THIS WEEK IN THE CFL - WEEK 20

THIS WEEK IN THE CFL - WEEK 20

Wednesday, November 1, 2017 — The final week of the season has plenty to decide, with only one playoff spot confirmed and five others up for grabs.

The final week begins Friday in Hamilton where the Tiger-Cats host the Montreal Alouettes. Brandon Banks will be looking to make it six consecutive games recording 100+ receiving yards. Montreal’s defensive end John Bowman will try to register two sacks to make it eight seasons with double-digit sack totals. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

The late game on Friday takes us to Calgary where the West Division leaders take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at 9:30 p.m. ET. Calgary has already guaranteed their spot in the Western Final – however, Winnipeg will be looking to host the Western Semi-Final with a victory over Calgary.

On the final day of the 2017 regular season the Edmonton Eskimos will take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET. Depending on what happens the Winnipeg vs Calgary game, Edmonton still has a chance to host the Western Semi-Final. Saskatchewan will either be the third-place team in the West Division or end up crossing over to the East Division.

The final game of the regular season takes place in Vancouver when the Toronto Argonauts visit the BC Lions at 10 p.m. ET on Saturday. A win for the Argonauts would clinch the East Division and see the boatmen host the Eastern Final. Meanwhile, BC linebacker Solomon Elimimian is 10 defensive tackles shy of tying his record of 143 in a season – and 11 away from breaking it.

PLAYOFF SCENARIO FOR WEEK 20

MONEY IN THE BANKS

  • After recording 13 receptions for a career-high 193 yards, Brandon Banks became the eighth  player to record 5+ games of 100+ receiving yard games. The other players: Patterson, Greer, Joey Walters (twice), Jamel Richardson, Brian Kelly, Allen Pitts and Mac Cody.
  • In those five games Banks has produced 34 receptions for 641 yards and five touchdowns.
  • Here is a breakdown of his five games:
    • Week 15 vs. Toronto – three receptions, 100 yards, one TD
    • Week 16 vs. Winnipeg – six receptions, 104 yards, one TD
    • Week 17 vs. Calgary – six receptions, 115 yards
    • Week 18 vs. Montreal – six receptions, 129 yards, one TD
    • Week 19 vs. Ottawa – 13 receptions, 193 yards, two TDs
  • The longest streak of 100+ receiving yard games is eight, held by two players: Hal Patterson during the 1956 season and Terry Greer in the 1983 season.
  • Banks is only 65 yards away from recording his first 1,000 yard season.

ELIMIMIAN – REWRITE THE RECORD BOOKS?

  • Solomon Elimimian (133 tackles) is 11 tackles away from breaking the all-time CFL record for defensive tackles – a record that is currently held by Elimimian when he recorded 143 tackles in 2014.
  • This season Elimimian has reached 10 tackles in a game five times and 11+ three times.
  • When Elimimian broke the record in 2014, he had 137 tackles through 19 weeks. That same year Elimimian took home some serious hardware: Most Outstanding Defensive Player and Most Outstanding Player.
  • This season there are three players who have reached 100+ tackles: Elimiman (133), Alex Singleton (121) and Kyries Hebert (108). The next players knocking on the door are Larry Dean (94) and Bear Woods (86).
  • Alex Singleton has set the new record for tackles by a Canadian.
  • Kyries Hebert became the oldest player to record 100+ tackles (37).

496 COMBINED YARDS

  • Diontae Spencer’s 496 combined yards, produced last Friday night against Hamilton, set a 17-year record for the most combined yards in a single game.
  • He recorded 58% of Ottawa’s total yards (861) in the game.
  • Here is a breakdown of his historic performance:
    • Receiving yards – 133
    • Punt return yards – 169
    • Kickoff return yards – 165
    • Missed field-goal return yards – 29
  • The previous record was held by Winnipeg’s Albert Johnson III on July 21, 2000. Here’s is a breakdown of his game:
    •  Receiving yards – 153
    • Punt return yards – 1
    • Kickoff return yards – 198
    • Missed field-goal return yards – 122
  • To round out the top 5: 441 yards Larry Taylor, 402 yards Chad Owens and 401 yard Raghib “The Rocket” Ismail.

