Wednesday, July 23, 2014

CFL 2014: Week Five


A much anticipated showdown between provincial rivals will go on Thursday night without one of the marquee attractions. As the Calgary Stampeders announced that Running Back Jon Cornish is on the shelf for at least six more weeks.  Not good news for the Stamps who struggled to score points last weekend without their dominating back to carry the load.

The absence of Cornish in the Stamps backfield might make things a little easier for the still undefeated Eskimos, who will be looking to push their record to 5 and 0 by the time Monday rolls around. To achieve that, the Esks will most likely need to put a few more points on the scoreboard, a place that they have held back on in the late twenties over the first four weeks.

Break 29 and someone is probably going to be taking two points home at the end of the night.

The BC Lions hold the Friday Night Football spotlight this week, looking to keep on with their winning ways as they play host to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.  The Blue landed hard after their impressive start to the season, handled with ease by the Eskimos last week and struggling to score as they lost  26 to 3 decision to the Esks.

The task won't get any easier against a Lions team that seemed to shake off its early season lethargy last week in a convincing victory over the Als, a game which provided for two stars of the week on offensive play.  Defensively the Leos shut down the Als, leaving little opportunity for Montreal to make any kind of charge, the Bombers will most likely have seen that review and made their notes as to where they need to make the key plays should they hope to get back on the winning track.

Saturday was supposed to be the Grand Opening of the new stadium in Hamilton, however construction delays leave the place still looking like a collection of Tim Bits scattered in a box, sending the Ti-Cats to McMaster for a match up with the RedBlacks.

The original plan most likely included a large contingent of Ottawa fans planning to make the trip to the Steel City, but one imagines that there is no kind of math that will deliver the projected crow of some 25,000 to a stadium that might hold 6,000 at best. Making Saturday on fairly long day of explanations we imagine for the TiCat front office.

As for the work on the field, the Cats have suffered any number of miscues on the field in the opening weeks leaving them to still be seeking out their first win of the year, the task won't be an easy one against a very competitive RedBlacks, who haven't quite looked like an expansion team in most of their outings thus far.

Ottawa comes into Hamilton with a win behind their backs after their home opening victory and all the drama associated with last minute drives and field goals.  The RedBlacks will be looking to build on that momentum.

Week Five wraps up with the Toronto Argonauts making the trek to Regina to take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders, two teams that have been playing rather inconsistent football to launch the 2014 season.

Saskatchewan comes off the bye week with more than few lessons having been reviewed about their mental mistakes and costly discipline issues late into the games.

The Argos on the other hand have lost two in a row and will be in a snarling kind of mood after having let Ottawa off the hook last week to sneak past the Double Blue for some last minute heroics.

For both Ricky Ray and Darian Durant, week five provides the opportunity to get back into an offensive rhythm, something that both have struggled with in recent weeks.

Below, we'll provide the scoreboard for the week, as well as any items of note from the first week of the brand new season.


Thursday, July 24-- Calgary 26 at Edmonton 22   ( 40,066 )  
CFL.ca Game Preview-- ( video )


Video Highlights-- Calgary / Edmonton
Game Recap-- Advantage Calgary: Stamps remain perfect in win over Esks
Stats Pack-- Calgary / Edmonton

Game Reviews:

12 Men--  

Calgary Sun-- Calgary Stampeders just get by Edmonton Eskimos in CFL win
Calgary Herald-- Stamps win battle of undefeated teams, claiming ninth straight over Eskimos
Edmonton Sun-- Edmonton Eskimos edged by Calgary Stampeders for first loss of CFL Season
Edmonton Journal-- Eskimos haunted by poor gambles in loss to Stampeders
National Post-- Calgary Stampeders edge Edmonton Eskimos to keep perfect season alive


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Friday, July 25-- Winnipeg 23 at British Columbia 6 ( 25,316 )   
CFL.ca Game Preview-- ( video )


Video Highlights-- Winnipeg / British Columbia
Game Recap-- Hajrullahu, Bombers leg out a win over Lions
Stats Pack-- Winnipeg / British Columbia

Game Reviews:

12 Men-- 


Winnipeg Sun-- Blue Bounce back with big win over B. C.
Winnipeg Free Press-- Blue puts the boots to Lions
Vancouver Province-- Blue Bombers 23, B. C. Lions 6: Multiple turnovers blight Leo's inept performance
Vancouver Sun-- Arceneaux' bold talk less convincing after 23-6 loss to Blue Bombers
CBC Sports-- Lirim Hajrullahu boots Bombers past Lions


