THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 9

THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 9

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 — Thursday Night Football kicks off Week 9 with a West Division clash. Edmonton rides their seven-game winning streak and undefeated record into Winnipeg to take on the Blue Bombers who are also riding a three-game winning streak of their own. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. ET.

Friday Night Football has two games on tap. First, Ottawa visits Hamilton in a big East Division swing game beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET. The back end of the double-header begins at 10:30 p.m. ET when BC hosts Calgary in a game that could be for second place in the West Division.  

To round out Week 9, Toronto and Montreal complete their home-and-home series Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. ET. The winner will have sole possession of first place in the East Division.

GAINEY’S PROLIFIC PERFORMANCE

  • Entering his seventh game of the season, it took Ed Gainey just 46 minutes into the game to record four interceptions – a Saskatchewan franchise record.
  • The Appalachian State alum became only the ninth player in CFL History to record four or more interceptions in a single game.
  • Gainey was one interception away from tying the all-time record held by Winnipeg Blue Bomber Rod Hill who set it on September 9, 1990 versus Hamilton.
  • The last time a player recorded exactly four interceptions was in 1986 by Montreal Alouette Terry Irvin on November 2, 1986. Coincidently, in 1986 three separate players accomplished the feat: Terry Irvin, Less Browne and Chris Sigler.
  • Gainey also added a fumble recovery, giving him five takeaways in the game and making him just the second player in CFL history to do so. Previously, only Rod Hill had five takeaways in a single game.

COOL UNDER PRESSURE & AERIAL ATTACK

  • Since 2015, only two quarterbacks have recorded 10+ game-winning drives while trailing or tied in the fourth quarter: Mike Reilly (12) and Matt Nichols (10). In the same span, Trevor Harris has eight and Bo Levi Mitchell seven.
  • So far this season, Reilly leads the league with four of these drives and Nichols is right behind him with three.
  • Despite missing last week’s game, Toronto Argonauts veteran quarterback Ricky Ray leads the CFL in completions where the receiver is deeper than 20 yards downfield with 25.
  • Behind Ray is a pair of Alberta quarterbacks, Mike Reilly (23) and Bo Levi Mitchell (20).
  • The top quarterback completion percentage downfield is Montreal’s Darian Durant (59.3) followed by Travis Lulay (57.1) and Mike Reilly (51.2).
  • When passing 20+ yards downfield BC Lions have the most completions, but they also have the most interceptions with seven compared to only four touchdowns on 20+ yard attempts downfield.
  • Calgary has the best ratio with zero interceptions and eight touchdowns, followed by Winnipeg with one interception and seven touchdowns.
  • In total, 404 20+ yard pass attempts downfield have been made this season. 42.8% have been completed and 17% of those have been for touchdowns. 

MILESTONES

  • Nik Lewis recorded three receptions last week versus Toronto to bring his career total to 1,014. Lewis is three catches short of tying Ben Cahoon (1,017) for second all-time and 16 catches away from becoming the all-time receptions leader, leaping Geroy Simon (1,029).
  • Edmonton continued their undefeated streak and now are 7-0 on the season. It marks the 10th time this has occurred in the CFL since 1961. If they defeat Winnipeg on Thursday, they will become the fifth team to reach 8-0.
  • Bo Levi Mitchell is two wins shy of 50 wins in his career – his starting record is 48-8-2.
  • First two years as a Head Coach: Dave Dickenson owns a record of 20-3-2 (.840) as a head coach. In his first two years Frank Ivy was 25-7 (.781), including 14-2 in his second year with Edmonton. Other notable first seasons include Ralph Sazio (27-1 in 1963-1964 with Hamilton) and Marc Trestman (26-10 and .722 with Montreal in 2008-09).

QUICK SLANTS

  • The REDBLACKS are the only team in CFL history to have each of their first eight games of the season all decided by seven points or fewer. The cumulative record of the teams Ottawa has played against is 38-18-2 (.672).
  • Kevin Glenn and Trevor Harris are each averaging two touchdown passes per game this season. They both are on pace to record 36 touchdowns, which would be a new career high for each pivot.
  • Winnipeg’s Andrew Harris rushed for 107 yards on 14 carries (7.6 yards per rush) to mark the first time this season he has cracked a 100+ game. It’s the sixth time a player this season has gone over 100+ rushing yards (Andrew Harris, Cameron Marshall, Jerome Messam, LaDarius Perkins, Travon Van and John White). No player has multiple games of 100+ yards.
  • Andrew Harris is on pace for 1,003 rushing yards and 872 receiving yards. He would become only the second player to rush for 1,000+ yards and get 800+ receiving yards in a season. Robert Drummond did so in 1997 with Toronto (1,134 RUSH, 840 REC).
  • Bye Week: Teams following a bye week this season are 3-3. Calgary comes off a Week 8 bye this week versus BC.
  • The Stamps handle their own time off pretty well: since 2005, they have won 14 straight games following a bye. 
  • West Division teams have won 11 straight games versus East Division opponents. With no interdivisional games this week, the West will have to wait until Week 10 to extend their streak.
  • The top-3 receivers in the league this season – Greg Ellingson (749), SJ Green (705) and Brad Sinopoli (589) – are on pace to set new career benchmarks. Ellingson is on pace for 1,685 (career-high: 1,260 in 2016), Green is on pace for 1,586 (1,197 in 2013) and Sinopoli is on pace for 1,229 (1,036 in 2015 and 2016).
  • Turnovers: Calgary owns the best turnover ratio this season with +9 (15 takeaways and six giveaways). Winnipeg is second with +4 (14 Takeaways and 10 giveaways). Winnipeg is 16-1 when they have had fewer turnovers than their opponents.
  • Winnipeg has converted the 14 takeaways they’ve has caused into 68 points, the league high.
  • Roy Finch leads the CFL with a 17.7 yard punt return average this season. The current CFL record in a season is Leon Bright who averaged 16.81 yards per attempt, just ahead of Hall of Famer Larry Highbaugh’s 16.79 average in 1975. The Calgary franchise record in a season is 14.9 yards, set by Pee Wee Smith in 1991.