Thursday, August 9, 2018 — Three games highlight Week 9 in the CFL. The BC Lions host Edmonton for Thursday Night Football on August 9th, as the Lions search for a win and Edmonton tries to continue their momentum. Chad Brownlee will play at halftime as the Thursday Night Football Concert Series continues. Kickoff is at 10:00 p.m. ET.
Friday Night Football features a big matchup between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Coming off a bye at home, Winnipeg will look for their third win in a row. Hamilton will try to replicate last week’s success when they kick off at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Week 9’s final matchup is an East Division one as the Montreal Alouettes head down the 417 to play the Ottawa REDBLACKS at TD Place. Both teams will be looking to shake off Week 8 losses and make their way up the standings. Kickoff is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. ET.
- Adam Bighill is approaching the top 25 tacklers of all time: he’s just seven behind Marvin Coleman’s 538 for 25th place.
- Coleman reached 538 in 166 games, while Bighill will play his 107th career game next week when Winnipeg hosts Hamilton.
- He leads the league with 42 defensive tackles. He also has two interceptions and one special teams tackle in seven games in 2018.
- JC Sherritt has 40 tackles, on pace for his second career season of 100+. In 2012 he set a then-CFL record of 130.
PULL BACK TOGETHER
- The Argos’ win over Ottawa last week was the eighth biggest comeback in CFL history (24 points) and the fourth-largest by a home team.
- It was the second-largest comeback in franchise history, with the biggest coming back on Oct. 2, 1994 when they came back from a 36-11 deficit with 12:17 remaining. Marvin Graves threw three touchdown passes in the last 10:15, including the game-winning pass to Robert Gordon with 1:07 remaining. That concluded a 28-0 run, leading to a 39-36 win.
- It was the biggest comeback since 2016 when the Ticats erased a 25-point deficit vs. Edmonton in a 37-31 victory.
- Four of the top 10 comebacks in CFL history have been in the last four years.
- The Argos scored on six of their seven second-half possessions, including five touchdowns and one field goal.
- Their six touchdown drives in the game matched their total from the previous four games combined.
- McLeod Bethel-Thompson became just the sixth quarterback in league history to throw for four or more touchdowns in his first CFL start. That ties him for the second-most TD passes ever in a debut:
- McLeod Bethel-Thompson (4, 2018)
- Ricky Ray (4, 2002)
- Matt Dunigan (4, 1984)
- Condredge Holloway (4, 1975)
- Ron Reeves (4, 1983)
- Joe Zuger (8, 1962)
TICATS’ BIG WIN
- Hamilton’s 28-0 lead after the first fifteen minutes vs. Montreal tied the all-time CFL record for biggest first-quarter lead:
- Hamilton 28, Montreal 0 on Aug. 3, 2018
- Edmonton 28, Saskatchewan 0 on Aug. 27, 1998
- Winnipeg 34, Hamilton 6 on Oct. 19, 1991
- Ottawa 28, Toronto 0 on Aug. 2, 1977
MOVING THE NEEDLE
- Week 8 featured some top performers when it comes to the CFL’s television ratings. Thursday night’s Saskatchewan at Edmonton game had an average audience on TSN of 941,000, making it this season’s highest rated contest and the highest rated non-Labour Day game since 2014.
- Johnny Manziel’s debut for the Montreal Alouettes versus the Hamilton Tiger-Cats captured an audience of 737,000 on TSN and RDS combined.
- In total, the four Week 8 games garnered a total audience 13% larger than Week 8 one year ago.
- Overall, this year’s average audience per game is almost identical to what it was at this time a year ago. But there has been a major shift in who is watching: the CFL’s audience in the key 18 to 49 demographic is up 40% compared to last year.
- One more thing: Manziel’s debut captured 406,000 viewers in the US on ESPN2. The previous highest rated CFL game on ESPN2 had been 347,000 (Saskatchewan vs Edmonton on June 29, 2013).
- Home team advantage is strong: just 42% of games have been won by visiting teams this year. Last year, away teams won 48% of games, and they won 53% in 2016.
- Coaches’ challenges are down to below one per game, at 0.94. 13 challenges, or 45%, have been overturned so far this season.
- Win the turnover battle, win the war: teams with fewer or even turnovers have won 29 games, with just two teams winning when they make more turnovers than their opponent.
- Last week Emmanuel Arceneaux became the third Lions receiver to surpass 8,000 career yards, trailing only Geroy Simon (14,756) and Jim Young (9,248) in club history receiving yards. CFL-wide, he ranks 45th all-time.
- Arceneaux has played 109 games in his career – and has had a catch in 108 straight.
- Bryan Burnham also has a catch in each of his 53 career games.
- Chris Rainey leads the league in combined yards with 1018.
- Weston Dressler has caught a reception in 119 consecutive games. He has 696 career catches, just four away from becoming the 13th player in CFL history to snag 700.
- Brandon Banks is on pace for a career year and his second consecutive 1000+ receiving yard season, with 612 receiving yards in seven games.
- Travis Lulay enters this week with an average 311 passing yards per game. The Lions are 4-3 when Lulay starts (since the start of 2017).
- In each of Edmonton’s last four wins, they were not leading after the first quarter. All five of their 2018 wins were comebacks.
- Edmonton has 22 touchdown drives this year, including eight drives of 80+ yards.
- Kamar Jorden’s 185 yards against BC last week set a new single game season-high for receivers this season.
- Lewis Ward extended his 2018 field goal streak to 19 and is now within two of the all-time record (set by Luca Congi in 2006) for a first-year player.