CFL Beat: Week 16

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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Just came back from three days canoeing through Ontario’s famous Algonquin Park with some of my Grade 10 students from school. A thunderstorm Monday night to contend with, but otherwise good times all around – although I could really use a shoulder massage after portaging all those canoes. No, not that kind of massage – just the regular one for now. Thanks to being away, I’m not particularly caught up on league news this week, so I’ll try to be brief:

  • Vernon Adams, Jr. was suspended for ripping off and swinging Adam Bighill’s own helmet at him in an altercation last week in Montreal’s matchup with Winnipeg, so Matthew Shiltz will get the start against the BC Lions as Adams serves his one-game ban.
  • Ti-Cats LB Simoni Lawrence received the maximum fine for his hit to the head of Eskimos QB Logan Kilgore last week – as per usual terms, the specific dollar amounts were not disclosed.

Onto the games!


Calgary 23 vs. Toronto 16: The Stamps cruised to a win over the Argos thanks to a big first half, marking their twelfth consecutive regular season victory over the Boatmen. With twenty points from the Calgary offence, the team was firing on all cylinders as the defence were equally adept at stymying McLeod Bethel-Thompson and the Argos. Despite being near the top of the leader board in most statistical categories, Bethel-Thompson was yanked in this contest in favour of James Franklin – the man once touted to be Toronto’s QB of the future, who Bethel-Thompson appeared to have thoroughly bested for the starter’s job for the rest of the year. A curious choice to me – while Franklin threw a TD, it still wasn’t enough to let the Argos back into this one.

PICK: Calgary

RESULT: Calgary

Hamilton 30 vs. Edmonton 27: Live by the late field goal, die by the late field goal. Last week, the Ti-Cats lost on a spectacular blocked kick from Calgary DB Tre Roberson, but they wouldn’t be denied for a second week in a row. Lirim Hajrullahu hit the game-winner with the clock at zero, and the Tiger-Cats became the first team in 2019 to clinch a playoff spot. They were, in fact, lucky to come away with a victory in this game – Hamilton had a huge early lead, with three first-quarter TDs, but seventeen unanswered points by the Eskimos in the second half ended up knotting the score at 27 before the final, fateful Hamilton drive. The Eskimos drop to 6-8 despite a good showing from backup QB Logan Kilgore, and with another loss, they’ll definitely be hoping that Trevor Harris is healthy again soon.

PICK: Hamilton

RESULT: Hamilton

Winnipeg 37 vs. Montreal 38: This was the game of the season. Oh my god. The Alouettes had their biggest comeback in franchise history, as Vernon Adams, Jr. led Montreal back from a 20-point fourth-quarter deficit to score an incredibly unlikely win over what is arguably the CFL’s best team. The Bombers started this game hotter than hell, as Chris Streveler passed for a TD while running for three more. In the second half, however, the offence went dead, as Montreal’s halftime adjustments limited Winnipeg to merely a field goal. In a dramatic fourth quarter, Adams threw three touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Jake Wieneke with 11 seconds left on the clock. Adams finished the game with a career-high 488 passing yards on 27-43 pass attempts, with 4 TDs, an interception, and 6 carries for 38 yards and a rush TD. Truly amazing stuff out of Montreal. They’re the league’s most fun team by far.

PICK: Winnipeg

RESULT: Montreal

BC 40 vs. Ottawa 7: Another week of the REDBLACKS playing dead. Mike Reilly had a season-high 353 passing yards, 2 TDs and an interception, while Ottawa had… next to nothing. Not even a touchdown. Just an abysmal example of football out of the nation’s capital. From top to bottom, this team needs to be re-built, because coasting off the successes of previous rosters has clearly come back to bite them in the ass this year. No OC, no QB, and no consistent schemes makes this game look even more pathetic – especially when you consider how BC was both A) the last-place team in the league coming into this game and B) wrecked them at home last week. Two horrific losses in a row to the last-place team? That’s the kind of shit that gets lots of people fired. And rightfully so.



BYE: Saskatchewan (8-4)


Hamilton (10-3) vs. Winnipeg (9-4), Friday, September 27th, 8:30 PM EST: Another heavyweight matchup this week – although both teams will have their backups-turned-starters in at QB due to injury woes. A shoddy second half cost the Bombers dearly last week – possibly in part due to taking Montreal too lightly. I don’t expect the same thing to happen again this week – Hamilton’s been lucky to be in scenarios to have game-winning field goal opportunities in consecutive games, but don’t expect something to happen for a third time in a row.

