Our CFL season catch up has reached just about halfway through the regular season and week 11 has given us another intriguing slate of games to look back on.
CFL SEASON WEEK 11 GAMES
Week 11 brought us another full slate of games. Friday night football kicked off Week 11 with the Blue Bombers in Edmonton playing for first place in the West Division.
There were two games played on the Saturday.
The REDBLACKS were nominally in pursuit of a season series sweep of Saskatchewan after a Week 2, 44-41 win. However the two teams form had been so divergent since then this was just about being competitive.
The Lions hosted the East Division-leading Tiger-Cats. BC were looking to avenge a one-point loss to Hamilton in Week 9 while collecting their first home win of the season.
Sunday saw a CFL game played in Moncton, for the 2019 edition of Touchdown Atlantic between the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts.
It was expected that an Alouettes team on the rise would give Toronto all they could handle.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 34 at Edmonton Eskimos 28
Edmonton went into this one undefeated at home this season (4-0) and looking to make it three straight wins following victories over Ottawa and Toronto.
Winnipeg however had other ideas. Their win now sees them confirm their position in sole possession of the West Division lead at 8-2.
Last time these two met, Edmonton moved the ball but couldn’t get over the goal line. Kicker Sean Whyte finished that game 7 for 7 and contributed all of the Esks points.
It was a familiar story here then when late in the 4th quarter Whyte drilled his 7th FG from 7 attempts. Up to that point he had once again provided Edmonton’s scoring.
It was the Blue Bombers who were able to find ways to make things happen throughout the game however. The ongoing CFL quarterback curse had hit the Blue Bombers but it didn’t defeat them.
A pick-six and two fumble recoveries on defence stopped Edmonton in their tracks. Offensively a pair of rushing touchdowns and four field goals maintained Winnipeg’s advantage.
Both kickers were on the money in this one. Justin Medlock made all four of his field goal attempts for the Bombers, including two 50-yard kicks.
Ottawa REDBLACKS 18 at Saskatchewan RoughRiders 40
The Roughriders welcomed Ottawa to town whilst riding the crest of a four-game winning streak. Saskatchewan were also coming off a bye this week.
In the past two seasons, the Roughriders were 3-0 following a bye. So perhaps there was a sense of the inevitable about this one.
Saskatchewan capitalized on a glut of turnovers. There were five in total that led to 24 points. However the tenor of the game was defined by 3 interceptions early on.
Riders QB Cody Fajardo continued to impress as he completed 24 of 36 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown. He also added 38 rushing yards and a touchdown on five carries.
With the loss, Ottawa head into their second bye week on a slide, dropping seven of their last eight games and sitting third in the East Division with a 3-7 record. Their playoff hopes are sliding away fast.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 13 at BC Lions 10
The battle of the cats will hardly be remembered as one for the ages. O-Line continues to be a problem for BC as Hamilton racked up seven sacks and 2 interceptions in this defensive struggle.
There were moments for both teams. For example BC broke plays of 30, 14 and 29 yards on an early drive. All for it to end with a turnover.
Neither team really got much going for most of the game however. Hamilton led 13-3 late on when Mike Reilly threw a three-yard touchdown pass to Bryan Burnham with under a minute left to help make it a three-point game.
The ensuing onside kick attempt was unsuccessful and that was that.
Montreal Alouettes 28 at Toronto Argonauts 22
This game marked the fourth regular-season contest game to take place in Moncton and the first since 2013.
We have noted already this season that the Als are a different team with Vernon Adams Jr. at the helm.
They may not play perfectly, but if he is there they always seem to have a chance. Again, he led them to a win here.
Montreal have 5 wins already this season which matches their whole 2018 output. Few knew it at the time but their preseason change of coach has been a real blessing for turning things around.
Once again, in defeat, there were bright spots for Toronto. A lot has been made of who should be behind centre.
Well McLeod Bethel-Thompson continues to improve. Here he went 36 for 47 with 464 yards and two touchdowns.
Wide-out S.J. Green moved to 23rd all-time in catches in CFL history during the contest too.
This back and forth contest featured plenty of action, trickery and a close finish. If the league had wanted an advert for the CFL on the East Coast it couldn’t have hoped for much better than it got here.
Following week 11 of the CFL season the inter-Divisional standings are now sat at 14-10 in favour of the West Division.
Winnipeg are alone on 8-2 atop the West and Hamilton mirror them at 8-2 atop the East.
If the playoffs started now, Ottawa, Toronto and BC would be the teams to miss out. Meanwhile Calgary would be the crossover team.
Week 12 of the CFL season offers 3 games on the Labour Day Weekend. We will see this open with Winnipeg at a streaking Saskatchewan.
That will be an interesting one for all. Can Winnipeg keep winning, now without their staring QB and their star running back suspended for 2 games?
It’s all about the rivalries this coming weekend. As this will be followed by the Argos travelling to Hamilton. The Double Blue will be desperate to do better than their humiliating 64-14 loss suffered earlier in the season to the Ti-Cats.
Finally the weekend offers the second of the three game Battle of Alberta series as the Eskimos travel to Calgary for the second time this season.
Banner image: The Blue Bombers great season continues. image from cfl.ca