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Saturday, July 26-- Ottawa 23 at Hamilton 33  (At McMaster) ( 6,500 )  
CFL.ca Game Preview--  ( video )


Video Highlights-- Ottawa / Hamilton
Game Recap-- LeFevour lifts Tiger-Cats to home win over RedBlacks
Stats Pack-- Ottawa / Hamilton

Game Reviews:

12 Men--  

Ottawa Sun-- 'This one is going to hurt'
Ottawa Citizen-- Injuries, loss sting RedBlacks
Hamilton Spectator-- Lefevour outstanding in much-needed Ticat victory
Toronto Sun-- Ticats beat RedBlacks for first win of season
Globe and Mail-- Lefevour impresses in debut as CFL starter, leading Ticats to win


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Saturday, July 26-- Toronto 9 at Saskatchewan 37 ( 32,621 )   
CFL.ca Game Preview-- ( video )

Video Highlights-- Toronto / Saskatchewan
Game Recap-- Ford and a stellar defence help Riders take care of Argos
Stats Pack-- Toronto / Saskatchewan

Game Reviews:

12 Men-- 


Regina Leader Post-- Ford shines as Riders swarm Argonauts 37-9
Toronto Star-- Argonauts mystified by QB Ray's current funk
Toronto Sun-- Argonauts fall into last after blowout loss against Roughriders
Canada.com-- Ford rushes for three touchdowns, Riders beat Argos 37-9
Globe and Mail-- Will Ford leads Roughriders to rout of Argonauts

CFL Players of the Week: Week Four




Three touchdowns were more than enough to catch the attention of the selection panel for the CFL's players of the week, making Emmanuel Arceneaux's production the highlight reel kind of thing that scored him the Offensive Player of the week honours for week four.

Fellow BC Lion Andrew Harris joins Arceneaux in the line up of Award winners on the week, his stellar work in the Lions victory over the Als snared him the Canadian Player of the Week, hi selection marks the second week in a row that Harris claimed the Top Canadian Award.

Defensively it was the Odell Willis show, as the Eskimos Defensive End had two tackles, and an interception for a touchdown to aid the Eskimos in shutting down the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

Specials Teams proved to be the key to the Ottawa RedBlacks first ever victory in the city's return to the CFL, with Brett Maher accounting for all 18 RedBlack points through six field goals, securing him the honours for week four.

The four top selections for Week Four can be found below:

Offensive Player of the Week
Emmanuel Arceneaux, WR, British Columbia Lions

Defensive Player of the Week
Odell Willis, DE, Edmonton Eskimos

Special Teams Player of the Week
Brett Maher, PK-P, Ottawa RedBlacks

Canadian Player of the Week
Andrew Harris, RB, British Columbia Lions

CFL.ca review of the Players of the Week

Top Ten Plays of Week Number 4

Ultimate Replay for Week Number 4

Power Rankings For Week Number 4

Twelve Men on the Field Archive of the Players of the Week Listings for the 2014 season

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

CFL 2014: Week Four

The Montreal Alouettes will be looking to keep up their momentum from last week, as they kick off week number three with a home date with the undefeated Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Yes that's correct, Winnipeg which struggled through 2013 has found a winning vibe under head coach Mike  O'Shea and with a taste of winning over two weeks, the desire to keep the roll moving forward on Friday should be all the motivation that O'Shea needs pre game.


Week Three also offers up an opportunity for the Eskimos to continue on with their undefeated season so far, as they host the Ottawa RedBlacks at Commonwealth Stadium on Friday night.  The Esks have sped off from the starting line through two weeks of play with entertaining victories, an impressive comeback from last week adding to the excitement of an unexpected start for many of the Eskimo faithful.

With Ricky Ray having found much success against the Saskatchewan Roughriders last week, he will look to keep his Argos in winning ways as they play host to the Calgary Stampeders. Either, the Argos clearly addressed their week one struggles, or the Riders of week one were just an illusion for their fans.  We imagine the correct answer is somewhere in the middle.

And BC perhaps faces the largest hurdle of the weekend ahead. Not only have they struggled to find wins in their opening weeks of play, with two losses to show for their efforts but now they have to go into Regina and take on those same Saskatchewan Roughriders, a squad that will be very angry over last weeks loss to the Argos and looking to send a strong message of calm to RiderNation.

Below, we'll provide the scoreboard for the week, as well as any items of note from the first week of the brand new season.


