Week 4 CFL Recap
Hamilton 13 at Saskatchewan 18
Honestly, heading into the week I suspected we would get a much better game than we did. I watched the game thinking “What the heck did I just spend three hours watching?” Ryan followed up with a tweet that was close to what i was thinking. Basically, a big game of musical chairs at QB for the Riders. As a fellow broadcaster, it makes you have to pay extra attention to the game when you don’t know who will be at QB on a given play. That aside, Hamilton dominated the game, but lacked first quarter finish. As the saying I like to use goes: “The longer you let a team hang around, the worse off you will be.” I like the way the Ti-Cats played this one, but to be elite you need to win this one. Saskatchewan bounced back from last week’s loss to Montreal, and found a way to win. Defence is standing tall right now- offence anyone? How bout a consistent QB? They’ll have the bye week to figure that out as both teams are off this week and prepare for a Week 6 rematch in Hamilton.
Player of the Game- Charleston Hughes (SSK): Call it an interception, call it a sack, call it a fumble; whatever it was, call it a massive play by Charleston Hughes to pick up the Riders’ first TD of the game. He’s been the Riders’ best player in 2018 and was part of a strong defensive performance by the team this week.
Ottawa 28 at Montreal 18
I used the reference last week on the podcast, and I mean no disrespect with it, but once in a while a blind squirrel finds a nut. That was the case when Montreal won last week at Saskatchewan. Whatever momentum was gained from that was quickly lost in the 2nd and 3rd quarters of this one, as the Alouettes failed to put any points on the board in the middle half of the game. Can we stop making a game look closer than it was? A garbage time TD makes this respectable. Montreal’s D is not what we thought they were- they will have to play over their heads for the Montreal to get to 6 wins. The way the offence is going, I am not sure that would be good enough. Ottawa basically did whatever they pleased on offence for most of the night. Big running play to Powell? No problem. The league’s leading rusher continued his hot start to the year with 23 carries for 138 yards. Timely 2nd down conversion? No problem with those either. I see no reason why Ottawa won’t be hosting a playoff game at TD Place this year.
Player of the Game- Brad Sinopoli (OTT): Sinopoli is one of those reliable receivers who you can always count on for a handful of catches each week. This week, he was Trevor Harris’ go-to target all night long, putting up an incredible 11 catches for 148 yards and a touchdown, in his best game of the 2018 season.
Edmonton 17 at Toronto 20
I gotta ask, is there something to Marc Trestman teams when they come off of a bye? Maybe it’s the extra prep time, because boy did the Argos ever come out flying. They delivered the first punch with an opening drive TD (missed convert) followed by a heck of a defensive play by Shawn Lemon to force a fumble on their first defensive play (kudos to the officials for spotting the recovery interference on the Eskimos’ part). Fresh off the turnover, James Franklin engineered another TD drive, this time with a failed two point convert to put the Argos up 12-0 early. As we have seen before, Edmonton would chip away at the lead and take the lead for the first time late in the third quarter. Finally, at the most important time, inside the final 3 minutes the Argos engineered a very impressive game winning touchdown drive to go up 20-17. Was wondering where the Argos offence was for the most part of that game, but they came up big late in the game when they needed to. Gotta admit I am surprised the Eskimos are 2-2 at this point. The Argos get back into it at 1-2.
Player of the Game- James Wilder Jr. (TOR): The Argos’ offence struggled in their first 2 games of the season, due in large part to an inability to get 2017 Rookie of the Year James Wilder Jr. going. Facing an Eskimos’ defence that is known to struggle greatly against the run, Wilder was given the ball over and over again, including several times on the game-winning drive, and finished the night with 21 carries for 120 yards, as well as 3 catches for 27 through the air.
BC 19 at Winnipeg 41
WOW- Let me first start by saying, there is no QB controversy in Winnipeg. Take away the first two drives, the Bombers’ offence led by Matt Nichols in his return from injury, was a fine oiled machine for which BC had zero answers for. Coach O’Shea’s use of Chris Streveler farther compounded to the issue at hand. The Lions had no clue what was going to happen on those 2nd and short plays. With a scrambling QB and one that can also throw the ball pretty good (see pass to Daniel Petermann as an example) in Chris Streveler, it gives defensive coaches who play the Bombers in future games something unexpected to plan for. I feel bad for Coach Buono, no one wants to go out having the kind of season so far that he has had. There were a couple of throws early in the game that Jonathan Jennings missed that could have MAYBE changed the game. The Lions’ defence gave up FOUR straight TD drives late in the first and into the 2nd quarter. That does not make things easy for an offence that is clicking, never mind one that stalls. I wanted to give BC a good record this season, because I really thought Jennings would have a bounce back year. Now there seems to be questions about who will start this week…..I don’t want to sound alarm bells, but must win for BC in Week 5? Seems a little early, but the team from the West Coast is already in danger of losing the season series to a team in the division. It just doesn’t leave much breathing room elsewhere.
Player of the Game: Adam Bighill (WPG): Playing his first game against his former club, Adam Bighill had himself a monster night. He had 2 interceptions on the night (and nearly a 3rd one), including an impressive 55 yard Pick 6. One thing the Bombers’ defence has struggled with this season is forcing turnovers, something they’ve been very good at in recent years, making Bighill’s performance even bigger. He also pitched in 6 tackles on a strong bounce back game by the Winnipeg defence.