Thursday, July 28, 2016 — With a quarter of the season now in the books, CFL teams can feel an even greater sense of urgency to turn it up, or turn it around.
Tonight in Edmonton, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hope a change at quarterback will result in a change of fortune, when Matt Nichols leads their offense against the defending Grey Cup Champion Eskimos.
Tomorrow’s double header features a Saskatchewan Roughrider football team looking to build on its first win in Montreal, where the Alouettes are hoping a halftime tribute to the legendary Ben Cahoon can inspire their charges. It closes with a battle for first in the west, with the BC Lions in Calgary to face the Stampeders.
Sunday brings us another tussle for the top, this time in the East, when the Ottawa REDBLACKS with Henry Burris back at quarterback host the Toronto Argonauts with Logan Kilgore filling in for the injured Ricky Ray.
THE AGE OF ADARIUS
- Through four games this season, Eskimos receiver Adarius Bowman has 34 receptions for 543 yards, good enough to place him second in the league in receiving yards.
- The product of Oklahoma State is averaging 136 yards per game.
- At this pace, he would eclipse Allen Pitts’ record of 2,444 receiving yards, set in 1994 with the Calgary Stampeders.
- The Edmonton Eskimos record is 1,812, set by Brian Kelly in 1983 (in 16 games).
- Bowman has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in each of his first four games, a feat matched only by Blue Bomber David Williams in 1989, who had 20 receptions for 542 yards in total for his four games.
IN WEEK 5, THE POINT WAS… POINTS
- All four winning clubs in Week 5 scored at least 30 points.
- This was the highest-scoring week this season, with an average of 56.3 points per game.
- Week 5 was the highest-scoring week since Week 2 in 2015, when the average points per game was 60.
- Scoring continues to rise. Compared to last year scoring is up by 5%, and 13% versus 2014.
- Average passing yards in a game are up 110 yards compared to 2015 (an increase of 21%) and up 162 yards compared to 2014 (an increase of 34%).
- However, average rushing yards have dropped 36 yards to 152 yards per game this season.
In the Tiger-Cats’ 37-31 comeback victory in Edmonton, they erased a 25-point deficit in the second half, making it the biggest comeback in Hamilton club history, and tied for the sixth-largest in CFL history.
- The biggest deficit the Tiger-Cats had overcome previously was 21 points, against Ottawa on November 4, 1962.
- Tiger-Cats QB Jeremiah Masoli completed 23 consecutive passes, a new CFL record.
- The previous record holder watched him do it: former Edmonton quarterback and current Edmonton Head Coach Jason Maas competed 22 straight in 2004.
- So far this season there have been 16 comeback victories in just 20 games, putting the league on pace to smash last year’s mark of 49 come-from-behind wins.
- Six of this year’s comebacks featured deficits of ten or more points.
- BC and Ottawa have three comeback victories each.
- Edmonton, looking to bounce back this week, is 9-1 in games following a loss since 2014.
- Their rivals in Calgary have been even better: they haven’t lost back-to-back games since July 12, 2012.
- The Stampeders have gone 15-0 in games following a loss during that time, a streak that spans 73 total games.
BACK FROM A BYE
- The BC Lions, who come off a bye week on Saturday in Calgary, are 15-6 in their last 21 games following a bye.
- But the Stampeders are 16-4 since 2002 in games where they faced an opponent that was coming off a bye week.
- The Stamps handle their own time off pretty well, to boot: since 2002, they have won 14 straight games following a bye.
- The Tiger-Cats are now 3-0 on the road.
- Last week, Alouette Nik Lewis became the 7th player to reach 900 career receptions.
- Lewis joins Geroy Simon (1029), Ben Cahoon (1017), Terry Vaughn (1006), Darren Flutie (972), Allen Pitts (966), and Don Narcisse (919).
- Four active quarterbacks currently rank among the top 17 all-time passers: Henry Burris, Ricky Ray, Kevin Glenn and Darian Durant.
- After a season-high average of 26.3 penalties in Week 4, Week 5 penalties dropped to an average of 18.3 penalties per game.
- The current average for the 2016 season is 20.2 penalties per game, a 13% drop from the same point last season.
- Edmonton pivot Mike Reilly has thrown for more than 300 yards in seven straight games.
- That is an Edmonton club record and is two games short of the all-time CFL Record set by Sam Etcheverry in 1956 and tied by Kent Austin in 1991.
- In Week 5 home teams split the 4 games, going 2-2.
- Road teams this season hold the advantage, going 14-5-1 so far this season, a winning percentage of .725.
- This weekend’s away teams are a combined 5-2 on the road so far this year.
- Last week’s most-watched game featured the Ottawa REDBLACKS and Saskatchewan Roughriders: 946,000 viewers tuned into TSN and RDS.