Thursday, July 17-- Edmonton 26 at Winnipeg 3   ( 30,976  )   
CFL.ca Game Preview-- ( video )


Video Highlights-- Edmonton / Winnipeg
Game Recap-- Un-D-feated: Esks 'D' stifles Willy, Bombers
Stats Pack-- Edmonton / Winnipeg

Game Reviews:

12 Men--  Away for the weekend, thus no review

Edmonton Sun-- Defence prevails as the Eskimos dominate the Bombers in decisive victory
Edmonton Journal-- Eskimos find a way on offence, defence to win fourth straight game
Winnipeg Sun-- Bombers haunted by turnovers in loss to Eskimos
Winnipeg Free Press-- Blue feeling like bongo drums
National Post-- Edmonton Eskimos down Winnipeg Blue Bombers, claim top spot in CFL West


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Friday, July 18-- Toronto 17 at Ottawa 18 ( 24,326 )  
CFL.ca Game Preview-- ( video )


Video Highlights-- Toronto / Ottawa
Game Recap-- Welcome Back: REDBLACKS cap off historic homecoming
Stats Pack-- Toronto / Ottawa

Game Reviews:

12 Men-- Away for the weekend, thus no review

Ottawa Sun-- Ottawa RedBlacks get first win on historic night
Ottawa Citizen-- RedBlacks beat Argos in home opener
Toronto Sun-- Argonauts fall to RedBlacks as football returns to Ottawa
Toronto Star-- Argonauts first victims for RedBlacks
National Post-- Ottawa RedBlacks beat Toronto Argonauts in historic home opener behind Brett Maher's six field goals


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Friday, July 18-- Hamilton 7 at Calgary 10 ( 27,546 ) 
CFL.ca Game Preview--  ( video )


Video Highlights-- Hamilton / Calgary
Game Recap-- Stampeders outlast Ticats in defensive battle
Stats Pack-- Hamilton / Calgary

Game Reviews:

12 Men--  Away for the weekend, thus no review

Calgary Sun-- Calgary Stampeders beat Hamilton Tiger-Cats by a whisker
Calgary Herald-- Stamps survive late scare to beat Tabbies
Hamilton Spectator-- Ticats lose another tough one, fall 10-7 to Stampeders
National Post--  Stampeders win sloppy affair over Hamilton Tiger-Cats on late field goal

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Saturday, July 19-- Montreal 5 at British Columbia 41 ( 25,063  
CFL.ca Game Preview-- ( video )

Video Highlights-- Montreal / British Columbia
Game Recap-- Arceneaux's touchdown trio helps Leos topple Als
Stats Pack-- Montreal / British Columbia

Game Reviews:

12 Men-- Away for the weekend, thus no review

Vancouver Province-- Lions 41, Alouettes 5: B. C. keeps 14 year home dome win streak over Montreal alive
Vancouver Sun-- Arceneaux's three TDs help Lions clobber Alouettes
Montreal Gazette-- Alouettes humiliated again in Vancouver
Globe and Mail-- B. C. Lions embarrass Montreal Alouettes 41-5

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Gibson's Players of the Week: Week Three




It was a double dip weekend for Andrew Harris, his outstanding week three efforts on the field at Mosaic Stadium earned the Winnipeg native a pair of honours, as he led the BC Lions with the running game to gain their first win of the 2014 season.

Harris collected both the Player of the Week award for week three, as well as the nod as the Canadian Player of the Week.

For those players not named Harris, the salutations were divided among the Alberta rivals.

With Edmonton's Almondo Sewell picking up the defensive honours for his four tackle performance in Friday's Eskimos victory over the Ottawa RedBlacks.

The Special Teams player of the week nod went to the Calgary Stampeders Jock Sanders who returned a missed Argonaut field goal for 121 yards with a pull yourself out of chair kind of run.

The four top selections for Week One can be found below:

Offensive Player of the Week
Andrew Harris, RB, British Columbia Lions

Defensive Player of the Week
Almondo Sewell, DT, Edmonton Eskimos

Special Teams Player of the Week
Jock Sanders, KR, Calgary Stampeders

Canadian Player of the Week
Andrew Harris, RB, British Columbia Lions

CFL.ca review of the Players of the Week

Video review of the Players of the Week

Top Ten Plays of Week Number 3

Ultimate Replay for Week Number 3

Power Rankings For Week Number 3

Twelve Men on the Field Archive of the Players of the Week Listings for the 2014 season

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Lions reveal weaknesses for defending Grey Cup champs

The BC Lions collected their first win of the CFL season on Saturday evening in Regina, delivering a solid pounding of the Grey Cup champion Riders, making quick work to quiet down the usually boisterous faithful at Mosaic Stadium

With a pair of losses to kick off the 2014 season, the rumblings in Vancouver had already started to echo across the province as fans of the Lions started to fret that perhaps Wally Buono had gotten it all wrong in the off season, signs of a year of struggle already starting to offer up more clouds than a November morning on the West Coast.

