Wednesday, August 24, 2016 — Week 10 in the Canadian Football League begins with a Thursday Night Football game featuring quarterbacks looking to bounce back.
Trevor Harris, returning from injuries suffered July 22, gets the nod at quarterback for the Ottawa REDBLACKS while Jonathon Jennings looks to get the BC Lions back on track after a tough loss last week to Calgary.
Friday serves up a double-header, with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers riding their three game win streak into Montreal to face the suddenly resurgent Alouettes, followed by the Saskatchewan Roughriders visiting the Eskimos in Edmonton.
On Sunday night, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, fresh off their first home win of the season, are in Calgary to test themselves against the Stampeders, who have re-established themselves as the CFL's top team.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
- Games in Week 9 averaged 59.3 points per game, the most since Week 2 of the 2015 season, when teams combined for an average of 60.8 points.
- It also featured one-sided affairs: the average margin of victory was 30.3 points.
- Hamilton’s 46-point win over Saskatchewan was the largest since September 2, 2012 when Saskatchewan beat Winnipeg 52-0.
- Road teams opened up Week 9 with three straight victories and Montreal, Calgary and Edmonton won by 23 or more points – that's the first time three CFL games were won by Away teams by a margin of 20+ points in the same weekend since August 15 and 16 back in 1996. (TORONTO 42 at OTTAWA 19, WINNIPEG 38 at BC 13, CALGARY 47 at HAMILTON 10).
- Road teams keep winning: through 36 games, road teams are 22-13-1 for a win percentage of 62.5%, the highest for road teams in CFL history.
- Eight of nine teams are .500 or better on the road, while Calgary is the only team to be above .500 at home.
- Mike Reilly passed for 362 yards in Toronto, putting him on pace to reach 6,397 passing yards this season, which would be the second highest ever, behind only Doug Flutie’s 6,619 yards in his magical 1991 season.
- Reilly is attempting to join a very exclusive club: the 6,000 yards passing mark has only been reached five times.
- The most recent player to reach the plateau was Anthony Calvillo in 2004 (6,041).
- The only three quarterbacks to do it: Doug Flutie in 1991 (6,619), Kent Austin in 1992 (6,225), Doug Flutie again in 1993 (6,092) and David Archer in 1993 (6,023).
- Edmonton's dynamic duo of Adarius Bowman and Derel Walker suffered a small setback in their quest to join an even more exclusive club: CFL'ers who have achieved 2,000 yards
- Bowman hauled in three passes for 86 yards, putting him on pace for 1,969 yards.
- Walker had three receptions for 37 yards, putting him on pace for 1,.883 yards.
- Still, both continue to average more than 100 yards per game, and each of them have five games in which they had at least 100 yards receiving.
- CFL kickers made 86.5% of their field goal attempts over the last three weeks, compared to 74.4% in the first five weeks of the season.
- A perfect three-for-three performance against BC increased Calgary's Rene Paredes’ streak to 23 successful field goal attempts, matching Paul McCallum’s and Dean Dorsey’s mark for the eighth-longest streak in CFL history.
- Edmonton’s Sean Whyte leads the league with a field goal success rate of 91.7% (22/24) and currently has a streak of nine straight field goals made.
- Both of Whyte’s misses this campaign were from 50 yards. He is a remarkable 22-for-22 inside 50 yards.
- Justin Medlock owns the longest field goal of the season at 58 yards, the fifth longest in CFL history.
- Winning teams combined to convert 61% of second downs while the losing clubs only converted 39% in Week 9.
- For the season so far, winning teams convert on second downs 53% of the time compared to 44% for losing teams.
- Montreal Alouette receiver Nik Lewis had five second down conversions last week against the Ottawa REDBLACKS, bringing his season-long total to 18.
- Calgary Stampeder Marquay McDaniel leads the league with 22 second down conversion catches followed by Adarius Bowman (20), Andy Fantuz (19) and Ernest Jackson and Lewis (18).
A YOUNG MAN'S GAME
- 21% of the players on Week 9 rosters were in their first CFL season.
- 41% were either in their first or second year in the CFL.
- Almost one third of the Riders' total roster (including injured players) – 21 of 66 players – were first-year players going into last week's game in Hamilton.
- The second-place BC Lions only had seven first-year players in their game against Calgary.
- The average age of a CFL player is currently 27.4.
- The oldest team in the CFL is Montreal, with an average player age of 28.1, while the youngest are Saskatchewan and Ottawa, both with an average roster age of 27.
COACHES' CHALLENGE UPDATE
- Through nine weeks, CFL games are averaging 2.5 challenges per game. Last season, the league averaged 1.26 challenges per game.
- Edmonton’s head coach Jason Maas has been the most frequent and successful challenger, with six overturned rulings on 14 challenge flags.
- Calgary's Dave Dickenson is the least likely to challenge a call: he has challenged seven times and has had none overturned.
- 82% of coaches’ challenges have been penalty-related (while others related to things such as possession of the ball).
THREE MINUTE DRILL
- Parity: seven of nine clubs have at least three victories this season and five of them are tied with four wins after eight games.
- Jason Arakgi didn't waste any time becoming the CFL’s all-time special teams tackler: his tackle on the BC Lions’ opening kickoff last week was his 185th special teams tackle.
- For the first time since 2010, the Calgary Stampeders are undefeated in seven games. They haven’t gone undefeated in eight games since August 25, 1995.
- When Winnipeg travels to Montreal for Week 10 they will be looking for their first four-game road winning streak since 2003.
- Teams that lead after three quarters of play are 26-7 (.788). Last year, teams who owned a lead after three quarters had a winning percentage of .709.
- There have been only 15 different starting QBs so far this season compared to 28 in all of 2015. That total included 11 who made their first career CFL start last season.
- Of those 15 starting quarterbacks, only two have been first-time starters, and Logan Kilgore and Mitchell Gale each won their first starts.
- Since returning to action, Zach Collaros has passed for 712 yards and seven touchdowns in two games.
- Collaros owns a passer rating of 127.8 and has led the Tiger-Cats to a touchdown on 31% of his drives. Ottawa’s Trevor Harris is second with a touchdown on 23% of his drives.
- Bo Levi Mitchell's career record as a starter (34-7-1) gives him the highest winning percentage (.821).
- John Chick and Rob Maver will both play in their 100th CFL game in Week 10.