CFL Beat: Week 20

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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We’re into the weird bit of the schedule, where half the games remaining are incredibly meaningless, while the other half are incredibly meaningful. This makes watching CFL football this time of year a real coin flip – sometimes the meaningless games are incredible, and sometimes the meaningful ones are absolute dreck to watch. That said, you’ve made it this far with me – there’s no stopping now!

In league news this week:

  • Trevor Harris returns to the Edmonton Eskimos’ lineup after being placed on the six-game injured list earlier due to a shoulder injury. Hopefully his return helps their passing game, which has looked lost in recent weeks.
  • Zach Collaros, traded from Toronto to Winnipeg at the trade deadline, is expected to get his first start as a member of the Blue Bombers this weekend due to an injury to Chris Streveler.
  • The Stampeders signed LB Dexter McCoil to their practise roster; McCoil previously spent 2014 and 2015 with the Edmonton Eskimos before joining the San Diego Chargers in 2016. As a depth signing, this seems a prudent one as the Calgary defence appears to be rather banged-up this week.

Onto the games!

WEEK 19 RECAPS

Toronto 24 vs. Montreal 27: The Alouettes had a ten-point lead at the half, but the Argos, despite being woeful for virtually all of 2019, managed to come roaring back in the third quarter to seize a 17-13 by the end of the third quarter. In a frantic fourth, the Als regained the lead thanks to two touchdown passes by Vernon Adams, Jr., and they managed to keep a frantic Toronto comeback at bay. McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw his second TD pass of the game to WR Chandler Worthy, and the Argos almost tied things up with no time left on the clock… until Tyler Crapigna missed a 51-yard field goal, sending the home team to the locker room with a hard-fought victory.

PICK: Montreal

RESULT: Montreal

Saskatchewan 27 vs. BC 19: With no Mike Reilly for the remainder of the 2019 season, Danny O’Brien, a five-year CFL veteran, got his first career start for the Lions. It was a quiet night for O’Brien and BC, however, as their new de facto starter finished the night 16-25 for 171 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. The Riders kept pace in the West Division title race with the road win, though the Lions, even eliminated from the playoff race and minus their leader in Reilly, played them competitively. Saskatchewan had a 12-9 lead at the half, but pulled away in the back nine, largely in part due to some excellent D. The Riders racked up six sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception on the night, making it a very miserable night for the LioUns.

PICK: Saskatchewan

RESULT: Saskatchewan

Ottawa 12 vs. Hamilton 33: The Tiger-Cats made franchise history, winning 13 games for the first time in their existence as a team. Once again, Ottawa’s utter lack of offence made them a punching bag in this game, allowing the Tabbies to dominate the time-of-possession battle and let Dane Evans throw all game long. The Ti-Cats’ QB racked up 452 yards, a TD and a pick on 32-41 attempts, while he got some help with two rushing scores from backup QB David Watford and receiver Jalin Marshall helped the Tabbies blow the game open in the second half. To their credit, the REDBLACKS played Hamilton pretty well through the first 30 minutes, keeping them from scoring any touchdowns and down just 12-9 after exchanging a number of field goals… but in the end, this horrendous Ottawa team showed its true coloUrs once again.

PICK: Hamilton

RESULT: Hamilton

Winnipeg 33 vs. Calgary 37: Bo Levi Mitchell and Reggie Begelton connected for three touchdowns as the Stampeders held off the Blue Bombers at home to keep ahead of their close rival in the tight West Division. The Bombers had a 24-point second quarter to help grab an eight-point lead going into halftime, but the Stamps came back strong in the final two frames to re-gain the lead and hold off a furious Winnipeg push in the final minutes. Unfortunately for the Bombers, Chris Streveler once again had issues with turning the ball over, as his final pass of the game was picked off by Stamps’ DB DaShaun Amos, sealing the victory for the home squad. If Streveler keeps turning the ball over at the worst times, as he’s done a ton this year, the Bombers are toast once the playoffs begin.

PICK: Calgary

RESULT: Calgary

BYE: Edmonton (8-8)

WEEK 20 PREVIEWS

Calgary (11-5) vs. Winnipeg (10-7), Friday, October 25th, 8:30 PM EST: It’s a rematch from last week, and Winnipeg is gunning for bear in order to make sure they still have a chance at the division title. Notable this week is that Chris Streveler appears to be injured so Zach Collaros, the Bombers’ trade-deadline acquisition from Toronto, appears to be suiting up for his first football game since Week 1, when he was taking snaps for the Saskatchewan Roughriders. It’s hard to say if Collaros is the answer to the Bombers’ QB woes or not; Winnipeg remains excellent at running the ball, and Collaros is several years removed from the best performances of his career. But if Streveler is injured, they may not have a choice in the matter. Calgary just needs to run with the exact same game plan as last week if they want a division title. You can bet there will be some scoreboard-watching going on from Regina, as this game has a major impact on the Roughriders’ division title chances too.