Just in the Nick of time arrived a breakout performance for 2014 from Andrew Harris, as the Lions running back took to full gallop early in the game, breaking tackles along the way to a 58 yard touchdown. The first highlight reel run of the evening that delivered 222 total yards for a nights work.

With Harris providing the pace, the Lions took the game to the Riders, winning battles on the line and at times finding gaps in coverage and open field to ramble down,  all of which helped to propel them on to number one with a 26-13 victory.

For Kevin Glenn, week number three was clearly a much more rewarding experience than the start of the season, Glenn completed 16 of his 27 passing attempts for a total of 170 yards, with one TD toss to add to his collection.

One of the main contributing factors for the Leos was a turn around in the turn over game, with BC playing a near flawless game of ball control, a much different scenario than that which played out in the first two games.

For Saskatchewan, some of the same problems that popped up in week two arrived once again, an inability to make the key adjustments required in a timely manner provided the Lions with the momentum on the day.

The Riders offence let opportunities slip by at pivotal points of the game, statistically Darian Durant had  one of those nights that best be filed away, making just 15 completions of 34 pass attempts for 191 yards.

Time an time again Saskatchewan would lose any momentum that they found through turnovers,  while discipline issues would haunt them as the final moments ticked off the clock, with a roughing penalty in the course of a Paul McCallum field goal attempt providing a new set of downs for the Lions.

Kevin Glenn made good opportunity of the Riders temper issues, connecting with Courtney Taylor on a 20 yard passing play to push the Lions lead to 13 points.

The Riders continued to self-destruct in the final moments as a Durant pass destined for Rob Bagg was picked off by Josh Johnson, turning the game over one more time to the Lions who made sure that was the final bit of drama for the night.

A glimpse of some of the background to the Saturday night Lions victory can be found below:


Regina Leader Post-- Darian Durant's thoughts on the loss to B. C.
Vancouver Province-- Harris carries Lions over the hump
Vancouver Sun-- Harris a dynamo in B. C.'s 26-13 win over Roughriders
TSN.com-- Lions top Riders for first win of season 

Stamps take charge over Argonauts

Bo Levi Mitchell has provided his head coach with a pretty helpful bit of evidence that the right starting quarterback was handed the ball at the end of training camp.

Mitchell won the QB showdown with the Argos Ricky Ray on Saturday, with an impressive performance that propelled the Stamps to a convincing 34 to 15 victory over the Double Blue.

Among the highlights for the Stamps starter a gadget play (see video here)  that saw the Stamps use a direct snap to Jock Sanders, he in turn tossed the ball to Mitchell who hurled it down the field to Anthony Parker, a play that caught everyone but the Stamps by surprise, setting in motion the rest of a successful night for Calgary.

For those that may want to try the flea-flicker during their rec league football game, here's the nuts and bolts of the play.

Even more impressive for the Stamps, they dominated the Argonauts without the services of a string of first line players, the absence of John Cornish, Maurice Price and Nik Lewis but the thing of a line up sheet change more than anything else.

And while the Stamps offence moved the ball with authority, equally impressive was the shut down nature of the defensive squad which made Saturday night a most miserable experience for Ricky Ray.

The Argo offence could find no rhythm and no forward motion all night,  despite some solid numbers from Ray, who on the night completed 28 of 36 passes for 292 yards, though the majority of those yards were outside of the redzone.  It proved to be a night of frustration for the Argos as drives would stall leaving the Toronto output to the foot of Swayze Waters on the night, he accounted for all fifteen of the Argo points on the evening.

Defensively, the Argos struggled to hold the Stamps in check, Mitchell finding open receivers to the tune of 16 completions on 24 attempts for 4 touchdowns, the rushing game was distributed to four ball handles collectively taking the Stamps over the century mark with the run.

Calgary's play on both sides of the ball and on special teams highlighted the ability of coach Hufnagel to put the proper focus on the early season miscues that dogged some of the Stamps play, though in their first two games, the Stamps hold a 2-0 record, the key to their success a stingy defensive squad that has only surrendered 23 points on the year thus far.

With their second win of the year, the Stamps continue to nip at the heels of the front runners out of the gate with the Bombers and Esks holding 3-0 records, with their early season showdown set for Thursday night in Winnipeg.

The Stamps return to McMahon Stadium, playing host to the Tiger Cats, while the Argos will be in Ottawa Friday night for the debut of the RedBlacks new home in the nations capital.

