THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 8

THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 8

Thursday, August 2, 2018 — Week 8 features four divisional matchups. The week opens with a Thursday Night Football double-header that begins when the Ottawa REDBLACKS visit the Toronto Argonauts. Toronto gets their first East Division opponent after two sets of home-and-homes as they go in search of a win while Ottawa will try to carry forward the momentum of their Week 7 victory. Kardinal Offishall will play a halftime show at BMO Stadium as part of the Thursday Night Football Concert Series. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. ET.

Thursday Night Football continues as the Saskatchewan Roughriders travel to Edmonton. Kickoff is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. ET. Edmonton will look for their third win a row, while Saskatchewan will fight for their first win against a West Division opponent.

The Montreal Alouettes host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Friday. Montreal is in pursuit of a home win to rejoin the East Division race, as Hamilton looks to get back to their early winning ways after a trio of losses. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Week 8 closes out west, where the 6-0 Calgary Stampeders search for another win to extend their perfect record. They’ll play the BC Lions at home as the Leos, including new addition Shawn Lemon, try to upset the Stamps and secure their first road win. Kickoff will be at 9:00 p.m. ET.

NEXT HEISMAN UP

  • Johnny Manziel becomes the fifth former Heisman Trophy winner to start in the CFL as he takes the reins of Montreal this week.

Here is a list of stats for the CFL QB debuts of former Heisman Trophy winners, including Eric Crouch who played but never started.

Player

Heisman Year

Team

Date

Att/Cm

Yards

Int-TD

Result

Terry Baker

1962

EDM

Oct 21, 1967

15/9

184

0-1

Won

Doug Flutie

1984

BC

Jul 18, 1990

44/20

353

2-1

Lost

Andre Ware

1989

OTT

Sep 17, 1995

38/22

220

3-0

Lost

Eric Crouch

2001

TOR

 

 

 

 

 

Troy Smith

2006

MTL

Oct 20, 2013

35/17

247

0-3

Won

 

  • Two QBs get their first CFL starts this week: McLeod Bethel-Thompson and Johnny Manziel.
  • In their 65 debut starts since 2005, quarterbacks have a record of 24-41.
  • The Alouettes have started four different quarterbacks in four consecutive games. The last time that occurred was 19 years ago when Edmonton started four different pivots in October of 1999.
  • With his start this week, Manziel becomes the 14th starting quarterback for Montreal since the retirement of Anthony Calvillo. Calvillo will be coaching Bethel-Thompson in his debut for the Argos on Thursday.
  • Bethel-Thompson will be Toronto’s eighth different QB starter since October 23rd, 2015.
  • The last five CFL QB debuts have all resulted in losses for their clubs. The most recent quarterback to win his first career start was Vernon Adams Jr. on October 22nd, 2016.
  • However, Toronto has been an exception: Logan Kilgore (July 31st, 2016), Trevor Harris (November 7th, 2014) and Zach Collaros (July 30th, 2013) all won their debuts.

RECORD SCRATCH: TRADE RECAP

  • Nine players have been traded during the 2018 season so far.
  • Shawn Lemon was traded from the Toronto Argonauts to the BC Lions on July 24th in exchange for a negotiation list player, who was not named.
  • In the blockbuster Johnny Manziel trade between Hamilton and Montreal on July 22nd, several players changed jerseys:
    • TO HAM:
      • DE Jamaal Westerman
      • WR Chris Williams
      • 2020 CFL Draft first round selection
      • 2021 CFL Draft first round selection
    • TO MTL:
      • QB Johnny Manziel
      • OL Tony Washington
      • OL Landon Rice
  • In Chris Williams’ debut for Hamilton last week, he had two receptions on four pass attempts for 22 yards.
  • Jamaal Westerman made three defensive tackles in his first game for Hamilton this year.

QUICK SLANTS

  • Rivalry to the last: Although Toronto has won seven of their 10 meetings against the REDBLACKS going back to 2014, eight of those games were decided in the final three minutes.
  • This is Toronto’s first game against an East Division team in 2018. There is a three-win disparity between Toronto and Ottawa is the largest ever in Ottawa's favour ahead of a head-to-head meeting between the two clubs. In their 10 previous games Ottawa has never been more than one win ahead.
  • Lewis Ward is currently tied (with Justin Medlock’s 2009 mark) for made field goals by a first-year player with seven. He also has the highest completion percentage (95.2%) of all first-year CFL players.
  • Last week Ward went seven-for-seven, a feat achieved by just 14 CFL players in history.
  • Brad Sinopoli is on pace for a 1,656-yard season, which would be a new Ottawa record. Greg Ellingson holds Ottawa’s current record of 1,457 receiving yards, set in 2017.
  • D’haquille “Duke” Williams is on a streak of consecutive 100-yard games. If he makes another one this week, he’ll have six, a number reached just three times in CFL history.
  • If Williams keeps up his pace he’ll become the first 2000+ yard receiver since Allen Pitts had 2,036 yards in 1994.
  • Williams has tied Edmonton’s record in this regard, set by Brian Kelly in 1983.
  • Edmonton has allowed just four sacks so far this season, on pace for 12 in 2018. The current club record for fewest sacks allowed is 25 (2003).
  • Bo Levi Mitchell, who has taken Calgary to a starting record of 6-0, has five previous win streaks of at least six games in his career. Only two other players – Anthony Calvillo and Doug Flutie – have lead their teams to as many 6+ win streaks.
  • With Doug Flutie as quarterback, Calgary began the 1995 season 7-0, a record the 2018 Stampeders will try to match on Saturday night.
  • Calgary’s turnover ratio is +14, double the next-closest (Winnipeg, with +7). Calgary and Winnipeg have both scored 71 points off turnovers.
  • The Stampeders have only allowed 11.3 points per game. Since 1958, the fewest total points allowed have been 10.5 per game (by the 1964 BC Lions).
  • Calgary ranks third in points allowed by defence only, at 10.2 per game. They are on pace to allow the fewest opponent offensive TDs in CFL history.
  • In two starts, Travis Lulay has completed 64 percent of his passes, passed for 651 yards and has thrown three touchdowns to one interception. His favourite target in those two games, Emmanuel Arceneaux, has 12 catches for 215 yards since Lulay was named starter.
  • Last week’s game was the first of Christion Jones’ 17 career regular season games in which he did not produce at least one return of 13+ yards. Jones has scored three kick return touchdowns in 16 games, or one every 5.33 games played – a rate that is in the top three in CFL history.
  • Weston Dressler has 696 career catches, needing just three more to be the 13th player in CFL history to reach 700.
  • Dressler has caught a reception in 119 consecutive games. He is exactly 200 yards away from reaching 10,000.
Clare Hutchinson Communications Coordinator at Canadian Football League