THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 8

THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 8

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 — Week 8 kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday in the nation’s capital when the undefeated Edmonton Eskimos take on the Ottawa REDBLACKS in a 103rd Grey Cup rematch. Edmonton is looking to move to 7-0 for the third-time in their history.

Friday Night Football features a homecoming for several Toronto Argonauts (Marc Trestman, Jim Popp, SJ Green, and Bear Woods) when they visit the Montreal Alouettes at 7:30 p.m. ET. In a tight East Division, Montreal can join the Argonauts at the top with a victory.

Hamilton comes home Saturday following a two-game Alberta road trip looking to get their first victory of the season, while Winnipeg is looking to extend their winning streak to three games. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.

To conclude the week, after emerging victorious 30-15 last week, the BC Lions look to sweep their home-and-home series against the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Sunday night at Mosaic Stadium beginning at 8:00 p.m. ET.

HOMECOMING IN MONTREAL

  • When Toronto visits Montreal for a key divisional game on Friday it’ll be a homecoming for a quartet of Argonauts: Jim Popp (21 seasons with Montreal), S.J. Green (10 seasons with Montreal), Marc Trestman (5 seasons with Montreal), and Bear Woods (4 seasons with Montreal).
  • Popp led the Alouettes to three Grey Cup championships, eight East Division titles and Grey Cup appearances, ten first-place finishes, and 17 seasons with a record above .500. He led the Alouettes to back-to-back Grey Cup championships in 2009 and 2010.
  • Green finished his 10 seasons with the Alouettes with 444 receptions, 6,526 yards and 42 touchdowns. He was a CFL All-Star in 2014 for the club.
  • Trestman went 59-31 (including 36-9 in home games) during his tenure as an Alouettes coach, leading to two Grey Cups and four first-place finishes, leading the CFL in scoring on three occasions.
  • Woods spent four seasons in Montreal where he was a two-time CFL All-Star and named Montreal’s Most Outstanding defensive player twice. He holds the franchise record for most tackles in a single season with 129.

ANDREW HARRIS THE DUAL-PURPOSE BACK

  • Harris has 105 touches, 65 carries for 283 yards (4.4 YPC) and 40 receptions for 318 yards (8.0 YPR) for a total 601 yards.
  • In his career Harris has recorded 50+ receptions in four of his seven seasons in the CFL. His career high was in 2012 with BC when he notched 75 receptions.
  • Harris’ average of 6.7 receptions per game has him on pace for 120 which would be a record for a running back (minimum 75 carries). On the rushing side, he is on pace for 195 carries and 849 yards. As a receiver, he is on pace for 954 receiving yards.
  • No player in CFL history has recorded 1,000+ rushing and receiving yards seasons in a single season. Robert Drummond was closest in 1997 (RUSH 935 yards, REC 798 yards) and 1998 (RUSH 1,134 yards, REC 840 yards). Drummond is the only player to reach 800+ rushing and receiving yards in a season.

Player

Rec

Year

GP

Per Game

Team

Rush Attempts

Craig Ellis

102

1985

16

6.4

SSK

149

Michael Clemons

93

1998

16

5.8

TOR

148

Craig Ellis

91

1984

16

5.7

SSK

141

Robert Drummond

85

1997

15

5.7

TOR

181


MILESTONES

  • Nik Lewis (1,011) is now seven receptions shy of sole possession of second on the all-time receptions list. He needs six catches to tie Ben Cahoon (1,017) and 18 to catch Geroy Simon (1,029).
  • With a 26-yard completion to Cameron Marshall in the second half of Saturday’s game, Glenn moved past Ron Lancaster into sixth place on the CFL’s all-time passing list. With 50,613 passing yards in his career, the next person to pass is Danny McManus with 53,255.
  • Roy Finch’s 103-yard punt return on Thursday was the second-longest in Calgary franchise history. With 514 punt return yards in five games he is on pace for 1,131 return yards which would be eighth highest all-time. His current 17.7 yards per punt return would be the best in a season, eclipsing the record of 16.8 yards per punt (Leon Bright 1980 and Larry Highbaugh 1975).
  • Darian Durant needs 62 yards to pass Tom Burgess (30,308) and join the Top 15 all-time. Durant needs 135 yards to pass Sam Etcheverry (30,381) for 14th.
  • Thus far we have had 125 players make their CFL debut in 2017. Across the league we have had 305 players make at least one start; Hamilton and Ottawa have had the most with 38 each. Winnipeg has the fewest with 29.

