THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 15

THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 15

Wednesday, September 19, 2018 — Friday Night Football brings us to Winnipeg, where we see two teams needing victories to continue their playoff push. Games at Investors Group Field between Montreal and Winnipeg have been decided in the final three minutes for five consecutive matchups, with an average margin of victory of five points. Montreal enters the game having won two of their last three games while Winnipeg comes off a bye; the Blue Bombers are 4-1 following their last five bye weeks. Kickoff scheduled is for 8:30 p.m. ET.

Saturday features the second triple-header of the season. Leading off the big day are the Ottawa REDBLACKS, who are hosting the Edmonton Eskimos. The two teams have not yet met this year; however, last season Edmonton swept the season series and the year prior Ottawa swept the series. Both teams enter the game with identical 7-5 records, with Ottawa first in the East Division and Edmonton tied for second in the West. The game is set to begin at 4 p.m. ET.

The middle game has the Saskatchewan Roughriders heading East to take on the Toronto Argonauts at BMO Field (4 p.m. ET). Toronto is coming off a bye and are in need of a victory to catch the Tiger-Cats and avoid a potential crossover. The Riders enter the game having won four of the last five and are currently tied with Edmonton with a 7-5 record in the West Division. Saskatchewan won the first game against the Argos in Week 1 (27-19) and this will be Duron Carter’s first game against his former team.

The finale for the week brings us to Vancouver when the BC Lions tangle with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats beginning at 10 p.m. ET. The second place Tiger-Cats look to bounce back after a loss to the league-leading Stampeders while BC looks to make it three wins in a row. Both teams will look to draw first blood in the home and home set that will continue in Hamilton next week.

**Saskatchewan/Toronto game will be this week’s live mic game**

OPENING KICKOFF RETURN

  • Saskatchewan Roughriders return man Marcus Thigpen returned the opening kickoff last week for a 97-yard touchdown. That was the eighth  time since 1936 that a player has returned the opening kickoff for a major. Despite it only happening eight times, this was Thigpen’s second such occasion in his career.
  • Here’s the list of Opening Kickoff Return touchdowns in CFL history:
    • 2018 | SSK | Marcus Thigpen | Sep. 15/18 | 97 yards
    • 2010 | HAM | Marcus Thigpen | Jul. 2/10 | 93 yards
    • 2000 | WPG | Markus Howell | Sep. 9/00 | 87 yards
    • 1988 | WPG | James Jefferson | Sep. 24/88 | 94 yards
    • 1975 | EDM | Larry Highbaugh | Oct. 26/75 | 109 yards
    • 1972 | WPG | Mack Herron | Aug. 30/72 | 120 yards
    • 1972 | HAM | Dave Clarke | Aug. 24/72 | 102 yards
  • Thigpen has two career kickoff return touchdowns – both game-opening kickoffs.
  • Calgary’s Harvey Wylie owns the career record with five from 1956-1964.
  • The record for most kickoff return TDs in season is two set by nine players, the most recent player is Quincy McDuffie in 2016 with Winnipeg.

QBS CLIMBING UP THE ALL-TIME RANKS

  • Six quarterbacks have made significant moves up the CFL all-time passing lists this season.
  • Edmonton’s Mike Reilly began the season 27th on the list and with his 3,943 2018 yards he’s climbed to 18th all-time with 26,006. He is 2,092 yards away from passing Kerry Joseph (28,097) for 17th all-time.
  • Bo Levi Mitchell began the season 35th and now is 24th with 22,979 passing yards. He passed his coach, Dave Dickenson (22,913) and is 441 yards away from passing Danny Barrett (23,419) for 23rd all-time.
  • Travis Lulay (20,703) climbed two spots since the season began to 34th on the list.
  • Ottawa’s pivot Trevor Harris now sits 41st all-time with 16,594. Before the season started he ranked 56th. Harris needs 533 yards to pass Jason Maas (17,126) and 694 yards to pass Marcus Crandell (17,227) for 39th all-time.
  • Zach Collaros is now 47th all-time with 15,399 and was ranked 52nd all time prior to the season starting.
  • Lastly Matt Nichols (15,214) has moved from 54th all-time to 49th.