PICK: Calgary

Hamilton (13-3) vs. Montreal (9-7), Saturday, October 26th, 1:00 PM EST: Both teams will probably be coasting for this game, so it’ll be interesting to see how competitive it ends up getting. Hamilton and Montreal have already locked up the #1 and #2 seeds in the East division, and the main goal for both teams remains staying healthy into the playoffs. This is an unusual dynamic, and not often one we see in a larger league such as the NFL, where two playoff teams meet late in the year already knowing full well how the standings will shake out. We’ll probably see starters out for this one, at least, but next week, I’d wager a guess that both teams will be resting their most key bodies.

PICK: Hamilton

Ottawa (3-13) vs. Toronto (3-13), Saturday, October 26th, 4:00 PM EST: Another edition of the Toilet Bowl. Will Arndt gets his third straight start for the REDBLACKS, while Toronto turns to McLeod Bethel-Thompson once again. The Argos’ QB has been one of only a few bright spots in this dismal season, and he eviscerated the REDBLACKS before. For Ottawa, I’m not sure what exactly the goal is here. Make sure to send the entire roster home in one piece?

PICK: Toronto

Saskatchewan (11-5) vs. Edmonton (8-8), Saturday, October 26th, 7:00 PM EST: The implications here are clear for the West playoff picture: a Riders win, and the Eskimos clinch the crossover berth and will head to Montreal. An Edmonton win, and the Eskimos have a chance to play for third place in the division – assuming, of course, that the Bombers have lost their Friday game. It’s extremely likely that Edmonton crosses over, but things aren’t settled still. The Eskimos will hopefully benefit from having QB Trevor Harris back in the lineup as he returns from the six-game injured list due to a hit to his throwing shoulder. The offence has had fits and starts with Logan Kilgore manning the helm, and while finish in the red zone has been an issue all season long for Edmonton, they still have a better shot with Harris tossing the ball.

PICK: Edmonton

BYE: BC (5-12)

STANDINGS AND STATS

East Division Standings

Team Games Wins Losses Points For Points Against
y-Hamilton 16 13 3 492 300
x-Montreal 16 9 7 411 415
e-Toronto 16 3 13 316 532
e-Ottawa 16 3 13 271 483

West Division Standings

Team Games Wins Losses Points For Points Against
x-Calgary 16 11 5 433 362
x-Saskatchewan 16 11 5 437 349
x-Winnipeg 17 10 7 479 381
x-Edmonton 16 8 8 369 350
e-BC 17 5 12 395 431

y – clinched division title
x – clinched playoff berth
c – clinched crossover spot
e – eliminated from playoff contention

Passing Yards

  1. Reilly, BC – 3897
  2. Fajardo, SSK – 3873
  3. Bethel-Thompson, TOR – 3826

Passing TDs

  1. Bethel-Thompson, TOR – 24
  2. Reilly, BC – 20
  3. Adams Jr., MTL – 20

Rushing Yards

  1. Harris, WPG – 1316
  2. Stanback, MTL – 1003
  3. Gable, EDM – 997

Receiving Yards

  1. Burnham, BC – 1401
  2. Banks, HAM – 1349
  3. Begelton, CGY – 1286

Sacks

  1. Hughes, SSK – 15
  2. Davis, HAM – 12
  3. Jefferson, WPG – 12

Interceptions

  1. Rose, WPG – 9
  2. Roberson, CGY – 7
  3. Rolle, HAM – 5

Field Goals

  1. Whyte, EDM – 46
  2. Hajrullahu, HAM – 44
  3. Ward, OTT – 40

PICK POOL

Remember to submit your picks here! https://www.pooltracker.com/join.asp?poolid=168258 

Rank Total Points Weekly Score Win Percentage
Litre_Cola 54 3-1 73.97%
SonOfSpam 51 4-0 69.86%
Game Time Decision 50 4-0 68.49%
Ballsofsteelandfury 49 4-0 67.12%
The Maestro 49 4-0 67.12%
Beerguyrob 49 3-1 67.12%
BC Dick 46 3-1 62.32%
Sharkbait 37 1-3 50.68%
blaxabbath 32 2-2 43.84%
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.
https://www.doorfliesopen.com/index.php/author/the-maestro/
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blaxabbath

I am slowly moving up to pick off Sharkbait.

ballsofsteelandfury

Does the tipping contest go through the Grey Cup or is it regular season only?

Wakezilla

How the shit are the Conference Finals, let alone the playoffs not starting this week? They’re trying to have a December 25th Grey Cup where no one goes to the stadium because it’ll be -30?

BC Dick

But the grey cup is a week earlier this year, no? It’s before US thanksgiving this year when usually it is after.

Brick Meathook
Brick Meathook

Starting on Monday I shall be a Canadian.

Wakezilla

You didn’t start your sentence with “Sorry about being off topic but” and didn’t finish your sentence with an eh? You have much to learn aboot being Canadian by Monday