CFL Beat: Week 4

The Maestro
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The Maestro

The Maestro is a mystical Canadian internet user and New England Patriots fan; when the weather is cooperative and the TV signal at his igloo is strong enough, he enjoys watching the NFL, the Ottawa Senators & REDBLACKS, and yelling into the abyss on Twitter. He is somehow allowed to teach music to high school students when he isn’t in a blind rage about sports, and is also a known connoisseur of cheap beers across the Great White North.
The Maestro
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God, do I ever love this whole not working during the summertime deal. You really gotta try it. All you need to enjoy it is a career change into education, and a willingness to be patient with what is, at times, a soul-crushing and draconian system for both students and teachers alike. But hey! 8 weeks off! That’s a lot of beer to drink, you know.

In league news this week:

  • Simoni Lawrence’s hearing for his Week 1 hit on QB Zach Collaros is scheduled for July 9th. With the delay in scheduling the hearing, he remains eligible through this week, and thus will have played every game on the Ti-Cats’ schedule thus far.
  • Alouettes OL Luc Brodeur-Jourdain will retire after this week’s game against Hamilton; the 36-year-old Montreal lineman, drafted last overall in 2008, managed to make it into the CFL all the same, playing 12 seasons and 126 games, all with the Alouettes. He retires as a two-time Grey Cup winner (2009, 2010) and two-time East Division All-Star (2012, 2014), as well as the recipient of the 2017 Jake Gaudaur Veteran’s Award, presented every year since 2010 to the Canadian CFL player who “demonstrates the attributes of Canada’s veterans: strength, perseverance, courage, comradeship and contribution to Canadian communities.” He’ll likely be joining the coaching staff for the remainder of the 2019 season.
  • The Argos announced Wednesday they signed former Roughriders DB Crezdon Butler to their practise squad. Butler is a seven-year NFL vet (2010-16 in PIT, ARI, WAS, BUF, SD, TB, SEA, DET), who spent the 2017 and 2018 seasons in Saskatchewan. With the way their season is going thus far, it seems likely he’ll end up receiving some playing time this season.

Onto the games!


Edmonton 21 vs. Winnipeg 28: The Bombers started strong in this one, but faded down the stretch, allowing the Eskimos to make it a close one right at the end of the game. Despite not scoring a touchdown all game, Edmonton’s Sean Whyte kicked seven field goals to let the Green & Gold have a fighting chance at a road win; even with an uncharacteristic late fumble from Bombers RB Andrew Harris, Edmonton couldn’t find enough cohesion to put together a TD on their final drive, going 3-and-out to drop their first game of 2019. The star of this game, however, was Winnipeg WR Lucky Whitehead, who racked up 155 yards receiving on 7 catches, including two for touchdowns – most noteworthy being the highlight-reel 75-yard catch-and-run score in the first quarter to break open the game early for the Bombers.

PICK: Winnipeg

RESULT: Winnipeg

Montreal 10 vs. Hamilton 41: Jeremiah Masoli threw for 417 yards and a TD, while also scoring two on the ground… even his three interceptions didn’t end up mattering much in this one, as the Ti-Cats came alive in the second quarter to boat-race the Alouettes. Receiver Brandon Banks was spectacular for Hamilton, with 7 catches for 152 yards, while also scoring a TD on a 30-yard rush in the second quarter. Montreal, forced to start backup Vernon Adams, Jr. due to an ankle injury to Antonio Pipkin back in Week 2, couldn’t establish much in the way of offence – their OL couldn’t keep the pressure off the QB, giving up six sacks in the contest, including three to DL Ja’Gared Davis, who came over from Calgary in the off-season. At 3-0, the Tiger-Cats are off to their best start to a season since 2004 – hopefully, for their own sake, they’ll be able to keep the momentum rolling!

PICK: Hamilton

RESULT: Hamilton

BC 32 vs. Calgary 36: This was a wild one. Down by 11 at the three-minute warning, Stampeders QB Bo Levi Mitchell was hit hard, appearing to have injured his shoulder on the play. Calgary was forced to bring in backup Nick Arbuckle to try and mount the comeback; after a twelve-play drive that chewed through 2:30 of the game clock, Arbuckle pulled off the successful QB sneak at the goal line to cut the lead to five – and immediately followed it up with a two-point conversion to narrow it further to three. Not wanting overtime, the Stamps elected for the onside kick – and managed to recover it, setting up a five-play, 33-second drive capped off by a Don Jackson rushing score and Rene Paredes convert. With the Lions needing something – anything – after blowing this lead so late, Mike Reilly was strip-sacked by Cory Greenwood, allowing Calgary to recover and take a knee to end things off. A crazy end to a fantastic game!