Reviews of the Stamps victory can be found below:

Calgary Sun-- Calgary Stampeders get it done with big win over Toronto Argonauts
Calgary Herald-- Stamps sail to victory over Argos without Cornish, other stars
Toronto Sun-- Argos no match for Stampeders in CFL action
Toronto Star-- Argos routed by Stampeders 34-15
Canada.com-- Mitchell leads Calgary Stampeders past Toronto Argonauts

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bowman makes quick work of RedBlacks defensive unit

Friday night in Edmonton was the Adarius Bowman show, the Edmonton Eskimos receiver put on a pass catching clinic for the 31 thousand plus at Commonwealth Stadium, grabbing three touchdowns on his own to spur the Eskimos to a 27 to 11 victory over the Ottawa RedBlacks.

For the first time this year, the RedBlacks looked very much like an expansion team, as defensive breakdowns and a sputtering offensive unit provided the worst combination for head coach Rick Campbell, making his return to the house that his father built.

The RedBlacks held tough for three quarters, but the final frame of the game was all Eskimos who lit up the scoreboard after taking an 11-8 lead into the quarter.

Bowman was the main cause of the RedBlacks frustrations on the night, as the Eskimo slotback ripped apart the RedBlacks defensive backfield, offering up a sample of the kind of impact he can bring to the Eskimo lineup when the ball is tossed his way.

The first half of the game wasn't much to speak of, both teams struggled to make much headway in yardage, with frequent two and outs the rule for much of the first thirty minutes.  The third quarter started out much the same as the previous two, before the Mike Reilly and the Eskimo offensive unit finally found their range, once they started putting the points  on the board however they were in control of the game and on their way to the eventual 27-11 victory.

Ottawa showed more of the promise of the previous week as Chevon Walker galloped for a 65 Touchdown run, the only major on the night for the RedBlacks.

Unfortunately much of the Ottawa game on the night featured frustration as passes went off target, were dropped or resulted in little in the way of gain.

Another issue on the night was that of pass protection, which at times was almost non-existent, leaving Henry Burris either laying on the ground or scrambling for survival, two aspects of the game that don't work well if you're trying to claw your way back into the picture.

Keeping drives alive proved to be another stress point for Ottawa, a situation that led to their defensive unit returning to the field time and time again, a situation that the Eskimos finally began to exploit in the fourth quarter.

Campbell most likely understands that these things will happen through the season, the key for the Ottawa coaching staff will be to recognize the problem areas early on and make their adjustments in a timely manner.

With a couple of road games under their belts now, the RedBlacks make their home debut this week on Friday Night football when the Toronto Argonauts help the home side open up TD Field.

The Eskimos have their own bit of destiny ahead this week as well, as they take their undefeated record into Winnipeg for a Thursday night showdown with the Bombers who also sport a 3-0 record.

By the time the gun sounds to close out Thursday night, one team will no longer be among the undefeated, the Esks will need to make sure that theirs is a four quarter game on Thursday should they wish to be considered for that title.

Reviews of Friday's Ottawa/Edmonton game can be found below:


Edmonton Journal-- Bowman's  trio of touchdowns sparks Eskimos' win over RedBlacks
Edmonton Sun-- Hold off on the parade ... for now?
Ottawa Citizen-- RedBlacks come up short again against Eskimos
Ottawa Sun-- RedBlacks drop second game
Canada.com-- Strong fourth quarter over RedBlacks boosts Edmonton's record to 3-0




A new attitude in Blue

Three games does not a season make, but there's something different about the 2014 edition of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Banished it appears are the troubles of the last few seasons, where wins were few and comeback performances but the thing of rumour.

The 2014 Bombers led by head coach Mike O'Shea have one important intangible in them, there doesn't appear to be any quit in this years edition of the Blue.

Friday night the Bombers took for the first road trip of the season, heading off into Molson Stadium and a rendez-vous with the Montreal Alouettes, a good measuring stick for O'Shea to see how his squad was going to shape up outside the friendly confines of Investors Group field.

And while he no doubt has a bit of material to work with in the video review of the week to come, O'Shea must have been impressed with the nature of his teams will to win, or is that Willy to win?

Drew Willy once again provided Bomber fans with a glimpse that perhaps their long desired quest for a starting quarterback has finally come to an end, as the Bomber QB orchestrated a last minute drive down the field, offering once again the theme that No lead is ever really safe in the CFL.

For the Alouettes the game was another reminder of the work in progress that their team has become in this post Calvillo year, as Montreal let opportunities slip by to put some distance between themselves and the Bombers, settling for field goals when touchdowns were in reach.

