Our CFL season catch-up has reached week 15 and we are seeing significant movement for teams on the playoff run-in.
Every game will only seem more meaningful as we enter the last weeks of the season. Particularly for those jockeying for playoff position. Not to mention for those playing for jobs or coaching roles!
CFL SEASON WEEK 15 GAMES
Week 15 saw a full slate of games. The action started with a Calgary team on the charge in Toronto, followed by Hamilton arriving in Edmonton to face backup quarterback Logan Kilgore.
The week was rounded out by West leading Winnipeg facing a difficult trip to Montreal and a home and home rematch seeing BC travel to Ottawa.
Calgary Stampeders 23 at Toronto Argonauts 16
The Stamps visit to the Boatmen saw them facing a resurgent team. In their past five games the Double Blue had averaged 29.8 points and in those five games, McLeod Bethel-Thompson had 12 TD passes and only 2 INTs.
Recent form was thrown aside for Toronto as Calgary made a flying start. The Stampeders were up 17-0 in the second quarter before Toronto sparked into life.
It was 20-3 at halftime and that proved to be too much of a deficit for Toronto to overcome.
Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell finished the game 33 of 48 for 346 yards and a touchdown. He is now 11-0 all-time against Toronto.
James Franklin stepped in at QB in the third quarter for the Argos. He finished 12 of 16 for 147 yards and a touchdown.
We really shouldn’t be surprised. This is the Stamps’ 12th straight regular season win against Toronto. Not to mention their 7th straight win away to the Argos.
Double Blue fans only solace comes in the fact that during that time they won the biggest contest between the two. As in 2017 they won the Grey Cup in Ottawa.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats 30 at Edmonton Eskimos 27
The East leading Ti-Cats went into this one 5-2 against West Division teams so Kilgore and the Esks knew they would have a contest on their hands.
Perhaps they didn’t realise how much of one until Hamilton exploded into the game.
This was another game built on the foundation of a big early lead. The Ti-Cats were up 24-0 by the time Edmonton just managed to muster a response almost on the whistle to make it 24-7 at the break.
At that point the Edmonton team were looking shell shocked as every mistake was being punished to the maximum limit. You could make allowances for stand-in Kilgore and the O finding their way. At this stage though the Eskimo D was all over the place and ultimately that would cost them.
However they dragged themselves back into the game and tied things up early in the fourth after Kilgore scored a one-yard rushing touchdown. It was a remarkable comeback but was to prove to no avail.
Lirim Hajrullahu kicked a 34-yard game-winning field goal as time expired to lift the Tiger-Cats to a dramatic win.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 37 at Montreal Alouettes 38
Game of the week Alert! This game goes down as an instant classic thanks to an incredible if highly unlikely comeback by the Als.
What is it about teams building up big leads this week and then letting the other side back into things?
Winnipeg played their best offensive half of football in the first half of this one, scoring touchdowns on their first four possessions of the game. The Bombers led 34-10 late in the second quarter.
A Chris Streveler interception opened the door for Montreal to respond and make it 34-17 at the half.
Winnipeg the led 37-17 going into the final quarter when the Als broke loose to record their biggest comeback yet.
Vernon Adams jr. did it again. Somehow he finds ways to lift this Montreal Alouettes team.
Late late drama
The Als scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, and Adams led a six play 94-yard game-winning drive in the final minute that ended with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Jake Wieneke.
Wienke is a good example of the ‘team’ part of this sport. Last week he wasn’t even targeted for a pass and this week he was a key component in a huge win for the team.
The West leading Blue Bombers have made a bad habit of letting leads slip late in the game. They lost 28-27 to Toronto in the dying seconds and 19-17 to the Roughriders on a game ending kick for example.
This one might hurt all the more as usually ultra reliable kicker Justin Medlock left points on the board. His miss of an XP for the first time in 105 attempts and a missed 53 yard FG gave the Als a chance.
Medlock remains a key component however. After all he was the Blue Bombers Most Outstanding Special Teams Player in 2016, 2017, and 2018.
BC Lions at Ottawa REDBLACKS
Ottawa desperately wanted to get back on track against a BC team looking to build some momentum for the first time this season.
It wasn’t to be for Ottawa. An ugly loss that saw the REDBLACKS get dominated at home. A defeat that must leave their fans wondering how much fight is left in this team for the rest of the season.
After back to back wins by a combined score of 69-12, BC fans must be wishing their 3-10 Leos could face Ottawa every week!
This was the only game of the week where a team built a commanding lead – and kept it that way. With a 30-2 lead late in the third they never looked in any danger.
The Lions’ defence forced six consecutive two and outs while holding Ottawa QB Jonathon Jennings to 16 yards passing in the first half.
To put the icing on the cake Odell Willis recorded his 100th career CFL sack.
Following week 15 of the CFL season the inter-Divisional standings now see the West Division 19-13 ahead on the year.
Hamilton at 10-3 are the first 10 win team this year. They have qualified for the playoffs and are close to locking up a home playoff date. Montreal at 7-5 are in the best position they have been in at this stage of the season for years.
Over in the West the defeat for Winnipeg means at 9-4 they are now tied at the top of the West with the hard charging Stampeders. Both will be happy to have officially qualified for the playoffs however.
The current playoff outlook has Hamilton, Winnipeg and Calgary definitely in and Toronto, Ottawa and BC missing out.
Week 15 of the CFL season kicks off with a huge game as East leading Hamilton travel to West leading Winnipeg. With the win streak Calgary is putting together you feel a win is vital for Winnipeg.
Edmonton will look to get things back on track when they travel to Ottawa. They couldn’t have a better chance to turn things around right now.
Saskatchewan come off a bye and travel to Toronto looking to stay in the West race. The Argos will want to play spoiler and get back to better form.
Finally Montreal will travel to BC following their incredible comeback. They will be on a high but will that travel? BC will want to continue to show signs of improvement.
banner image: Als wonthe game of the week. Image from cfl.ca