HIGH QB RATINGS

  • Net offence this season is currently at 756 yards per game – the second-highest since 1991.
  • Quarterback efficiency rating has grown four years in a row and is currently at an all-time high of 100.6. The interception rate in the CFL (2%) is the lowest it’s ever been in the CFL at one in every 49 pass attempts. The rate in the 1990s was double– 4%.
  • Three QBs have a rating over 90 (using the CFL’s new Quarterback Rating System known as QUAR, out of 100). Travis Lulay sits at 94.9, Mike Reilly at 94.5 and Bo Levi Mitchell at 90.5.
  • League-wide QUAR rating is 79.8, compared to 68.6 last season.
  • This season, games are averaging 624 passing yards per game – a 30% increase from 2014.

QUICK SLANTS

  • The REDBLACKS are the ONLY team in CFL history to have each of their first seven games in a season all decided by five points or fewer.  The only two teams to come close are Montreal in 2017 and Hamilton in 1999, with their first six games decided by seven points or fewer.
  • West Division teams have won nine straight games against East Division opponents.
  •  Zach Collaros makes his 50th career CFL start this week; his career record is 24-25. He is a perfect 3-0 versus Winnipeg all-time. Last week Collaros passed for a season-high three touchdown passes against Edmonton.  
  • Two-and-Out rate has declined every year since 2014 and by 37% since 2013. This season the average for Two-and-Outs are 7.9 per game, or 29% of drives.
  • Despite rushing yards and attempts at a historic low, Edmonton has had three different running backs rush for 100+ yards in a single game three times this season: John White (104 yards vs. BC), Travon Van (103 yards vs. OTT) and LaDarius Perkins (105 yards vs. HAM).
  • REDBLACKS First-year player Keelan Johnson leads the league with 12 special teams tackles.
  • Edmonton becomes the 16th team in CFL history to begin the season 6-0. It’s the third-time Edmonton has managed this feat, and this week they’re looking to become the 13th team ever to begin the season 7-0. The last team to start 7-0 was Montreal in 2006, coached by Don Matthews. In the 2000s only two other teams started a season with seven wins in a row: BC in 2005 (11-0) and Montreal in 2002 (8-0).
  • Toronto native and Saskatchewan Roughrider QB Brandon Bridge completed all six of his passes, including two touchdowns, on Saturday night. He became the second Canadian QB to throw a TD pass this season (Andrew Buckley being the first).  The last time a pair of Canadian pivots passed for touchdowns in a season was in 1996: Giulio Caravatta and Larry Jusdanis.
  • Ottawa receiver Greg Ellingson is averaging 100.3 yards per game, something that has been done just four times in the last 20 years: Adarius Bowman (2016, 103.6), Jamel Richardson (2011, 104.5), Geroy Simon (2006, 103.1) and Milt Stegall (2002, 105.3).
  • Ricky Ray’s streak of 300+ passing yard games came to an end at six games. The record in a season is 14, set by Doug Flutie in 1991.
  • Bye Week: Teams following a bye week this season are 2-3. Montreal comes off a Week 7 bye this week versus Toronto. Last season they were 1-1 off their bye weeks.
  • Home teams have bounced back compared to last year. Through 29 games, Home teams are 18-10-1 (.638). Compared to last year after 29 games, home teams were 11-17-1 (.397).