THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 3

THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 3

The Week 3 begins in Vancouver where the BC Lions will play their home opener against the Edmonton Elks. The game will be extra special as the BC Lions introduced Amar Doman as the new owner of the team on Wednesday afternoon and he will be in attendance at BC Place. The game will mark the first live sporting event in Vancouver to include fan attendance since March of 2020 and the Lions will be looking to make it two wins in a row. After dropping their first two games at home, the Edmonton Elks will be hoping for better fortune on the road. This will mark the 200th regular season game between BC and Edmonton. Kickoff is slated for 10 p.m. ET

McMahon Stadium will play host for Friday Night Football when the Montreal Alouettes take on the Calgary Stampeders beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET. After a Week 1 bye, Montreal looks to make it two wins in a row. Alouettes’ quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. owns a 3-0 record against the Stampeders. Meanwhile, Calgary is looking to avoid a 0-3 start and will have to do so with out two-time MOP winner, Bo Levi Mitchell, who broke his fibula.

Saturday features a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. ET at BMO Field. The Toronto Argonauts play in their home opener against the reigning Grey Cup champs, Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The teams clashed last week at IG Field where Winnipeg smothered the Toronto offence en route to a 20-7 win.  The Argonauts will make a change at quarterback with Nick Arbuckle making his first start in double blue. History can be made on Saturday with Mike Miller just needing two special teams tackles to become the league’s all-time leader.

To conclude Week 3, the Ottawa REDBLACKS return from their bye week to take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders beginning at 7 p.m. ET. Ottawa’s defence will be looking to slow down the Roughriders offence who have averaged 30+ points a game this season. Saskatchewan will be looking for their first 3-0 start since 2013 and their nineth regular season win in a row at Mosaic Stadium.

Edmonton at BC will be on TSN, ESPN2, BT Sport ESPN and Yare
Montreal at Calgary will be on TSN, RDS, ESPN+, BT Sport ESPN, and Yare
Winnipeg at Toronto will be on TSN, ESPN2 and Yare
Ottawa at Saskatchewan will be on TSN, RDS, ESPN+, BT Sport 2 and Yare

THROUGH EIGHT GAMES…

  • Five games have been comeback victories.
  • Every team that has committed less turnovers, have won their game.
  • Seven of eight teams who have won this year, have had the better average starting positions for their drives.
  • Home and visiting teams have each won four games so far this season.
  • In interlocking games (East vs. West) each division has three wins and three losses.
  • Four games have been decided in the final three minutes.
  • 212,313 fans have attended games this season.

200th GAME BETWEEN BC AND EDMONTON

  • This is the 200th regular season game between the two. Edmonton has the edge going 115-80-4.
  • BC has started under .500 the last two years and are looking to go above .500 after three games for the first time since 2017.
  • Edmonton has won three consecutive games against BC. The average winning margin - 15.3 per game.
  • BC and Edmonton enter the game with the top offences. BC averages 418 net yards per game while Edmonton averages 365 net yards per game.
  • This game features the top-3 leading receivers so far this season:
    • BC | Lucky Whitehead | 11 Rec | 244 yards
    • BC | Bryan Burnham | 11 Rec | 213 yards
    • EDM | Derel Walker | 14 Rec | 174 yards
  • Active Leaders Meet: Thursday’s contest will be a meeting of the CFL’s active receiving yards leaders with No. 1 Greg Ellingson (7,318) going against the No. 2 in Burnham (5,864). Ellingson’s streak of 5 straight 1,000-yard seasons appears to be in jeopardy following a slow start (52 yards in 2 games).

COLLAROS’ HOT START IN WINNIPEG

  • Since Zach Collaros made his way to Winnipeg at the trade deadline in 2019, all he has done is win games, going 6-0 in games he has started.
  • The streak began in the final game of the season for the Bombers against Calgary and continued through the Grey Cup (three games) and the first two games of the 2021 Season.
  • During that span Collaros has completed 70.9% of his passes (117 of 165), passed for 1,360 yards and eight touchdowns to go along with two interceptions.

MONTREAL VISITS CALGARY

  • The all-time series is as close as any. Calgary has the slight edge at 41-38-1, however since 2014 it’s even at 6-6.
  • The last seven times these two teams have played, five of them were decided by nine points or less and the last three times they have played, they each have been decided in the final three minutes
  • The last-time Montreal played in Calgary, the Alouettes won 40-34 in overtime.
  • Vernon Adams Jr. has a record of 3-0 against the Stampeders. 
  • Calgary is looking to avoid an 0-3 start, the last time that occurred was in 2002.

QUICK SLANTS

  • Mike Miller needs two tackles to become the all-time special teams tackles. Miller currently has 189 and the current leader, Jason Arakgi has 190. Miller has four STT this season.
  • REDBLACKS QB Matt Nichols has a 7-4 career record against Saskatchewan.
  • Nichols’ teammate Avery Williams is tied for the league-lead with 14 tackles, despite only playing one game.
  • Since rejoining the CFL, Ottawa and Saskatchewan are 6-6. Of the six years, one team has swept the other four times and two splits.
  • Teams coming off a bye this year are 1-0 thanks to Montreal. Ottawa will attempt to make it 2-0 this week. Last season, teams coming off a bye were 10-15.
  • William Stanback and John White join Brady Oliveira as the only running backs to rush for 100+ yards in a game. During Week 2, Stanback registered 112 yards and White had 111 yards.
  • The last time both Calgary and Edmonton began the season 0-2 was in 1966. If both teams lose this week, it’ll be the first time ever that both teams begin 0-3.
  • Red Zone: While the Elks rank second in net offence (363.5 yards per game), their red zone offence has held them back. In six trips, Edmonton has found the end zone only once and turned the ball over twice.
  • Bombers, Riders 2-0: The last time Winnipeg and Saskatchewan both started 2-0 in the same season was 2003 (Khari Jones and Nealon Greene were the quarterbacks). The two clubs have NEVER both started 3-0 in the same year throughout their shared history which dates all the way back to 1936.
  • The last time Saskatchewan started 3-0 was in 2013 – the same year they won their last Grey Cup.
  • Scoring Oddities: Saskatchewan has the CFL’s top-scoring offence despite ranking sixth in net offence (336.5 yards per game), and Edmonton ranks eighth in scoring while boasting the No. 2 offence (363.5). The difference has been turnovers as Saskatchewan leads the league with a +6 turnover differential and 24 points off T/Os. Edmonton has yet to force a turnover in two games.
  • The last-time Toronto/Winnipeg met back-to-back was in 2018 where the Winnipeg Blue Bombers swept the two-game series. However, in 2013 Toronto swept both games. Fittingly, the two teams split the back-to-back series in 2009.
  • Nick Arbuckle will get his first start in double blue on Saturday afternoon. It will be his eighth career start and he is 4-3 in his career. In his last start, he set a career-high with four touchdown passes.
  • Winnipeg receiver Kenny Lawler leads the league with 14 receptions this season.
  • The last time Calgary started a Canadian QB was in 2017 when Andrew Buckley started for the Stampeders. Before that, Greg Vavra did so in 1985.
  • Edmonton is looking to avoid their first 0-3 start since 2010.

 

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Lucas Barrett Director, Communications & Public Affairs, Canadian Football League
Lucas Barrett Director, Communications & Public Affairs, Canadian Football League
About the Canadian Football League

Governors representing the Canadian Football League’s nine member clubs voted in June to return to play after a hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2021 season which features a 14-game regular campaign for its’ teams started on August 5 and will lead to the 108th Grey Cup on December 12 in Hamilton, Ontario. To stay up to date with news, analysis and more from around the league, visit CFL.ca.

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