PICK: Calgary

RESULT: Calgary

Toronto 7 vs. Saskatchewan 32: It was 25-0 for the Roughriders just before the second quarter ended… and this game might have been even more lopsided if the teams weren’t forced to the locker rooms after a long lightning delay put things on ice temporarily. Cody Fajardo looked fantastic once again at QB, throwing for a career-best 430 yards on 24-31 attempts, to go along with two TDs as well as a rushing TD. If he can continue this level of play, the Riders may legitimately have a quarterback controversy on their hands – a good one, at least. For the Argos, things go from really bad to somehow even worse – James Franklin was injured in the fourth quarter on a sack by Charleston Hughes, and it appears as though he’ll be missing a fair amount of time after taking that punishing hit from the star Saskatchewan defensive end. The Riders win their first game of the season, and appear to be trending upwards for the next stretch of their schedule!

PICK: Saskatchewan

RESULT: Saskatchewan

BYE: Ottawa (2-0)


Hamilton (3-0) vs. Montreal (0-2), Thursday, July 4th, 7:30 PM EST (TSN/ESPN+)After easily handling the Alouettes at home last week, the Ti-Cats will look to do the same thing once again on the road. With the way the team has looked thus far in 2019, there’s no reason to doubt them – however, considering that two of their three wins have come against Toronto and Montreal, the main question now is to see what they’ll look like against stronger opposition. Looks like we’ll need to wait until Week 5 to see for certain. For Montreal, the offence needs to come together – in particular the O-line, which really hung Vernon Adams, Jr. out to dry last week. If Adams can get some better protection, I think he’ll look like a much stronger player than what we saw last week.

PICK: Hamilton

Winnipeg (2-0) vs. Ottawa (2-0), Friday, July 5th, 7:30 PM EST (TSN/ESPN+)One of these teams is losing. I hope it’s not Ottawa, of course, being the biased shithead I am, but above all else, I REALLY don’t want a tie. Fuck ties. They’re the worst. Everyone says a tie is like kissing your sister – which I have never understood, because I have less than zero desire to ever do that. That’s some fucked-up Alabama bullshit. At any rate, the Bombers are arguably the best team in the league thus far, and the REDBLACKS will have a big job to do figuring out how to limit Winnipeg both through the air and on the ground – they’ve got arguably the most balanced offensive attack in the league. If Ottawa hopes to win, they need to break open some big plays – I hope Dominique Davis channels his inner Sex Cannon this week and just lets it fly. Dude’s got a cannon arm – I hope he puts it to good use.

PICK: Winnipeg

BC (0-3) vs. Toronto (0-2), Saturday, July 6th, 7:00 PM EST (TSN/ESPN+)Despite looking a tiny bit better than their disastrous Week 2 appearance, the hits still keep coming for Toronto. The Argos announced Wednesday that QB James Franklin was added to the 6-game injured list, so McLeod Bethel-Thompson, AKA “The Law Firm”, will take over as the starter for the foreseeable future. He’ll be backed up by Canadian Michael O’Connor, a rookie out of UBC. If Franklin is missing extended time, and if Bethel-Thompson flounders, expect some roster shakeups to happen. The Lions, as well, need to turn things around in a major way – with an 0-3 record, this was not how pundits, myself included, were expecting the year to go for BC. Most notably, it’s the defence that needs some major work – after blowing last week’s game against Calgary on some shoddy coverage and ill-timed penalties, they really need to step up if they’re to even make the playoffs this year, let alone be considered Grey Cup contenders.


Calgary (1-1) vs. Saskatchewan (1-2), Saturday, July 6th, 10:00 PM EST (TSN/ESPN+)With Bo Levi Mitchell going down with a shoulder injury, we’ll get to see a full-fledged Battle of the Backups this week – but fortunately for both teams, if their quarterbacks can perform as admirably as they did last week, this should turn out to be a very fun game indeed. Stamps RB Don Jackson has also been ruled out for this game, but return specialist Terry Williams might see his role expanded in order to take some offensive snaps as well. The Riders will also have to wait a little longer to see the season debut for big offseason acquisition Manny Arcenaux – his recovery from surgery continues to go well, but his return is still a couple weeks away, likely.

