CFL Beat: Week 5

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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Well, I’m back from vacation… and off on another vacation tomorrow. Isn’t summer strenuous for teachers? I barely have time to catch my breath from twelve days of relaxing before I’m forced into three more days of relaxing. It’s tough out here!

I kid, of course. Despite an excellent trip, I’m still cramming in an online course, some session recording, and this weekly blog as well. And I’m not getting paid. So no, I can’t lord this time off over many of you out there. At least there’s the CFL… at least when I’m within radio reception to listen to the games, if I can’t end up watching them.

Of note for this week: thanks to the addition of an additional week into the schedule for the 2018 season, this week will be one of the times where we’ll see an irregular bye schedule in action; we have not one, but three teams off from action this week. This means we’ve got just three games to profile. All the same, we’ve got a whole bunch of re-matches to look forward to, which is always fun!

WEEK 4 RECAPS

Hamilton 13 vs. Saskatchewan 18: A low-scoring affair at Mosaic Stadium this week, but despite the lack of points, Ti-Cats QB Jeremiah Masoli tied a CFL record with his ninth straight 300-plus passing yards game. This game also featured seven lead changes, which is the most in a single contest since July 18th, 2014 according to official CFL statisticians. Both teams saw their D rolling for much of the game, with Riders DE Charleston Hughes leading the way with a sack and a forced fumble, which he then scooped up and returned 57 yards for a pick-six. Despite all this, Saskatchewan only took the lead for good with just under two minutes left in the game, when RB Marcus Thigpen ripped off a 34-yard touchdown run that sealed the deal for the Roughriders.

PICK: Hamilton

RESULT: Saskatchewan

Ottawa 28 vs. Montreal 18: Ottawa continues to dominate this Trans-Canada Highway rivalry, and the REDBLACKS have now won five straight games at Percival Molson Stadium and nine of their last 10 against the Alouettes. After a slow start, the REDBLACKS blew the game wide open thanks in particular to Trevor Harris and Brad Sinopoli, who had fantastic chemistry all night – Harris went 28-42 for 342 yards and 3 touchdowns, including 148 yards and TD to Sinopoli, who caught eleven passes on the night. William Powell also racked up a season-high 138 yards rushing as well. Despite the offence rolling, the Alouettes still pushed late in the fourth quarter to try and make it a close game – despite being down by twenty, Jeff Mathews threw his one touchdown of the night to rookie receiver Chris Harper, playing in his first-ever CFL game. After the successful kick, Montreal would later cut the lead to 10 after a 44-yard field goal from Boris Bede. After a couple of stalled Ottawa drives in the dying minutes of the game, the defence would fortunately hold strong and deny the Alouettes any further attempts to pull even.

PICK: Ottawa

RESULT: Ottawa

Edmonton 17 vs. Toronto 20: In a massive upset, new Toronto starting quarterback James Franklin led the Argos to victory, outduelling his former Eskimos mentor and teammate Mike Reilly. In his first-ever CFL start, Franklin went 16-24 for 217 yards, a TD and a pick, and 31 rush yards on 6 carries and a rush TD as well. The Argos did a much better job of engaging star running back James Wilder, Jr. into the offence, and it really showed – he had 120 yards rushing on 21 carries and a touchdown, plus three catches for 27 yards as well. The Eskimos had trouble early on – the offence was racking up yards, but couldn’t convert them to touchdowns, settling for a number of field goals throughout the game. Despite a 17-14 lead heading into the fourth quarter, the Argos scored the winning touchdown just before the three-minute warning, and managed to force a two-and-out on the Eskimos’ final possession to seal their first win of 2018.

PICK: Edmonton

RESULT: Toronto

BC 19 vs. Winnipeg 41: A big night here for the Winnipeg offence, where former Lions Andrew Harris and Adam Bighill made BC pay. RB Harris racked up a season-high 109 rushing yards and a touchdown, while LB Bighill had two interceptions, including a 55-yard pick-six. The Blue Bombers also got starter Matt Nichols back after missing the first four games of the season thanks to a knee injury suffered during training camp, and he looked decently sharp in his return, going 16-29 for 162 yards and a touchdown. The Winnipeg D also had some fantastic pressure from their front seven for much of the game; QB Jonathon Jennings was harassed constantly and had little time at all to make plays, ending his night just 15-24 for 105 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions. The Lions were held to just 280 total yards on offence – not a great showing for a team looking to prove that a revamped O-line would be better suited to the task of protecting the quarterback.

