Our CFL season catch-up has reached week 17 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 17 GAMES
Week 17 saw a full slate of games. REDBLACKS fans may have enjoyed their team being on a bye after a run of poor results of late.
Hamilton returned home fresh off a 2-1 road trip out West. They kicked off the weekend defending their home turf where they remained the only team in the CFL with an unblemished home record. If the visiting Esks could be the first team to beat them there then they would qualify for the post-season.
Calgary headed into Montreal having won 4 straight since the return of Bo Levi Mitchell. Their last defeat had come at the hands of the Alouettes. The Stamps needed to win to stay competitive in the West and the Als to confirm a home playoff spot.
Saskatchewan hosted Winnipeg in a season decider. The Riders went into it following 2 straight wins and with a strong 6-1 home record. Winnipeg were looking to bounce back from consecutive defeats.
The Argos visit to the Lions finished the weekend off. Both teams were playing their last inter-divisional game. Toronto was 1-8 against the West, while BC has claimed each of its four wins on the year against Eastern teams.
Edmonton Eskimos 12 at Hamilton Tiger Cats 42
The Ti-Cats celebrated the twentieth anniversary of their last Grey Cup win during this game. That celebration was enhanced by Hamilton matching their regular season most wins record as they became the first side to 12 wins this year.
Hamilton remain the only team unbeaten at home in the CFL this year. Dane Evans threw a pair of touchdowns early and the tabbies added 2 point conversions to both. They were up 19-3 at the half and already looked in total control of the contest.
Frankie Williams contributed all over with 7 defensive tackles, and 8 kick returns totaling 167 yards. Meanwhile Tyrell Sutton gave the offense great balance running the ball well.
Three interceptions from Esks QB Logan Kilgore did Edmonton few favours in this one either. Now they will be looking over their shoulder at BC in regard to the playoffs.
Calgary Stampeders 17 at Montreal Alouettes 21
Calgary coming off a bye are usually very hard to beat. Even so Montreal managed it here.
Percival Molson Stadium was rocking by the end of this one as the Als confirmed a playoff berth for the first time since 2014.
The Alouettes’ defense had three forced fumbles, an interception, and two sacks and they were the key to the win. Bo Lokombo was at the heart of things defensively for the Als, making nine tackles and forcing one fumble.
Bo Levi Mitchell who had been 4-0 since coming back from injury finished this one 31 of 43 for 464 yards with 1 TD and one pick.
Although Montreal scored the first touchdown and it was 7-7 after one quarter the Stamps had worked up a 17-10 lead at halftime.
Calgary punted on their first possession of the second half and return man Mario Alford ran back 85 yards for a touchdown.
The Als added a field goal in the fourth and remarkably held the Stamps scoreless throughout the second half.
It seems increasingly likely that Montreal will host the Eastern Semi-Final against a crossover team. If and when they do the stadium should be rocking.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 6 at Saskatchewan Roughriders 21
It was the men in green who took the series home. By way of a bonus this also put them top of the West at 10-4.
Defensive football was in the ascendancy in the first half of this one. Saskatchewan’s D forced six straight punts while holding the Bombers to just three points throughout the first half.
Even then they only led 8-3 going into the third quarter. Another Field Goal made it 11-3 before the Blue Bombers got one of their own to make it 11-6 in the fourth.
Saskatchewan added a TD and Field Goal to take home the win. Star of the show was receiver Shaq Evans who had 7 catches for 193 yards and a touchdown.
If you are playing well on D then the O not turning the ball over can help too. To that end this was Cody Fajardo’s third game in a row without a pick.
Saskatchewan are now atop a wildly competitive West Division. Can they stay there?
Toronto Argonauts 8 at BC Lions 55
Sometimes it’s hard to be an Argos fan giving all your love to just one team. Aside from breaking out a Tammy Wynette misquote I’m sure Toronto fans will just want to forget all about this trip out West.
For the Lions however this was their best game of the year. The Leos are coming alive at the right time as Edmonton start to slip back. They still have an outside shot at the playoffs and next weeks’ encounter will be huge for both teams.
BC made it 4 wins in a row in emphatic style. Mike Reilly played the type of game they dreamed of when they signed him. A lot of the credit for which has to go to the O line – their development of late has changed the narrative for this team.
Reilly finished the game a very efficient 21 of 27 for 276 yards and 5 touchdowns. Bryan Burnham joined in the fun at receiver with 8 catches for 145 yards and 3 touchdowns.
On the other side the Lions D racked up turnovers early and kept Toronto in check until the 4th quarter. By then of course it was over as a contest anyway.
Following week 17 of the CFL season the inter-Divisional standings now see the West Division ahead 24-15 on the season.
The current playoff outlook has Hamilton & Montreal in from the East. In the West the Riders, Stamps and Bombers are all in too.
Edmonton are the current crossover team and need a win to confirm their place. The hard charging Lions still have slight hope of overtaking them.
Ottawa & Toronto know they will be watching the playoffs from their own homes.
Week 18 of the CFL season kicks off with the wooden spoon match-up between the Ottawa REDBLACKS and the Toronto Argonauts. Fans of both teams will be hoping for something better than they have seen of late.
Saskatchewan travel to Calgary for a critical contest at the top of the West Division. Whoever wins will come out in pole position for the season run in.
Montreal travel to Winnipeg on a high having made the playoffs for the first time since 2014. Meanwhile the Blue Bombers are on a slide they need to halt if they want to go into the playoffs in any kind of form.
Finally the BC Lions travel to the Edmonton Eskimos. This game is huge for both teams. The crossover spot is still up for grabs and if the Lions win they still have a chance. An Esks win will see them in the post-season.
Banner Image: Yes the Saskatchewan Roughriders have broken out their own turnover chain! image from cfl.ca