THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 3

THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 3

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 — Week 3 begins in Calgary when the 2-0 Stampeders host the Ottawa REDBLACKS at 9 p.m. ET. The Stamps look to continue their roll following a dominant 41-7 victory over the Toronto Argonauts, while the REDBLACKS endeavour to start the season 2-0 following their win over Saskatchewan last week. The Thursday Night Football Concert Series continues with James Barker Band performing at halftime at McMahon Stadium.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats play their home-opener at Tim Hortons Field when the Winnipeg Blue Bombers come to visit in the first of two Friday Night Football games. Jeremiah Masoli will be looking to make it eight-straight games with 300+ yards passing while Chris Streveler will make his third start in the CFL. In his first two games he has thrown six touchdowns and ran one in. This will be the first live mic game of the season and kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.

The back half of the double-header features the BC Lions travelling to Edmonton to take on the Eskimos. The Lions will try to build off their Week 1 victory and will enter the game fresh coming off their Week 2 bye. Edmonton is looking to bounce back after dropping their last game at home against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Saturday Night has the Saskatchewan Roughriders playing their second home game of the season against the Montreal Alouettes. The Roughriders will attempt to stay undefeated at home while the Alouettes search for their first win of the season. The game is set to begin at 9 p.m. ET.

**ESPN2 will air both Hamilton/Winnipeg and BC/Edmonton games while the two other games can be found at ESPN+**

THE RISE OF JEREMIAH

  • Since June Jones anointed Jeremiah Masoli as starting quarterback for the Tiger-Cats last season the team has gone 7-5 with him at the helm.
  • In his 12 starts Masoli has:
    • Completed 67.4% of his passes
    • 18 touchdown passes to six interceptions
    • 490 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns
  • His QB Rating this season is 104.4.
  • He has passed for 300+ yards in seven consecutive games; 338, 326, 320, 438, 318, 344 and 332 for a total of 2,416 passing yards (345 passing yards per game). The record for most consecutive 300+ passing yard games is nine, set by Sam Etcheverry in 1956 and matched by Kent Austin in 1991.
  • Masoli's average depth per pass is the second-highest in the league at 13.5 yards per pass attempt, trailing only Bo Levi Mitchell who averages 14.7
  • Masoli has completed 7/15 passes that have been deeper than 20 yards down field.

FIRST TWO STARTS

  • Winnipeg's pivot Chris Streveler has passed for six touchdowns in his first two starts. He also added a rushing touchdown.
  • Since 1961 only three quarterbacks have fared better than Streveler in their first two starts:
    • Joe Zuger in 1962 started for Hamilton and passed for eight TDs the first game, following that up with two in the next match.
    • Jeff Garcia slung for eight majors in his first two starts for Calgary in 1996.
    • Tom Wilkinson passed for seven TDs for the Argonauts in 1969.
  • For the record, Doug Flutie was awarded a "ceremonial" start by Calgary for their fans on Sep 4/95 before Garcia entered the game. Flutie played the first play, handed the ball off without incident and then retired to the sidelines as he was due for surgery the next day. The official start for that game is considered by the CFL to be Garcia's, who played the rest of the game for Calgary, throwing for 546 yards and 6 TDs.
  • Here are some notable other players that also passed for six touchdowns in their first two starts:
    • Jonathan Jennings | BC | 2015
    • Quinton Porter | HAM | 2008
    • Ricky Ray | EDM | 2002

2018 - THE YEAR OF THE RUN?

  • In 2017 CFL games had 35.6 combined rushing plays; in 2018 that has jumped to 40.6, equivalent to a number not seen since 2003.
  • 37% of play calls this season to date have been rush plays.
  • Mercer Timmis recorded a CFL-high 133 rushing yards against Edmonton in Week 2. He becomes the second player this season to rush for more than 100 yards in a game.
  • It marked only the third time a Canadian has rushed for more than 133 yards in a game since Jon Cornish retired in 2014. The other two games since then were recorded by Jerome Messam.
  • Through two weeks, there are two Canadians in the top three for rushing yards (Timmis and Andrew Harris) and in the top-10 there are
  • Calgary’s Don Jackson leads the league with 210 rushing yards and is averaging 10 yards per rush. He also owns the longest rush on the season with a 70-yard run.