PICK: Winnipeg

RESULT: Winnipeg

BYE: Calgary (3-0)

WEEK 5 PREVIEWS

Calgary (3-0) vs. Ottawa (2-1), Thursday, June 12th, 7:30 PM EST: A Week 3 re-match; historically, these teams tend to play to a standstill when facing off in the nation’s capital. The last two REDBLACKS-Stampeders matchups at TD Place were the only two ties that occurred in the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Ottawa’s only loss of 2018 came to these same Stamps just two weeks ago; the game was played very closely up until the fourth quarter, when Calgary’s offence finally got the best of what was a tired Ottawa D. Expect another excellent matchup here – Ottawa RB William Powell is leading the league with 355 rush yards in just three games, and QB Trevor Harris is coming off a very strong showing against Montreal. The Stamps, however, have had plenty of rest after their bye week, and hopefully will be able to use that to their advantage.

PICK: Calgary

Toronto (1-2) vs. Edmonton (2-2), Friday, June 13th, 9:00 PM EST: Last week, the Argos upset the Eskimos in James Franklin’s first-ever CFL start; they’ll get the chance to go for two in a row against Edmonton with their second matchup happening this week. Edmonton has played much better at home thus far than on the road; the team wasn’t terrible last week, but what really killed them was that sustained drives couldn’t be converted into touchdowns – settling for field goals just wasn’t enough. For the Argos, they just need to continue mixing it up in their play-calling in order to keep the Eskimos guessing and to give Franklin time to acclimatize to being a full-time starter. Fortunately, he’s got a killer running back to lean on to do some heavy lifting for a little while.

PICK: Edmonton

Winnipeg (2-2) vs. BC (1-2), Saturday, June 14th, 10:00 PM EST: Another re-match happening this week; after a strong Bomber outing at home against the Lions, the scene shifts to Vancouver this week. The Lions couldn’t protect Jonathon Jennings, and he was forced into a lot of throws which ended up getting picked off or not completed. Without any offensive rhythm, it’s hard to keep pace with Winnipeg. The D looked like what it was projected to look like on paper at the start of the season, and with Matt Nichols back and his workload likely to increase, things are looking up in Manitoba for sure.

PICK: Winnipeg

BYE: Montreal (1-3), Hamilton (2-2), Saskatchewan (2-2)

STANDINGS AND STATS

East Division Standings

Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points For Points Against
Ottawa 3 2 1 0 82 59
Hamilton 4 2 2 0 96 84
Toronto 3 1 2 0 46 85
Montreal 4 1 3 0 61 123

West Division Standings

Team Games Wins Losses Ties Points For Points Against
Calgary 3 3 0 0 93 35
Edmonton 4 2 2 0 112 110
Winnipeg 4 2 2 0 144 93
Saskatchewan 4 2 2 0 79 95
BC 3 1 2 0 63 92

Passing Yards

  1. Reilly, EDM – 1390
  2. Masoli, HAM – 1378
  3. Mitchell, CGY – 872

Passing TDs

  1. Reilly, EDM – 7
  2. Mitchell, CGY – 6
  3. Streveler, WPG – 6

Rushing Yards

  1. Powell, OTT – 355
  2. Harris, WPG – 310
  3. Jackson, CGY – 294

Receiving Yards

  1. Williams, EDM – 433
  2. Banks, HAM – 360
  3. Walker, EDM – 350

Sacks

  1. Hughes, SSK – 5
  2. Okpalaugo, WPG – 3
  3. Wakefield, OTT – 3

Interceptions

  1. Bighill, WPG – 2
  2. Murray, OTT – 2
  3. Marshall, SSK – 1

Field Goals

  1. Hajrullahu, HAM – 11
  2. Lauther, SSK – 10
  3. Bede, MTL – 8

PICK POOL

Remember to submit your picks here! http://www.pooltracker.com/join.asp?poolid=148402

Rank Total Points Weekly Score Win Percentage
Beerguyrob 14 3-1 87.50%
Ballsofsteelandfury 11 3-1 68.75%
SonOfSpam 11 2-2 68.75%
Spanky Datass 10 2-2 62.50%
The Maestro 10 2-2 62.50%
Game Time Decision 10 2-2 62.50%
Litre_cola 9 2-2 56.25%
Wakezilla 9 3-1 56.25%
Dolph Ucker 4 0-4 25.00%
blaxabbath 2 0-4 16.67%
nomonkeyfun 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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Rikki-Tikki-Deadly

Uh oh, Hamilton, the losses are starting to pile up, gotta jump-start that offense…

IT’S YUKON JOHNNY TIME, BABY!

litre_cola

Man do I suck this year at predictions

ballsofsteelandfury

I really think you should have rounded up SonOfSpam’s and my percentages…

ballsofsteelandfury

Also, does BeerGuyRob have insider connections? 14-2 is insane!!