A situation that allowed the Bombers to hang on through the fourth quarter to eventually launch their late game heroics to steal the two points out of McGill, with a thrilling 34-33 last minute shocker.

Not quite the parting gift that the Alouettes perhaps wanted to provide for their former coach Marc Trestman, who had been feted and saluted during much of the game.

There were some positive steps for Montreal, defensively the Alouettes put pressure on Willy, taking him to ground four times on the night, while Troy Smith offered up a glimpse of what coach Tom Higgins hopes to see as the season moves forward.

Some of his passes were crisp and effective, some not so much, two key turnovers on the night by Smith told the story of the evening, one a fumble, the other an interception both set the Bombers up with fourteen points, costly miscues that provided Winnipeg with its momentum towards their fourth quarter comeback.

For the CFL historians, Friday night was the night that Chad Johnson recorded his first CFL touchdown, a statistic that Montreal fans are no doubt hopeful of having repeated through until November.

However, the story of the night was the undefeated status of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who at 3-0 find themselves the talk of the league and for a change it has more to do with their winning ways, than the spiral of frustration that the last few years provided for.

For Bomber fans, who perhaps entered 2014 with a bit of trepidation, the season is off to a smashing start, winning can at times become infectious, in Winnipeg they're hoping that the virus takes hold.

Some items of review on Friday's game can be found below:


Montreal Gazette-- Als couldn't put the Bombers away when it counted
Winnipeg Free Press-- Amazing 3-0 start for Blue
Winnipeg Sun-- Three cheers for Blue Bombers
Canada.com-- Last-minute Feoli-Gudina TD catch lifts unbeaten Bombers over Alouettes


Friday, July 11, 2014

CFL 2014: Week Three

The Montreal Alouettes will be looking to keep up their momentum from last week, as they kick off week number three with a home date with the undefeated Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Yes that's correct, Winnipeg which struggled through 2013 has found a winning vibe under head coach Mike  O'Shea and with a taste of winning over two weeks, the desire to keep the roll moving forward on Friday should be all the motivation that O'Shea needs pre game.


Week Three also offers up an opportunity for the Eskimos to continue on with their undefeated season so far, as they host the Ottawa RedBlacks at Commonwealth Stadium on Friday night.  The Esks have sped off from the starting line through two weeks of play with entertaining victories, an impressive comeback from last week adding to the excitement of an unexpected start for many of the Eskimo faithful.

With Ricky Ray having found much success against the Saskatchewan Roughriders last week, he will look to keep his Argos in winning ways as they play host to the Calgary Stampeders. Either, the Argos clearly addressed their week one struggles, or the Riders of week one were just an illusion for their fans.  We imagine the correct answer is somewhere in the middle.

And BC perhaps faces the largest hurdle of the weekend ahead. Not only have they struggled to find wins in their opening weeks of play, with two losses to show for their efforts but now they have to go into Regina and take on those same Saskatchewan Roughriders, a squad that will be very angry over last weeks loss to the Argos and looking to send a strong message of calm to RiderNation.

Below, we'll provide the scoreboard for the week, as well as any items of note from the first week of the brand new season.


July 11-- Winnipeg  34 at Montreal 33   ( 20,348 )  
CFL.ca Game Preview-- ( video )


Video Highlights--  Winnipeg / Montreal
Game Recap-- The Legend Grows: Willy clutch, Bombers shock Als
Stats Pack-- Winnipeg / Montreal

Game Reviews:

12 Men-- A new attitude in Blue

Montreal Gazette-- Als couldn't put the Bombers away when it counted
Winnipeg Free Press-- Amazing 3-0 start for Blue
Winnipeg Sun-- Three cheers for Blue Bombers
Canada.com-- Last-minute Feoli-Gudina TD catch lifts unbeaten Bombers over Alouettes

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July 11-- Ottawa 11 at Edmonton 27 ( 31,521 ) 
CFL.ca Game Preview-- ( video )


Video Highlights-- Ottawa / Edmonton
Game Recap-- Hat-Trick: Bowman scores trio of TD's in Esks win
Stats Pack-- Ottawa / Edmonton

Game Reviews:

12 Men-- Bowman makes quick work of RedBlacks defensive unit

Edmonton Journal-- Bowman's  trio of touchdowns sparks Eskimos' win over RedBlacks
Edmonton Sun-- Hold off on the parade ... for now?
Ottawa Citizen-- RedBlacks come up short again against Eskimos
Ottawa Sun-- RedBlacks drop second game
Canada.com-- Strong fourth quarter over RedBlacks boosts Edmonton's record to 3-0


