Latest posts by The Maestro (see all)
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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!
WEEK 15 RECAPS
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.
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.
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.
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)
WEEK 16 PREVIEWS
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.
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?
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?
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…
BYE: Calgary (9-4)
STANDINGS AND STATS
East Division Standings
|Team||Games||Wins||Losses||Points For||Points Against|
West Division Standings
|Team||Games||Wins||Losses||Points For||Points Against|
- Harris, EDM – 3706
- Reilly, BC – 3306
- Bethel-Thompson, TOR – 3090
- Bethel-Thompson, TOR – 19
- Nichols, WPG – 15
- Harris, EDM – 15
- Harris, WPG – 984
- Gable, EDM – 860
- Powell, SSK – 751
- Burnham, BC – 1078
- Banks, HAM – 1039
- Begelton, CGY – 1036
- Hughes, SSK – 13
- Jefferson, WPG – 11
- Davis, HAM – 10
- Rose, WPG – 8
- Roberson, CGY – 7
- Rolle, HAM – 4
- Whyte, EDM – 38
- Hajrullahu, HAM – 34
- 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! https://www.pooltracker.com/join.asp?poolid=168258
|Rank||Total Points||Weekly Score||Win Percentage|
|Game Time Decision||36||1-3||63.16%|
Enjoy the games, everyone.