CLOSE GAMES AND PARITY

  • Seven clubs have at least seven wins, and playoff positioning is still up in the air in Week 20 for 5/6 teams in the playoffs.
  • 61% of the games have been decided in the final three minutes. 30 of those were decided by  fourth-quarter game-winning drives.
  • The average margin of victory is the lowest since 2001 – 11.6 points.
  • In both divisions neither playoff slate is set and three of the final four games have direct impact on home dates and matchups.

CFL SCORING

  • At 53.8 points per game, scoring is the highest since 2008 (56.2) and is up 18% from 2014 (45.5).
  • This will be the third-highest scoring year in the last 20 seasons.

CFL OFFENCE AND GAME FLOW

  • Net offence is at 736 yards per game. Like 2016, this year showed 9% growth over 2015.
  • Second down conversions: At 48% this produces fewer two-and-outs which is key to the game flow and scoring opportunities.
  • Two-and-Outs occur less than 1/3 of time (30%). By comparison, in 2014 40% of all drives ended up in two-and-outs.
  • Emphasis on passing is the most since 1993 and second-highest in league history. Just under 70% of all offensive plays originated as pass calls.

QUICK SLANTS

  • Bye Weeks: Teams coming off a bye this year are 10-7 (.588). The Toronto Argonauts are coming off a Week 19 bye when they play the BC Lions on Saturday night.
  • 5,000 Yards: Mike Reilly (5,536) and Ricky Ray (5,205) have eclipsed the 5,000 yard barrier. With one game left, Bo Levi Mitchell (4,700) is 300 yards away from joining Reilly and Ray.
  • Mike Reilly needs one touchdown pass to surpass Trevor Harris for the league lead. He also needs 464 passing yards to reach the 6,000 yard mark. If he were to do it this weekend, he would become the sixth player to ever reach the mark and the first since 2004 (Anthony Calvillo).
  • Ricky Ray (448) would need 33 completions to tie the CFL record of 481, set by Henry Burris in 2015.
  • 1,000 Yard Receivers: Entering Week 20 there are 12 receivers who have reached 1,000 yards: Brandon Zylstra (1,615), Greg Ellingson (1,459), SJ Green (1,379), Bryan Burnham (1,149), Darvin Adams (1,120), Duron Carter (1,043), Naaman Roosevelt (1,035), Brad Sinopoli (1,009), Emmanuel Arceneaux (1,085), Jalen Sanders (1073), BJ Cunningham (1,047) and Luke Tasker (1,065). There are three players that need 100 yards or fewer to get to 1,000: Bakari Grant (995), Brandon Banks (935), and Armanti Edwards (911).
  • The record for most receivers with 1,000 yards in a season is 19, set in 2005.
  • If Zylstra records 85 receiving yards he would reach 1,700 on the season. Since 2000, 1,700 yard seasons have occurred just six times:
    • 2016 – Adarius Bowman 1,761
    • 2011 – Jamel Richardson 1,777
    • 2006 – Geroy Simon 1,856
    • 2004 – Geroy Simon 1,750
    • 2003 – Jermaine Copeland 1,757
    • 2002 – Milt Stegall 1,896
  • Zylstra set a Edmonton franchise record with 10 100+ yards games, two off the CFL record set by Jamel Richardson in 2011.
  • 1,000 Yard Rushers: After 133 yards on the ground in Week 19, Ottawa’s William Powell became the first player this season to reach 1,000 rushing yards. Powell leads the league with 1,025 followed by Jerome Messam (986) and Andrew Harris (967).
  • 100 Receptions: Andrew Harris (100) is two catches shy of tying Craig Ellis’ running back receptions record with 102. Four other players have a chance to reach the 100-catch mark this year: SJ Green (99), Brandon Zylstra (97), Luke Tasker (97) and Emmanuel Arceneaux (94). If all four record 100 receptions, it would tie a single-season record.
  • Rosters: 196 players made their CFL debut, pushing the total since 1936 over the 10,000 mark (10,182) to ever play a CFL game. Hamilton had 86 different players suit up and play at least one game. Winnipeg has the most stable lineup, using only 57 players.
  • Charleston Hughes is one sack away from becoming the 11th player to reach the 100 career sack mark in the CFL. He would also set a new Calgary franchise record.
  • John Bowman will be playing in his 200th career CFL game.
  • If we average 25,547 fans per game in Week 20, the CFL will reach 2,000,000 fans for the fourth year in a row and the 16th time in the last 18 years.