CFL Beat: Week 8

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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Back from vacation now, and reality is setting in. I’m heading on the road for work this week, and one of my few things I’ll have to do in my spare time will be to eat shitty takeout pizza and watch football. Wait… this sounds suspiciously like most weekends in the late summer and fall for me…

On a news front, some new rules came into play this week in the CFL; the league has decreed that coaches may now only challenge a single play each game, regardless of whether it’s successful or not – this was made in order to try and cut down on all of the slowdowns that had become somewhat of a feature as incompetent refereeing tries to figure out just what exactly they threw a flag for… I’m not sure I necessarily agree with this; on the one hand, fewer stoppages in play are good, but on the other, it’s preventing coaches from holding referees accountable for their errors, and when officiating league-wide has made as many egregious errors as what we’ve seen so far this season, it’s hard to see this rule change as a good thing.

Onto the games!


Calgary 41 vs. Toronto 24: Another offensive explosion for the Stampeders. Bo Levi Mitchell once again led the charge in an efficient manner, going 19-24 for 249 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Jerome Messam had a touchdown as well as 76 yards on 10 carries. Roy Finch also added an excellent 103-yard punt return TD to further run it up for Calgary. For Toronto, it was a less than ideal home game, although with just over 11,000 in the crowd, a pitiful number, few were there to witness the team coming up short. Also adding insult to injury was Ricky Ray going down with an injury near the end of the third quarter; backup Cody Fajardo came in for a relief appearance, and didn’t turn the ball over for the Argos, but it wasn’t nearly enough to hope to keep pace with a well-honed Calgary machine.

PICK: Calgary

RESULT: Calgary

Winnipeg 33 vs. Ottawa 30: 4th quarters continue to be absolute kryptonite for the REDBLACKS. This was a back-and-forth game for much of it, but even when Winnipeg tied the game up on a late field goal, all Ottawa needed was two first downs in about 90 seconds to get into field goal range and win it… and they went 2-and-out and handed the ball back to the Bombers. For the second consecutive week, Ottawa lost on a field goal with no time on the clock, and for the second week in a row, Winnipeg won on their absolute final play of the game. An incredibly frustrating experience for Ottawa fans, to be sure.

PICK: Ottawa

RESULT: Winnipeg

Hamilton 28 vs. Edmonton 33: The Eskimos keep finding ways to win. With so many running backs on the shelf right now, LaDarius Perkins was promoted off the practise roster into the starter’s job… and racked up 105 yards on 19 carries. Not a bad start at all. It was, however, Mike Reilly who was far and away the most impactful player on the night for the Eskimos; he went 29-38 for 317 yards, two TDs, and two rushing scores of his own as well. For all their dysfunction this season, the Ti-Cats actually did hang in this one pretty well – interesting to have seen them play the league’s top team so close in both matchups this year. The Ti-Cats had a chance to win on the final play of the game, with Zach Collaros sending a pass into the end zone that was ultimately broken up; head coach Kent Austin tried to challenge, but was told he couldn’t do so as he was out of timeouts at the very end of the game. Once again, the Tabbies return home without a W.

PICK: Edmonton

RESULT: Edmonton

Saskatchewan 15 vs. BC 30: Don’t let the score fool you – this one was all Lions. Saskatchewan scored both their TDs in garbage time, and successfully converted a two-pointer to cut the lead as down further as time wound down, but BC was solidly in control for the entire game. Interestingly enough, both Saskatchewan touchdown passes were thrown by backup Brandon Bridge, one of only two Canadian QBs in the league (the other being Calgary’s Andrew Buckley). Starter Kevin Glenn, after being pulled in the fourth once the outcome of the game was readily apparent to both sides, was seen joking around on the sidelines when TV cameras were on him, laughing along with stating “TSN gonna be saying there’s a quarterback controversy in Saskatchewan now” – a clever bit for sure, as for once, he’s in no danger of losing his starting job. Curious, too, since this game marked his becoming only the sixth player in CFL history to throw for over 50,000 yards in a career –  a true journeyman if there ever was one.



BYE: Montreal (2-4)


Edmonton (6-0) vs. Ottawa (1-5-1), Thursday, August 10th, 7:30 PM EST: The wins and the injuries just keep coming for the Eskimos; receiver Brandon Zylstra is the latest addition to the casualties, and he won’t be ready to go for this game. Too bad for Mike Reilly, as he’s showed very good chemistry with him so far this year. All the same, the theme of Edmonton this year has been resiliency, which has been the exact opposite of whatever the hell it is that’s been going on so far for the REDBLACKS. Ottawa needs to get it together and show some mental toughness, particularly in the fourth quarter, where they’ve consistently imploded this year. All the same, my hopes are not high for the home team this time around.

