Woooo!! What a weekend! After all the games were played, Sunday and Monday saw one of the biggest trades in CFL history. Johnny Manziel was sent to Montreal to revive a failing Alouette team. While we have to wait a couple days to see how that plays out, let’s look at Week 6. The scores do not tell the story; these games were must watch TV. Let’s look at what made them so enticing.

Team Win for the Riders 

Brandon Bridge performed very well vs. Hamilton but I give more credit to the coaching staff. Bridge came into the game with 26% of his attempts under two yards and it looked like it continued against the Ti-Cats.

The Riders threw lots of screens and relied on their run game to set up this fake screen-go for a TD. And when it looked like Hamilton was ready to break away in the 2nd half, the Riders had ANSWERS.

And it also helped that the defense held Masoli to 184 yards passing, 0 TDs and 1 INT.

Instead of sending the house at Masoli all game like they did in the first game, Saskatchewan pretty much played prevent defense and prevented big gains. It also helped that they got Hamilton into 2nd and longs and just kept a spy on Masoli.

Chris Jones gets a lot of heat for his unconventional ways but no one cares as long as he’s winning.

Andrew Harris: All. Night. Long. 

I am a firm believer that if you have a run game that works, feed the beast. And that’s exactly what Winnipeg did with Canadian RB Andrew Harris.

161 yards rushing and 1 TD on 27 carries and add a receiving TD to go along with that.

The surprising part of this game was Winnipeg’s defense stepping up to the plate. They limited the Argos to 173 total offense!

Toronto’s only TDs came from two scoop-n-scores by their defense and special teams. The Argos offense has performed pretty well since Ricky Ray’s departure until this game. They’ll have to get it together and come out on fire as they travel to Winnipeg this week in a crucial rematch to try to snag another W under their belt.

Trevor Harris: Clutch Kid

After BC took a penalty for a time count violation (delay of game) on 2nd & 8 and had to kick a field goal to go up 25-22 with 2:02 on the clock, Trevor Harris and the Redblacks took a little over a minute to drive down the field and secure the W for Ottawa.

These teams were evenly matched all game long. BC was scoring touchdowns while Ottawa was hitting their field goals. Ottawa finally scored a touchdown in the 2nd half after getting pummeled by the Stamps in two straight games. It also helped that Brad Sinopoli went OFF.

It was nice to see Travis Lulay get the Manny Show going again though.

Very nice to see Trevor Harris get back to his exceptional level of and hopefully it continues for him and the Redblacks as they try to stay at the top of the Eastern Division.

Calgary’s Young Defense is For Real (if you didn’t already know)

46 points, 5 games. ELITE!

While Montreal finished the game with 239 yards, 64 yards at halftime is an absurd number. And also, Alex Singleton is the best LB in the league.

And also, Bo Levi’s knee injury last week did not alter his play.

Als QB Matt Schiltz played decent enough to stay in the rest of the game but it’s going to be a new look Montreal next game.

As for Calgary, a tough road trip to Saskatchewan awaits.

Pass Rushes of the Week

For us DL junkies, this is our time! We’re going to look at a few rushes that opposing linemen could do nothing against.

This is a rush of beauty. Thomas runs off the ball, gives a little head fake and does a textbook club/swim move to get the strip sack. This is why defensive linemen use the bags so much. Muscle memory makes this move look and feel natural.

 

Winnipeg’s defensive line got after Toronto all game long due to their technique and motor. Cory Johnson is another good example. Rushes straight into the A gap, gets no push, works towards the B and then swipes and swims back into the A gap to pressure Franklin into an inaccurate completion. This is why it’s great to use lateral moves as well as vertical moves in a pass rush. If Johnson keeps trying to bull his way into the A gap, he gets nowhere. But he uses his lateral agility and head fakes to get where he wants to go. Sacks aren’t everything; QB pressures can help tell the story as well.

Once again, the scrappy vet Odell Willis makes the list. Willis starts with a vertical rush to get the offensive tackle to turn his shoulders to him. Once the OT turns his shoulders, Willis uses his long arm to keep pushing and get to the quarterback. Willis is so dangerous with his outside rush that it perfectly sets up his inside counter moves. One of the best in the league.

Same game, different team. Avery Ellis is explosive in his upfield rush and stutter step that he freezes the tackle out of his kick-step. Once the OT stops backpedaling, Ellis swipes his hands and tries to get to Lulay before he gets the ball out. I love a good stutter step. They are a great way to switch up from a straight vertical rush and can freeze the tackle out of his kick-step like Ellis does here. Very good rush.

Five games down and everyone except Calgary has had up and down years so far. There is more drama in store and we can’t wait!

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.