PICK: Calgary

BYE: Edmonton (2-1)


East Division Standings

Team Games Wins Losses Points For Points Against
Hamilton 3 3 0 128 41
Ottawa 2 2 0 76 69
Montreal 2 0 2 35 73
Toronto 2 0 2 21 96

West Division Standings

Team Games Wins Losses Points For Points Against
Winnipeg 2 2 0 61 44
Edmonton 3 2 1 92 76
Calgary 2 1 1 64 64
Saskatchewan 3 1 2 90 74
BC 3 0 3 78 108

Passing Yards

  1. Harris, EDM – 1086
  2. Masoli, HAM – 924
  3. Fajardo, SSK – 856

Passing TDs

  1. Nichols, WPG – 6
  2. Harris, EDM – 6
  3. Masoli, HAM – 5

Rushing Yards

  1. Gable, EDM – 347
  2. Powell, SSK – 226
  3. Thomas-Erlington, HAM – 224

Receiving Yards

  1. Banks, HAM – 334
  2. Ellingson, EDM – 313
  3. Collins, EDM – 293


  1. Hughes, SSK – 4
  2. Davis, HAM – 3
  3. Sewell, EDM – 2


  1. Roberson, CGY – 3
  2. Lawrence, HAM – 2
  3. Hecht, WPG – 2

Field Goals

  1. Whyte, EDM – 10
  2. Ward, OTT – 9
  3. Castillo, BC – 9


A four-way tie atop the leaderboard still? Maybe I should start putting in some fake picks in this column, just to fuck with the rest of you.

Remember to submit your picks here!

Rank Total Points Weekly Score Win Percentage
Litre_Cola 9 4-0 81.82%
Game Time Decision 9 4-0 81.82%
SonOfSpam 9 4-0 81.82%
The Maestro 9 4-0 81.82%
Ballsofsteelandfury 8 3-1 72.73%
Beerguyrob 8 4-0 72.73%
BC Dick 7 3-1 63.64%
Blaxabbath 5 0-4 45.45%
Sharkbait 4 2-2 36.36%
Dolph Ucker 0 0-4 0.00%
nomonkeyfun 0 0-4 0.00%
Spanky Datass 0 0-4 0.00%
Wakezilla 0 0-4 0.00%

Enjoy the games, everyone.

The Maestro
The Maestro
The Maestro is a mystical Canadian internet user and New England Patriots fan; when the weather is cooperative and the TV signal at his igloo is strong enough, he enjoys watching the NFL, the Ottawa Senators & REDBLACKS, and yelling into the abyss on Twitter. He is somehow allowed to teach music to high school students when he isn't in a blind rage about sports, and is also a known connoisseur of cheap beers across the Great White North.
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The MaestroRikki-Tikki-DeadlyGame Time DecisionBrick MeathookSonOfSpam Recent comment authors
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Game Time Decision
    BC vs Tor
    Pick: Calgary

I still expect this to come true. Torona will fuck it up that badly

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

Hey I can watch that game today! I’ll celebrate Independence Day by watching Canadian football!

Hot dang!

But without Manziel it isn’t the same. I bought my ESPN+ account last year just to watch JFF get killed. You gotta admit: the boy sells tickets.


This morning the Dr. Mrs. and I celebrated Independence Day by watching Wimbledon and eating breakfast burritos.


Proud to be the lone AMURRICAN among the leaders.

BC Dick

Hamilton could get a tougher game in Montreal than most expect. If they have the same pre-game bar rituals as the Stamps, anyways. I think Calgary is something like 1-6 there over the past few years. The baby oil and glitter flu, I believe it’s called.


Ah yes, I know that ailment well…

Dolph Ucker
Dolph Ucker

Shit. I forgot I signed up for this. Because weed.


found a funny:
I love The Sims because I can act out my craziest fantasies like advancing in my career and building relationships.


I’m still laughing at your Meghan McCain thing from last night.


I was reading about Saskatchewan beating the crap out of Toronto and feeling pretty good about my picks and then I realized I was the one idiot that picked Toronto.

What was I thinking?!?