CFL

CFL SEASON CATCH UP: WEEK 4

It is time to review week 4 of the 2019 CFL season. Like week 3, we had a full slate of games this past weekend with just Edmonton on a bye.

In the opening fixture of the weekend we saw an upset and a performance that evoked memories of an all-time great CFL running back.

Week 4 Games

We saw 2 teams pick up their first win of the season and only one remain unbeaten in wee 4. So let’s get right to it.

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 29 at Montreal Alouettes 36

Stanback takes another hand-off on his way to a 200 yard and 3 TD day. Image from cfl.ca

On the CFL Pick ‘Em game over 85% of people were picking Hamilton for this one. After all they were 3-0 and had just trounced the Als 41-10 only the week before.

That thinking reckoned without the performance from running back William Stanback. He keyed this impressive victory in Montreal’s home opener at Percival Molson Stadium.

Stanback had an incredible game against the tabbies D rushing 22 times for 203 yards and 3 touchdowns. He notched up a further 46 yards receiving on a catch and run for good measure.

This puts him in exalted company as CFHOF back Mike Pringle was the last  Alouette running back to surpass 200 rushing yards way back in 1998.

Riding Stanback’s great game the Alouettes led 36-18 with 9:40 left in the fourth quarter. Despite a spirited response that was too much for Hamilton who suffered their first loss of the campaign.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers 29 at Ottawa REDBLACKS 14

Winnipeg are celebrating being the only unbeaten team left in the league as they continue their dominant start to the season. Image from cfl.ca

Following on from Hamilton’s defeat the night before this contest pitted the only undefeated teams left in the league head to head. Winnipeg at 3-0 now stand alone.

Blue Bombers starting quarterback Matt Nichols was sidelined in the third quarter and replaced by Chris Streveler who rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another.

Winnipeg fans will be glad he looks good to go this week. They would have been hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s absence for Nichols.

Nichols went 16-of-20 for 262 yards and a touchdown before leaving the game. Streveler coming in and deputising emphasised the strength in depth of this squad.

The Winnipeg D was dominant holding the REDBLACKS to just 14 first downs and 236 net yards. They also added 2 interceptions and 2 sacks.

Lewis Ward made both of his field goal attempts for Ottawa. Meaning he continued to extend his pro football record for consecutive regular season field goals.

Including a career-high 53-yarder in this game he has now hit on 59 consecutive file goals in the CFL regular season.

BC Lions 18 at Toronto Argonauts 17

This one came down to a rouge in favour of the Lions. Image from cfl.ca

The Lions picked up their first win by the slenderest of margins and left the Argos as the only winless team left in the league.

For NFL fans the end may have been confusing as the Lions won on a missed field goal.

However, the Rouge, or single point for a non returned kick out of the back of the end zone is one of the joys of the CFL game rules.

We have explained the rules before for the benefit of UK fans brought up on the NFL. Including the Rouge in the kicking game.

If you love special teams play, as I do, then this adds an extra dimension to the game.

If the Argos hadn’t kicked the ball out of bounds and given the Lions great field position the kick may never have happened. If Sergio Castillo had missed the kick, but Chris Rainey had caught it and kept his foot in bounds we could have had overtime.

This isn’t about rewarding a miss. It is about punishing the Argos for handling their special teams poorly.

Calgary Stampeders 37 at Saskatchewan Roughriders 10

Nick Arbuckle got a win in his first CFL start as the Stamps dominated. Image from cfl.ca

This could have been billed as the battle of the backups going in. Both Nick Arbuckle and Cody Fajardo  were deputising for their team leaders.

Arbuckle, the 25-year-old Stamps QB had the better day. He led his to team to the win as he completed 19 of 22 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns.

Fajardo meanwhile was bottled up by a strong Calgary D and could only go 9 of 15 for 89 yards and 2 interceptions. Both picks went to Tre Roberson, who already has 5 interceptions on the season.

Roberson turned one of those interceptions into a pick six. Alongside that the other big play of the game saw Arbuckle hit Reggie Begelton in-stride for a 76-yard catch-and-run touchdown.

As the game was gone the Riders put rookie Isaac Harker into the game. He finished 9 of 13 for 72 yards and the Stamps picked up their third interception from him.

THE STANDINGS

Following week 4 a more familiar feel has emerged as the West Division now leads the inter-Division standings by 4 games to 3.

Just 4 games into the season and only one unbeaten team remains. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are the current class of the CFL at 3-0.

At the other end of the spectrum only one winless team remains. The 0-3 Argonauts can take solace that they have improved week on week if only incrementally.

An 18 week season is a long one and a lot can still happen. It will no doubt be fascinating to see how it all unfolds.

Looking ahead

Week 5 offers another full slate of games with this time Saskatchewan sitting out the action.

The Week will start off with Reilly Bowl II as the Lions host Edmonton on Thursday night. Then, it will be winless versus unbeaten as the 0-3 Argos travel to 3-0 Winnipeg.

Montreal will look to gather momentum at Ottawa. However the REDBLACKS will be looking to bounce back and re-assert themselves in the East.

Finally Hamilton will want to get back on track. To do that they will have to reignite their free flowing O against a tough Calgary D.

Banner image from cfl.ca

Article written by:

Chris Lawton joined the NFLGirlUK.com team in 2017 and has been writing about the CFL ever since. He originally started following the NFL with the 'first wave' of fans when it was shown on Channel 4 in the 1980's. He has been a keen supporter of the Miami Dolphins since 1983. Chris first encountered the CFL in 2016 and instantly fell in love with the Canadian game. He has been writing about the CFL from the inception of Ninety-Nine Yards. You can find him on twitter as @CFLfanUK

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