky Ray hit that humanizes the game of football and makes us look at the true nature of this sport. It’s fun and exhilarating to watch and play but it is inherently violent and can cause long term physical and psychological damage to its players. Every time it takes more than 5 minutes for a player to exit the field, it makes fans, players and coaches think or pray about this game and who it effects. Leagues can try everything they think of to try to make the game safer but it is violent and hits like these can and will happen. It’s sad but it is a reality that we must deal with.

At the end of the day, football is a family sport and players always come together when major injuries happen on and off the field. It is up to the players to try play hard, fast and physical but “safe”. Let me get off my soap box and just say: prayers for CJ Gable and his family and hopefully he fully recovers from this injury without any lasting damage. And hopefully Dylan Wynn recognizes what he has done and works to never commit an egregious act like that again.

My Favorite Pass Rushes of the Week

On a lighter note, me being the DL and evaluator that I am, I would like to introduce a new segment to the weekly takeaways. I am going to point out what I thought were some of the best rushes of the week were regardless of whether the defender(s) got the sack or not. Without further ado, let’s get to it.

Now as they say in the clip, Micah Johnson is a former OLB so this man can move. He lines up as a 3T, runs to the A gap, then takes a jab step and head fake to move back into the B gap and just runs past the guard. What helps Johnson here is his incredible movement skills and his hips. As soon as he got back to the B gap his hips were pointed towards the QB. One of the first things that will help defenders pass rush is pointing their hips towards the QB as you see here. You see why Johnson is considered one of the best DTs in the league now and why he is 2nd in the league in sacks.

Odell Willis. The country boy from Meridian, Mississippi is one of the best pass rushers in the league. This sack came in the 4Q near the end of the game where Winnipeg is trying to drive the field to secure the W; but Willis doesn’t let that happen. A smooth inside spin move by Willis gets him to Nichols for the sack and gets the Lions the ball to drive down the field and secure the W. Can’t draw it up better than that.

The Jamaican Sensation Almondo Sewell! This man is big, strong and has been wrecking the league since he stepped on the field in 2011. Surprisingly this is his first sack of 2018. It looks like Sewell attempts to do a hump move or just a club but he was already almost past the guard until Wilder Jr. chips him. Instead trying to run through the chip or trying to return to that side, Sewell seamlessly uses the chip as a boost to cross the guard’s face and swim his arm and get to Franklin. But again one of the most important parts of this rush is Sewell pointing his hips towards Franklin. If he doesn’t point his hips, Franklin has an opportunity to step up into that pocket and avoid the sack. Great IQ by Sewell by using the chip as a boost and not a blockage in his way.

All 3 of these pass rushers are 30+. The seasoned pass rushers run the league in the CFL because of their IQ and their savvy moves but there are a few young up and coming rushers like Willie Jefferson, Ja’Gared Davis, Jackson Jeffcoat, Cleyon Laing and Michael Wakefield. I like forward to seeing more great rushes from them moving forward throughout the season!

Sorry for the long takeaways minions! Hope you enjoyed reading! Oh and more highlights https://www.cfl.ca/best-highlights-week-5/ .

About The Author P.J. Green

P.J. Green is a student-athlete and junior at Tusculum College. Green is an aspiring football coach/scout/player/media personality. Green has big goals but always wants football to be in his life no matter what. Please come at P.J. for funny hot takes.