RETURNING TO THE EMPIRE

  • Odell Willis and Ed Hervey will make their return to Edmonton this week.
  • It’s the first game for Odell Willis as a visiting player in Edmonton since 2012 as a member of the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
  • Willis recorded 131 tackles, 46 sacks in 82 games with the Eskimos. He won a Grey Cup with the team in 2015.
  • Since 2010, Willis has only missed five CFL games.
  • Willis (87) is two sacks short of tying Brent Johnson and Brent Williams in 14th place with 89 sacks.
  • Ed Hervey, now the BC Lions General Manager, spent five seasons with Edmonton, going 52-38 (.578), 14th all-time. His teams went to the Division Final on four occasions.
  • He played his entire CFL career with Eskimos where he appeared in 118 games. He tallied 476 receptions for 6,715 yards, with 43 touchdowns and 20 games of 100+ yards.
  • Hervey appeared in three Grey Cup games, winning two.

QUICK SLANTS

  • Only seven challenges have been made in the first eight games, with just one being overturned. All six penalty-related challenges have failed.
  • Bo Levi Mitchell (19,970) is just 30 yards shy of 20,000 for his career, and currently sits at number 34 all-time.
  • Mitchell is the number one gunslinger at 14.7 yards depth per pass attempt. Mitchell leads the league with 19 pass attempts with 20+ yards.
  • Only one field goal attempt beyond 50 yards has been kicked so far this year. Sean Whyte made it from 52 yards.
  • Last week Mitchell's 90% completion rate tied Casey Printers for #3 all-time (minimum 20 attempts).
  • Trevor Harris is 7-1 in his last eight starts.
  • Montreal and Saskatchewan split last year’s season series1-1.
  • Brandon Bridge will start his third game and is currently 1-1.  
  • BC’s Ty Long is averaging 54.4 yards per punt this season. The all-time record was set in 2005 when Jon Ryan averaged 50.6 yards per punt in a season.
  • Montreal’s Boris Bede holds the record for highest kickoff average at 69.0 last season. This season he is averaging 74.5 yards per kickoff.
  • Kickers are perfect on converts this season, going 35 for 35. Justin Medlock has the most with nine.
  • Dave Dickenson tied Frank Ivy for the quickest coach to win 30 games, doing so in just 38. The next coaches include: Bud Grant (39 games) and Don Matthews (40 games). Other notable coaches and the length they took to attain 30 wins: John Hufnagel (44), Hugh Campbell (45) and Wally Buono (47).
  • Eskimos duo Derel Walker and Duke Williams are the leading receivers in the CFL through two weeks. Walker has 232 yards and two TDs and Williams has 179 and a TD.
  • Bye Weeks: Ottawa came off a Week 1 bye and won their game. BC Lions are coming off their Week 2 Bye to play the Edmonton Eskimos.
  • Terry Williams' 102-yard punt was the third-longest ever by a Calgary player (Jesse Branch 105 in 1964, Roy Finch 103 in 2017).
  • 21 Points Allowed: The last time that Calgary allowed fewer than 21 points in their first two games was 39 years ago (14 points allowed in 1979).
  • All teams to win the turnover battle have won ALL eight games this season. Since 2011 teams with fewer turnovers are 379-78 (.829).
  • Alex Singleton reached 200 defensive tackles for his career last week (201) in just 30 starts. Here is a comparison of two current CFL Tackle leaders on a per start basis:  Solomon Elimimian (726 in 106 games started; average of 6.8), Alex Singleton (201 in 30 games started, with an average of 6.7)
  • Through two weeks, roughness penalties have dropped by just under 39% compared to 2017.