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July 12-- Calgary 34 at Toronto 15 ( 16,102 ) TSN
CFL.ca Game Preview--  ( video )


Video Highlights-- Calgary / Toronto
Game Recap-- Mitchell's four scores lead Stamps over Rays, Argos
Stats Pack-- Calgary / Toronto

Game Reviews:

12 Men-- 

Calgary Sun-- Calgary Stampeders get it done with big win over Toronto Argonauts
Calgary Herald-- Stamps sail to victory over Argos without Cornish, other stars
Toronto Sun-- Argos no match for Stampeders in CFL action
Toronto Star-- Argos routed by Stampeders 34-15
Canada.com-- Mitchell leads Calgary Stampeders past Toronto Argonauts

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July 12-- BC 26 at Saskatchewan 13 ( N/A 
CFL.ca Game Preview-- ( video )

Video Highlights-- British Columbia / Saskatchewan
Game Recap-- Redemption in Riderville: Harris leads Lions to first win
Stats Pack-- British Columbia / Saskatchewan

Game Reviews:

12 Men-- 

Regina Leader Post-- Darian Durant's thoughts on the loss to B. C.
Vancouver Province-- Harris carries Lions over the hump
Vancouver Sun-- Harris a dynamo in B. C.'s 26-13 win over Roughriders
TSN.com-- Lions top Riders for first win of season 

CFL Players of the Week: Week Two




Bounce Back weeks for Montreal and Toronto helped players from those two teams secure a place in the Gibson's Player of the Week Awards for week two.

Ricky Ray and  his Argonaut offence were back on track in week two play and Ray's efforts in their convincing victory over the defending Grey Cup Champ Roughriders earned the Toronto QB Offensive player of the week honours.

The Alouettes found their groove in week two play and no better example as to how they refocused on the week could be found than with the Defensive Player of the Week John Bowman.  Five tackles and four sacks helped to make him stand out for the selection committee for week two.

The Special Teams player of the week selection, wen to Winnipeg Kick Returner Demond Washington, he brought the Investors Group crowd to their feet with an explosive 96 yard for a touchdown agains the Ottawa Red Blacks.

The Argos were double dippers on Week two selection day, as Andre Durie collected the accolades as Canadian Player of the Week,  proving to be a handy target for Ricky Ray agains the Riders.

The four top selections for Week One can be found below:

Offensive Player of the Week
Ricky Ray, QB, Toronto Argonauts

Defensive Player of the Week
John Bowman, DE, Montreal Alouettes

Special Teams Player of the Week
Demond Washington, KR, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Canadian Player of the Week
Andre Durie, SB, Toronto Argonauts

CFL.ca review of the Players of the Week

Video review of the Players of the Week

Top Ten Plays of Week Number 2

Ultimate Replay for Week Number 2

Power Rankings For Week Number 2

Twelve Men on the Field Archive of the Players of the Week Listings for the 2014 season

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Argos bring Riders back down to earth in convincing fashion

Defending champs sometimes need a reminder that victories are never assured and on Saturday afternoon in Toronto, the Argos delivered a text book review of just that principle; as Ricky Ray picked apart the Rider defence on the way to a most convincing 48-15 victory.

A margin that large was probably not thought likely as the two teams headed into play for week two, the Riders having demolished the Tiger Cats in the monsoon rains of their home opener at Mosaic Field.

Toronto had suffered their own troubles in week one in Winnipeg, as Mike O'Shea found his first victory as a CFL coach provided at the expense of his former employer.

Such was the nature of the week one loss that few gave the Argos much hope of bouncing back against what was thought to be one of the CFL's most dominating squads.

However, by the time the final gun sounded on Saturday, it would be the Argos who appeared to be in a Grey Cup form, the Riders more resembling a team that had forgotten all they had learned in training camp.

For the most part it was a Ricky Ray clinic, with the Argo pivot throwing for 407 yards and three touchdowns on the day, totally confusing the Riders defensive unit which never seemed to get untracked from the opening moments of the day.

The first half belonged to the Argos who took a 17-1 lead into the locker room at half time, leaving Saskatchewan to try and determine what had gone wrong in just one week.

The Argos had built a comfortable 25-8 lead into the third quarter before Darian Durant provided some inclination that maybe the Riders might launch a comeback,  a Durant to Allen passing play pulled the Riders to within ten points by the start of the fourth quarter.

But the Argos defence quickly took to shutting down any further thoughts of a Saskatchewan insurrection on the day, smothering the Rider attack for the remainder of the game.

