Saturday showcases a double-header beginning at 4 p.m. ET at Tim Hortons Field when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats host the BC Lions. The two teams will complete their home-and-home series, with BC looking for the sweep following a thrilling 35-32 overtime victory last week over the Tiger-Cats. The streaking Lions are searching for their fourth win in a row; however, they have a 1-5 record on the road this year. Tiger-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli passed the 4,000-yard mark this season for the first time in his career.
The second game on Saturday brings us a West Division tilt between the Edmonton Eskimos and Winnipeg Blue Bombers beginning at 7 p.m. ET. With just two points separating the two teams in late September, the game at The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium will not be short of playoff implications. The two teams last met in Week 1 where Edmonton came out victorious (33-30) with one more meeting left in Week 21 – the last week of the season.
To complete the week Saskatchewan continues their East Division road trip in Montreal. The Alouettes won the first meeting between the two teams back in Week 3, 23-17. The surging Roughriders have won five of their last six and have risen to claim sole possession of second place in the ultra-competitive West Division. Johnny Manziel will be making his fourth career start and is searching for his first victory to keep Montreal’s playoff hopes alive. Kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
*BC Lions vs Hamilton Tiger-Cats will be the live mic game this week and the Saskatchewan Roughriders/Montreal Alouettes game will be on ESPN2*
Calgary Win = Calgary clinches a playoff berth
STATE OF THE GAME THROUGH 15 WEEKS
- 35 of 57 games this season (61%) have been decided in the final three minutes.
- Nearly a quarter of games this season have been decided by four points or fewer.
- Games this season have averaged 51.7 points per game – this marks the third consecutive season of 50 point+ average.
- The average margin of victory, 11.8 points, is the lowest margin in the last five seasons.
- In 2018, coaches’ challenges are down from 1.57 per game to 0.88.
- Penalties are down 5%, averaging 15 per game this season.
- The average duration for a game is 2:51. This does not include OT games.
OPPONENTS CUMULATIVE RECORD
@HAM, TOR, @CGY, EDM, @SSK, CGY
WPG, @SSK, OTT, @BC, WPG
TOR, @MTL, BC, SSK, @WPG, @BC
@MTL, EDM, @WPG, @CGY, BC
WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS
@EDM, @OTT, SSK, CGY, @EDM
BC, @TOR, @OTT, OTT, MTL
@CGY, @BC, HAM, MTL @MTL, @OTT
WPG. @EDM, HAM, @HAM, TOR
SSK, CGY, @TOR, TOR, @HAM
- Schedule with the highest winning percentage: Winnipeg Blue Bombers 40-24 (.625)
- Schedule with the lowest winning percentage: Calgary Stampeders 32-43 (.427)
- Most road games remaining: Toronto Argonauts have four road games
- Most home games remaining: BC Lions, Edmonton Eskimos, Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Ottawa REDBLACKS and Montreal Alouettes with three each
5,000 PASSING YARDS
- Mike Reilly (4,219), Jeremiah Masoli (4,097), Trevor Harris (3,868) and Bo Levi Mitchell (3,630) are on pace for 5,000 passing yard seasons.
- If all four players reached the benchmark it would be the first time that four pivots did so in the same season since 2004, when Anthony Calvillo (6,041), Jason Maas (5,270), Casey Printers (5,088) and Danny McManus (5,034) topped the mark. The only other time that has happened was in 1993 with Doug Flutie (6,092), David Archer (6,023), Kent Austin (5,754) and Tom Burgess (5,063).
- Reilly is looking for his third consecutive season with 5,000+ yards – he would become the first Edmonton Eskimo to do that.
- For Mitchell, this would be his second such season in his career, with his first one coming in 2016.
- As for Masoli and Harris, it would be their first time in their career to hit the mark.
100-YARD RECEIVING GAMES
- Receiving yards leader Duke Williams (1,300) and Brandon Banks both have eight games of 100+ yards this season.
- With five games remaining, Williams is on pace for 11 100+ yard games, which would be tied for the second-most in a CFL season, while Brandon Banks is on pace for 12. Banks would tie Jamel Richardson’s 2011 mark when he recorded 12.
- The next best receiver this season is Ottawa’s Greg Ellingson who has four 100-yard games.
- Williams is the league’s premier deep threat receiver. He has caught 42 passes 20+ yards downfield.
LIONS ROAR BACK
- Half of BC's sacks this season (18) have come in the last three games and they lead the league in sacks. In their first six games they only had 10 sacks and were ranked seventh in the league.
- The Lions have comeback from a halftime deficit four times this season, including last week’s win.
- Last year they were 0-8 when trailing at halftime.
- BC’s last overtime victory came in 2015 versus the Saskatchewan Roughriders with the same score, 35-32. The BC Lions have played in most overtime games in the CFL with 33.
- The Lions have not allowed a single point in the first quarter in three consecutive games. They have a 17-0 scoring margin in those games.
- BC leads the league with 16 interceptions this season.
- 12 games have been decided by three points or fewer. Toronto has been involved in half of those games, going 3-3.
- Mike Reilly has 12 rushing touchdowns, two short of the league record set by Doug Flutie in 1991 with BC. In total he has accounted for 39 touchdowns this season and is on pace for 54 combined TDs.
- A pair of Canadians (Alex Singleton and Henoc Muamba) are tied for first in tackles with 79 each. However, Muamba leads the league in defensive plays with 97, ten of which are tackles for a loss.
- Since 2014 Calgary is 49-2-2 when making fewer turnovers.
- Edmonton can win their season series against the Blue Bombers with a victory this weekend at Commonwealth stadium. Last year Winnipeg swept the series.
- September is not Edmonton’s month. They are 1-2 this year and have had a losing record in September since 2004 (24-44), except for 2015, when they won the Grey Cup.
- Last week Matt Nichols broke a four-game losing streak as a starter, had his first interception-free game since August 10 and led the team to three touchdown drives. One of his favourite targets, Drew Wolitarsky, is now number two among first-year receivers with 450 yards. He trails only Jordan Williams-Lambert (568).
- The Saskatchewan Roughriders’ Marcus Thigpen had two rushes of 80+ yards in the same season. The last team to have two 80+ yard rushes in a season was the BC Lions in 1994 (Cory Philpot had both, 87 and 92 yard runs).