Friday Night Football takes us to the Nation’s Capital where the BC Lions tangle with the Ottawa REDBLACKS beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. Travis Lulay and the Leos will try to keep rolling following a big comeback victory in Week 5 over the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. After a tough game against the undefeated Calgary Stampeders, Ottawa will be looking to get back to their winning ways at home.
Saturday features a double-header. First, the Toronto Argonauts will host the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at BMO Field at 4 p.m. ET. After losing a close game 17-16 in Edmonton last week, the Argos will search for their second win in a row at BMO Field. Winnipeg makes their only visit to Toronto this season and will be looking to bounce back into the win column following a 20-17 loss in BC.
Montreal comes off a bye and heads to Calgary where the Alouettes will attempt to hand the Stampeders their first loss of the season. Last season Montreal split the season series with the Stampeders. Calgary is looking to begin the year 5-0 for the first time since 1995, when they started 7-0 and had Doug Flutie as their number one quarterback.
MASOLI’S FIRST 14 STARTS VS. LAST NINE STARTS
First 14 Starts:
Completion Percentage: 65.3%
Average Passing Yards: 279
TD Passes: 20
TD|INT Ratio: 1.25
Pass Efficiency Rating: 89.1
Last Nine Starts:
Completion Percentage: 68.3%
Average Passing Yards: 346
TD Passes: 13
TD|INT Ratio: 2.60
Pass Efficiency Rating: 104.6
DUKE OF WILLIAMS
- Through five weeks Edmonton receiver Duke Williams has set the bar for receivers this season. Williams leads receivers in targets (54), receptions (31), 100-yard games (4), second-down conversion catches (12) and receiving yards (556) this season. He is also tied with his teammate Derel Walker with three TD passes.
- With 556 receiving yards, he is currently on pace for 2,002 yards. Only Allen Pitts (2,036), Terry Greer (2,003) and Derrell Mitchell (2,000) have ever reached the 2K yardage mark as a receiver in a single season.
- Duke has also recorded four consecutive games with 100+ yards. The record for a receiver is eight games: Terry Greer (1983) and Hal Patterson (1956).
- Brandon Banks had a stretch of five 100+ games in a row late last season.
- The record in a season is 12 games with 100+ yards, set by Jamel Richardson in 2011.
- In 18 games in the CFL Williams has recorded 77 receptions, 1,271 yards and seven TDs.
- Currently, Duke Williams and Derel Walker are 1-2 in the league in receiving yards. The last time a team had players finish 1-2 in receiving was Edmonton in 2016 (Bowman and Walker). Before 2016 it was 2001 with Terry Vaughn and Ed Hervey. The QBs in 2001 for the Esks were Nealon Greene and current coach Jason Maas.
HANDOFF TO HARRIS
- Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris had a slow start to the season. Through three games he rushed for 201 yards (4.2 yards per carry).
- However, in his last two games he has rushed for 248 yards (9.9 yards per carry) and scored three touchdowns.
- After five games last year he had 58 carries for only 240 yards (4.1 yards per attempt). In his first five games this year he has 68 carries for 6.4 yards per carry. In 2018 he already has four rushes of 20+ yards.
- His current pace has Harris rushing for 1,616 yards on the season, which would be 504 more yards than the career high he set in BC in 2012. It would also be the second-most rushing yards in a season by a Canadian, just short of Jon Cornish’s 1,813 in 2013.
- In Week 5 Harris was eight yards short of his personal high of 147 in a single game.
- With his two 100+ rushing games this season he now has 18 for his career.
- Harris leads the CFL with five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving).
CALL IT A 17-POINT COMEBACK
- The Lions overcame a 17-point deficit last week, their largest comeback win since 2008 (18 points down to Montreal).
- In their 65 CFL seasons, it was the Lions’ fourth-largest comeback at home.
- With his 326 passing yards Lulay reached 300+ yards for the 20th time in his career, but oddly only the seventh time at home, despite a home game 26-9 record.
- This week he starts against Ottawa, the only opponent against whom Lulay has not had a 300+ yard game.
- The Lions are 1-7 in their last eight road games, but are 3-1 in their most recent four road stops against East Division teams.
- Since 1996 there have been 150 back-to-back matchups; 77 (51%) of those have been sweeps, 48% (71) involved splits and two games contained a tie.
- In the past 25 seasons, there is no evidence that two teams have played each other, both had a bye week and then came off the bye to play each other as Hamilton and Saskatchewan do this season in Weeks 4 and 6.
CALGARY DEFENCE & MORE
- Calgary has allowed just 9.5 points per game this season – the lowest recorded in the CFL era since 1958.
- The Stampeders have averaged 30 points per game, giving them an average point differential of 20.5. The CFL record is 19.1, set by Calgary in 1994.
- Calgary has allowed a league-low 250 yards per game; that’s 76 yards better than the next team, Hamilton (326). It’s also the lowest in 54 years; that mark was set by the 1964 BC Lions (244.6).
- Calgary’s turnover ratio is +9. The next best team is BC with +1. They also lead the league with 51 points scored off turnovers, accounting for 42.5% of their total scoring.
- The Stampeders have led the league in four of the last five years with the fewest sacks allowed, and look to do so again this year.
- This season they have allowed four sacks while sacking the opposing QB 13 times.
- Hamilton has had 54 possessions so far; zero have begun on the opposing team’s side. Their best starting position this season was on their own 53-yard line. Every other team in the league has had a least one drive begin in the opposing team’s side of the field. The next fewest opponent end starts are Toronto and Ottawa with four each. Calgary leads with 12.
- Of the 524 possessions league-wide only 60 (11%) started on the other end of the field.
- Scoring broken down by quarter:
- Q1 | 10.8 points | 23%
- Q2 | 14.1 points | 31%
- Q3 | 7.9 points | 17%
- Q4 | 13.3 points | 29%
- Winnipeg leads the league by 27 average yards per game. Winnipeg averages 171 rushing yards per game while Calgary averages 144 yards per game.
- Argonauts quarterback James Franklin leads the league in pass completion percentage with 68.9% (51 for 74).
- Kickers this year have gone 73 for 85 (85.9%). Only one kicker is still perfect: Boris Bede, who is 8-for-8.
- Only five attempts of 50+ yards have occurred this year. Kickers have only missed one from that mark this season.
- Each of Edmonton’s three victories have been comeback wins.
- When leading after the third quarter, the Blue Bombers are 2-2.
- The rushing game has returned to the CFL with a vengeance. This season games are averaging 220 rushing yards per game, a 19% increase from last season. 37% of plays have been rushing attempts this season compared to last year’s 31%.
- There have been only 20 coaches’ challenges this season, an average of one per game. Only seven (35%) have been overturned. BC have challenged a play three times and won twice, giving them the best winning percentage (67%) in the league. Hamilton is zero for four this season.
- 20% of points this season have come from turnovers. When a team creates a turnover, they score 20% of the time.
- Teams who have won or tied the turnover battle are 18-1.
- Third & Short: When teams go for it on third & short (1-2 yards) they are 81% successful (44 for 54). Three teams are perfect this season: Edmonton (7/7), Calgary (5/5) and Ottawa (3/3).
- 30% of Tackles: Larry Dean and Simoni Lawrence have combined for 42 of Hamilton's 140 defensive tackles - that is 30% of the team's total. That is not far off the 33% of BC's total that Adam Bighill and Solomon Elimimian made in 2016.
- Brandon Bridge has two victories as a starter; both of those came against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
- Kick return big plays: There have been just 12 so far of the 30+/40+ yard type in 2018 (PR/KO) compared to 20 at Week 5 last year.