It is time to review week 3 of the 2019 CFL season. We had a full slate of games this past weekend with just Ottawa on a bye.
It may be an 18 game season but at the end of week 3 we only have 3 unbeaten teams left already.
Ottawa were able to protect their record by sitting at home. Meanwhile Winnipeg confirmed once more why they are so well regarded this year overcoming a so far red-hot Edmonton team.
Hamilton continued to be the front runner in the East as they improved to 3-0.
Week 3 Games
Like week 2 this round of games offered intrigue, excitement and plenty of points.
Edmonton Eskimos 21 at Winnipeg Blue Bombers 28
25,336 fans were on hand at IG Field for Winnipeg’s home opener & they got to see some explosive plays from their team.
Blue Bombers QB Matt Nichols only threw for 200 yards but he hit three touchdowns as Edmonton relied on kicking to stay in the game.
Star of the show was Lucky Whitehead who had a breakout game after having had a single catch in week 1. This time he had 7 catches for 155 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The Florida Atlantic product & former Dallas Cowboys return man hauled in a 75 yard pass and combined that with a highlight-reel 41-yard catch and run.
Esks QB Trevor Harris has 702 more passing yards than Nichols having played only 1 more game, but both have 6 touchdowns on the season.
Kicker Sean Whyte went 7 of 7 in the game but Edmonton fans will be hoping for more touchdowns in games to come.
Montreal Alouettes 10 at Hamilton Tiger-Cats 41
Coming off a 64-14 demolition of Toronto the Tabbies continued their hot start to the season by overwhelming the Alouettes in Hamilton.
The Ti-Cats improved their record to 3-0 for their best start to a season since 2004.
The offensive stars came out to play in this one for Hamilton. ‘Speedy B’, Brandon Banks had 7 catches for 152 yards and a 30 yard touchdown run.
Alongside that running back Sean Thomas-Erlington contributed 149 total yards, including a 75-yard catch-and-run touchdown.
Directing operations was QB Jeremiah Masoli who completed 25 of 31 passes for 417 yards and a touchdown while also adding two rushing scores.
Last week we noted that Bralon Addison was as advertised for Hamilton. A point emphasised here as he took in eight passes for 121 yards and a two-point convert.
The Als’ defence did their part to keep Montreal in the game finishing with three interceptions and a forced fumble on a big goal line stand.
BC Lions 32 at Calgary Stampeders 36
The Lions led 17-14 at halftime in week 1. They led 17-3 in week 2 and they led again here. Each time they have come up empty.
Early on it was 15-0 to BC and Mike Reilly had completed his first 14 passes. Leos fans will be encouraged by a more balanced attack in this game and better protection from the O line.
This game epitomized the league’s no lead is safe is mantra as the Stampeders mounted an improbable comeback.
Statistically in some respects BC dominated. For instance they had the ball for over 37 minutes of the contest. It’s points on the board that matter most however.
Reilly finished 36-for-42 for 354 yards with a pair of touchdowns and a rushing score and a pick.
Opposite him defending MOP Bo Levi Mitchell went 23-for-34 252 yards 2 touchdowns and a pick.
The bigger story though was Mitchell’s shoulder. In the final minutes of the contest, he went to the sidelines showing discomfort in his throwing shoulder.
The Grey cup champs then displayed their depth and tenacity. Backup QB Nick Arbuckle came in and went 9 for 9 for 93 yards and a touchdown.
That included a touchdown drive down the field which he finished on a plunge himself. He then threw the two-point convert and Calgary trailed by just three with 1:20 remaining.
Fans of special teams will have enjoyed the onside kick Calgary successfully employed. This enabled Arbuckle to toss the winning touchdown with 31 seconds left in the game.
Toronto Argonauts 7 at Saskatchewan Roughriders 32
Two teams went into this one looking for their first win. Only one ever looked like finding it.
This was all over bar the shouting by half time when the Riders led 26-7. They would add a couple of field goals and shut out the Argos in the second half.
Cody Fajardo led the Saskatchewan Roughriders to victory in this Canada Day clash. He put up a 24 of 31 passing performance with 430 yards and 2 touchdowns.
The highlight was a 98 yard touchdown to Kyran Moore who finished with 4 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. Along with Bralon Addison, Moore was another player we tabbed for a big season in our previews.
Toronto fans will be hoping they find a way to shore up their secondary and get more from their O line. Otherwise this already looks like it will be a long season.
Following Saskatchewan’s defeat of Toronto the inter-Division standings now stand at 3-2 to the East.
We are only 3 weeks into the season but we are already seeing separation between the teams. Ottawa, Winnipeg and Hamilton are all unbeaten whilst BC, Toronto & Montreal are all still searching for their first success.
There is a full slate of 4 games next week with just the Edmonton Eskimos taking a bye.
Winnipeg and Ottawa will face off putting their 2-0 records on the line. Meanwhile Montreal will be hoping for a much improved result as they face Hamilton in the second of their back to back contests.
It is Family Day in Toronto. However, there won’t be much celebrating unless they can put up a much improved performance against BC. Finally Calgary will ride into Saskatchewan to pit themselves against Fajardo and the developing Rider attack.
Banner image: A smiling Lucky Whitehead of Winnipeg. Image from cfl.ca