REWIND A SEASON: STANDINGS AFTER 14 WEEKS

2017 SEASON THROUGH 14 WEEKS

EAST DIVISION

WEST DIVISION

TEAM

RECORD

TEAM

RECORD

Toronto

6-7

Calgary

11-1-1

Ottawa

5-8-1

Winnipeg

9-3

Hamilton

3-9

Edmonton

7-5

Montreal

3-10

Saskatchewan

6-6

 

 

BC

6-7

 

2018 SEASON THROUGH 14 WEEKS

EAST DIVISION

WEST DIVISION

TEAM

RECORD

TEAM

RECORD

Ottawa

7-5

Calgary

10-2

Hamilton

6-6

Edmonton

7-5

Toronto

3-8

Saskatchewan

7-5

Montreal

3-9

BC

5-6

 

 

Winnipeg

5-7

 

  • Only Calgary and Montreal remain in the same position through 14 weeks last season to this season.

GANG GREEN DEFENCE AND SPECIAL TEAMS

  • Saskatchewan’s defence and special teams continue to score touchdowns at a historic rate.
  • In last week’s game against the Ottawa REDBALCKS the Roughriders scored on the opening kickoff via Marcus Thigpen as well as on a second-quarter 90-yard punt return touchdown from Kyran Moore.
  • The Roughriders have 12 return touchdowns and 15 offensive touchdowns this season for a total of 27.
  • 44% of Rider touchdowns have come off returns.
  • The team has recorded return touchdowns in nine of 12 games this season.
  • They have 12 return touchdowns made by nine different players: Christion Jones, Willie Jefferson, Charleston Hughes, Kyron Moore (2), Nick Marshall, Tobi Antigha, Duron Carter, Samuel Eguavoen and Marcus Thigpen.

QUICK SLANTS

  • The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are 4-1 coming off their last five bye weeks; prior to that they were 0-4 post-bye week.
  • The Toronto Argonauts are hoping to avoid becoming the first team since the 2006 Edmonton Eskimos to win the Grey Cup and follow up the next season by not making the playoffs.
  • Duron Carter is set to play against his former team on Saturday night. He recorded 1,154 receiving yards and scored 10 touchdowns for the Riders.
  • This week will have the second of four triple headers taking place in Weeks 13, 15, 18 and 21.
  • Charleston Hughes continues to lead the league with 13 sacks. He has sacks in all but three games, two of them against Ottawa. With no sacks in Week 14 Hughes has back-to-back games failing to record a sack.
  • Hamilton’s last six trips to BC Place have not been kind to the team. The Ticats are 1-5 in those games. However, Jeremiah Masoli has a 1-1 record versus BC, winning their most recent game in BC last season 24-23.
  • Masoli is 214 yards away from his first 4,000 yard passing season in the CFL and three touchdowns short of tying his career-best of 21 in 2016. He currently has 18 total (16 passing, two rushing).
  • With one more 300+ yard game, Masoli can set a Tiger-Cats record of 10 such games. He is currently tied with Hamilton’s club record of nine, set by Henry Burris..
  • Bo Levi Mitchell is 370 yards short of reaching 4,000 passing yards for the fourth straight season and six touchdown passes away from a new personal high (32).
  • Montreal Alouettes quarterback Johnny Manziel will start his third game (0-2). 
  • Ottawa’s Brad Sinopoli (956) is 44 yards away from securing his fourth straight 1,000-yard season. He has reached the mark in each season he’s been a part of the Ottawa REDBLACKS.
  • REDBLACKS running back William Powell (994) is six yards away from 1,000 yards on the season. If he reaches it, it would be back-to-back seasons he’s reached the mark. Powell needs 33 yards to surpass his personal best 1,026 yards in a season and is currently on pace for 1,491 rushing yards this season.
  • Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris (984) needs 16 yards to reach the 1K club in what has the potential to be his fourth season to reach the benchmark. He is on pace for a career-high 1,476. He also has 339 receiving yards this season.
  • BC's Shawn Lemon has torn it up since his move from Toronto. In his first five games with Toronto he had one sack. Since he joined the Lions he has seven sacks in six games. In BC’s first five games they averaged 1.8 sacks per game (prior to adding Lemon). Since the addition of Lemon the team has averaged 3.67 sacks per game in the six games. The team has 13 sacks in the past two games.
Clare Hutchinson Communications Coordinator at Canadian Football League