PICK: Edmonton

Toronto (3-4) vs. Montreal (2-4), Friday, August 11th, 7:30 PM EST: Ricky Ray is listed as day-to-day with a shoulder injury; if he’s not good to go, then Cody Fajardo will get to start in his place. Fajardo brings a different dynamic to Toronto’s offence than Ray, a traditional pocket passer; Fajardo is a scrambler who can escape the pocket quickly and use his legs to get yardage, but does tend to take some risks with his throws as well. If Montreal can engage their interior defenders to be aggressive and anticipate passing lanes well, there’s a good chance they can get him to use his legs more, where their strong run D can hopefully contain him even better.

PICK: Montreal

Winnipeg (4-2) vs. Hamilton (0-6), Saturday, August 12th, 7:30 PM EST: The Ti-Cats fired defensive coordinator Jeff Reinebold this week, replacing him with Phillip Lolley, who was the run defence coordinator under Reinebold; if the D doesn’t improve, it’s very likely indeed that head coach Kent Austin could well be the next man on the chopping block. At any rate, a lot is going wrong right now for the Ti-Cats, and while the D has been unquestionably terrible thus far this year, the offense also hasn’t been doing its part to help them out either. Winnipeg is coming off winning two consecutive squeakers on the final play, and they’re probably hoping they don’t need to reach down into their hat and pull out yet another magic rabbit once again.

PICK: Winnipeg

BC (5-2) vs. Saskatchewan (2-4), Sunday, August 13th, 8:00 PM EST: We have a rematch of last week’s game, with the Riders now serving as the home team. Saskatchewan is desperately hoping to make this one a far more competitive game than what we saw last week, where there only two scores came in garbage time at the end. Travis Lulay took a big hit to the head from Riders DE Willie Jefferson last week, and it appears that at last, Jonathon Jennings is healthy enough to reclaim his starting job. Kevin Glenn returns to his starting job as well too, but as a smaller man, if BC’s front seven continues to push him around like they did last week, he could well be in for a long night. Maybe Duron Carter can bail him out a few more times with some more miracle catches?


BYE: Calgary (5-1-1)


East Division Standings

Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points For Points Against
Toronto 7 3 4 0 176 204
Montreal 6 2 4 0 141 150
Ottawa 7 1 5 1 194 202
Hamilton 6 0 6 0 118 234

West Division Standings

Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points For Points Against
Edmonton 6 6 0 0 177 149
Calgary 7 5 1 1 254 145
BC 7 5 2 0 220 181
Winnipeg 6 4 2 0 202 209
Saskatchewan 6 2 4 0 156 164

Passing Yards

  1. Ray, TOR – 2421
  2. Harris, OTT – 2202
  3. Mitchell, CGY – 2081

Passing TDs

  1. Harris, OTT – 14
  2. Mitchell, CGY – 13
  3. Reilly, EDM – 11

Rushing Yards

  1. Messam, CGY – 490
  2. Johnson, BC – 417
  3. Marshall, SSK – 343

Receiving Yards

  1. Ellingson, OTT – 702
  2. Green, TOR – 673
  3. Burnham, BC – 546


  1. Butler, TOR – 7
  2. Hughes, CGY – 6
  3. Willis,  EDM – 5


  1. Heath, WPG – 4
  2. Ladler, EDM – 3
  3. Yell, BC – 2

Field Goals

  1. Hajrullahu, TOR – 24
  2. Long, BC – 19
  3. Medlock, WPG – 18


Way to shit the bed this week, Low Commander. Oh… wait… you forgot to submit your picks. Ah yes, I see… Well, an even bigger shame then. PUBLIC HUMILIATION!

Remember to submit your picks here!

Rank Total Points Weekly Score Win Percentage
Spanky Datass 23 3-1 79.31%
SonOfSpam 21 3-1 72.41%
Game Time Decision 20 3-1 68.97%
Litre_Cola 20 4-0 68.97%
The Maestro 20 3-1 68.97%
Ballsofsteelandfury 19 3-1 65.52%
Joliet Jake Delhomme 17 3-1 58.62%
Low Commander 14 0-4 48.28%


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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Liouns allegiance aside, I hope they win because that would all but assure Chris Jones getting his ass fired.

Low Commander of the Super Soldiers

In my defense, I TRIED to submit my picks, but couldn’t remember my password, and the forgot password thing on that site sucks.

Whatever, it’s fixed now, and I’m fine remaining below the Jeff Fisher line for another week.


Gou Liouns!


Woohooo 4-0 les bombères coming thru!


How would Alabama do if they were in the CFL?


They’d probably have to cut some players to get under the CFL salary cap.


What would be the Canadian equivalent of a foot fetish pic to remind folks to put their picks in?

Would you go for the typo and make it a hot hockey girl pic?

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