Ray would capitalize on his defensive units work, by taking the Riders down the field in just six plays late in the fourth, the finishing touch on the drive a TD pass to Mike Bradwell, pushing the Argo lead to 34-15 with time running down.

Shortly after that the Argos once again chewed up yardage against the Riders defensive team, another impressive drive that culminated in a Curtis Steele ramble into the end zone, a 41- 15 lead surely destined to be the final score.

But, with the Riders seeking points in a fast and furious fashion, Darian Durant would provide Toronto with one more scoring opportunity on the day, a long toss into the Argo defensive backfield would be returned by Antwaun Molden who took Durant's pass some 108 yards for the final scoring play for the Double Blue.

The win was a welcome bit of news for a Toronto squad that was still smarting from their week one road loss, for the Riders, the rather one sided defeat provides for a bit of work for a coaching staff that at least will no longer have to concern themselves with the prospect of over-confidence for the remainder of the season.

Some reviews of Saturday's game can be found below.


Toronto Sun-- Argos win big over Saskatchewan Roughriders
Toronto Star-- Argonauts crush Roughriders in home opener
Regina Leader Post-- Riders looked complacent and unprepared in face of Argos
Canada.com-- Veteran Ricky Ray leads Argos to surprisingly one-sided win over Roughriders 
CBC-- Ricky Ray, Argonauts torch Roughriders in home opener




Eskimos hold off last second TiCat charge to secure home opener win

It was as wild a finish as the CFL can provide, built on a game of much sloppy ball handling, far too many turnovers and a controversial hit that sent the visiting quarterback to the sidelines for the remainder of the game.

The game while offering up much in entertainment, would clearly be the thing to make any coach (those that still have hair) reach for the Grecian formula...

Sloppiness was indeed the word on the day, as both the Cats and the Eskimos managed to find ways to lose the ball and provide each other ample opportunity to capitalize on each others mistakes.

Penalties played a role as well in the outcome, with Edmonton in particular tempting fate by accumulating some 102 yards in penalties, with the referees reaching for their flags eleven times by games end.

For much of the early going it appeared that Kent Austin's Tiger Cats were going to bring the Eskimos down to earth after their season opening victory over the BC Lions, however things it would seem will not come easy for the Cats this year.

Indications that the night might turn against Hamilton came when Zach Collaros was forced from the game at the mid point of the second quarter, after taking a nasty hit from the Eskimos Odell Willis.

One which did not receive a flag from the officials, but made for a flash of anger from head coach Kent Austin and provided for much discussion for the remainder of the night on the legality of the shot.

The theme of inconsistency on referee calls would make for much of that conversation while fans weighed in on the theme through twitter and watched to see if Jeremiah Masoli could rally the Cats offence to the finish line on the night.

And while Masoli had his moments he also provided for two key interceptions that allowed Edmonton to begin their comeback, a rolling wave of points that allowed the Eskimos to mount one of the CFL's famous comebacks, with Hamilton watching a 10 point lead vanish as Edmonton made their push.

The improbable Edmonton comeback, provided the Esks placekicker Grant Shaw with an opportunity for redemption late in the game, following some high profile misses in the fourth quarter. When the points were needed the most however, Shaw found his range in the final two minutes putting two consecutive three pointers up to push the Esks into the lead.

The Eskimos took the game to the final minutes holding to their 28-24 lead, leaving the Tiger Cats to launch a last minute drive down the field, with Dan Lefevour at the helm and giving indications that he was going to bring the victory home for the Cats.

However, despite moving the ball impressively and setting up shop on the Edmonton five yard line, Lefevour and the Cats could not make make the Eskimo defence bend, with Edmonton stopping the Cats on the goal line on the final play of the game.

The 28-24 Eskimo lead would turn into the final score on the night and while the Cats probably deserved a victory on perseverance alone, they were denied owing to the Esks holding their defensive line in the dying seconds of the game.

Both teams face some major issues to deal with following week two action, with a string of injuries from the night looking to make things even more complicated for both head coaches as they try to patch up their players and their lineup to fill in the gaps.

Instead of two teams leaving Commonwealth with 1 and 1 records after two weeks of play, the Cats now remain winless and the Eskimos find themselves holders of a title they haven't heard much of late, that of undefeated on the year so far.

Some reviews of the to the wire finish can be found below.


Edmonton Sun-- Eskimos salvage sloppy home-opener by pulling out late win against Tiger-Cats
Edmonton Journal-- Eskimos defence turns game around in fourth quarter against Tiger-Cats
Hamilton Spectator-- Ticats blow 10 point fourth quarter lead, lose 28-24 to Esks