PICK: Winnipeg

Edmonton (-) vs. Ottawa (-), Satuday, September 28th, 4:00 PM EST: Edmonton is reeling right now, so a game – and almost certainly, a win – against the lowly REDBLACKS would be just the tonic they need at the moment. Logan Kilgore will start again this week for the Eskimos due to Trevor Harris not being at 100% still. For the REDBLACKS, both Jonathon Jennings and Dominique Davis have clearly not been the solution to their woes at quarterback – and yet both are scheduled to get playing time this week, according to head coach Rick Campbell. I’m not sure what more we’re expecting to see of either of them – even if you’re declaring your season a lost cause (which, honestly, I think most of us would, at this point), maybe consider starting youngster Will Arndt in place of either, to see if you can evaluate for the future?

PICK: Edmonton

Saskatchewan (-) vs. Toronto (-), Saturday, September 28th, 7:00 PM EST: The Riders come off the bye week rested and ready to handle the Argos. I don’t expect anything particularly spectacular in this one – however, the Argonauts are choosing to go back to James Franklin at QB for this one. I do find this decision a little premature right now – while McLeod Bethel-Thompson admittedly didn’t play his best last week, I’m not sure it merits a change. Also, will T.O. be able to get Zach Collaros, he of former starter status in both Saskatchewan and Hamilton, some playing time this year?

PICK: Saskatchewan

Montreal (-) vs. BC (-), Saturday, September 28th, 10:00 PM EST: The LioUns’ D appears to be finally coming together after two dominating wins against a horrendous Ottawa team, and they get the benefit of Montreal being forced to play their backup, Matthew Shiltz, in favour of Vernon Adams, Jr., who is suspended for this tilt. That said, the Als, unless the REDBLACKS, actually have offensive abilty, even if they don’t have some star power at QB for this game. They also have a pass rush, unlike the REDBLACKS – while I’m sure the BC O-line has appreciated the slightly lighter workload over the last little while, it’s going to be much busier for them with John Bowman coming at Mike Reilly off the line of scrimmage. For a line that has surrendered 46 sacks thus far on Mike Reilly, it’s hard to say if the past two games are a more proper indicator of their ability than the previous 11…

PICK: Montreal

BYE: Calgary (9-4)


East Division Standings

Team Games Wins Losses Points For Points Against
Hamilton 13 10 3 384 263
Montreal 12 7 5 316 314
Ottawa 13 3 10 222 401
Toronto 12 2 10 240 388

West Division Standings

Team Games Wins Losses Points For Points Against
Winnipeg 13 9 4 392 266
Calgary 13 9 4 349 280
Saskatchewan 12 8 4 320 278
Edmonton 13 6 7 317 286
BC 13 3 10 290 354

Passing Yards

  1. Harris, EDM – 3706
  2. Reilly, BC – 3306
  3. Bethel-Thompson, TOR – 3090

Passing TDs

  1. Bethel-Thompson, TOR – 19
  2. Nichols, WPG – 15
  3. Harris, EDM – 15

Rushing Yards

  1. Harris, WPG – 984
  2. Gable, EDM – 860
  3. Powell, SSK – 751

Receiving Yards

  1. Burnham, BC – 1078
  2. Banks, HAM – 1039
  3. Begelton, CGY – 1036


  1. Hughes, SSK – 13
  2. Jefferson, WPG – 11
  3. Davis, HAM – 10


  1. Rose, WPG – 8
  2. Roberson, CGY – 7
  3. Rolle, HAM – 4

Field Goals

  1. Whyte, EDM – 38
  2. Hajrullahu, HAM – 34
  3. Paredes, BC – 33


All hail BC Dick – the only perfect picker this week. Well done! For the rest of y’all – you have work to do.

Remember to submit your picks here! 

Rank Total Points Weekly Score Win Percentage
Litre_Cola 41 2-2 71.93%
SonOfSpam 39 2-2 68.42%
The Maestro 38 3-1 66.67%
Ballsofsteelandfury 36 1-3 63.16%
Game Time Decision 36 1-3 63.16%
Beerguyrob 36 2-2 63.16%
BC Dick 35 4-0 61.40%
Sharkbait 34 2-2 59.65%
blaxabbath 24 2-2 41.51%
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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ballsofsteelandfuryThe MaestroGame Time DecisionBC Dick Recent comment authors
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Had a bad Tipping week. I’ll endeavour to do better this week.

Game Time Decision

can i just use LC’s picks going forward? losing ground

BC Dick

Not that it matters but it was Adam Bighill who had a helmet swung at his face by a petulant little man of a QB who was mad about throwing a pick and then being turned into an actual football player on the return. I personally think using a weapon to try to bash someone’s face in after a play merits more than one game off but I doubt Randy wants to reduce turnout at the league-owned team’s park for next week’s home game against Calgary.