Our CFL season catch-up has reached Week 19 and all of the playoff teams have been decided. Now it is a case of who will play where.
We know the East Division is decided. Because Hamilton, as winners, will host the Eastern Final & Montreal, as runners-up, will host the Eastern Semi-Final.
In the West however much is to be decided. Due to that every game will only seem more meaningful as we enter the last weeks of the season.
Just as much for teams who won’t be in the playoffs too. They will be looking to play spoiler and be playing for jobs or coaching roles!
CFL SEASON WEEK 19 GAMES
Week 19 of the CFL season saw a full slate of games with just the Edmonton Eskimos, who clinched a playoff spot last week on a bye.
Toronto Argonauts 24 at Montreal Alouettes 27
This one looked like a perfect opportunity for the Alouettes to bounce back. Which is what happened – just.
Seven of the Als nine wins have come by 7 points or less this season. They have developed a penchant for winning the close ones.
You might have expected a lowly Argos team to be swept aside but this was a competitive contest.
Not that it looked that way at halftime. Then Montreal were up 13-3 and in control. The Boatmen came out in the third however and scored 14 unanswered points of their own.
McLeod Bethel-Thompson led from the front with a rushing TD and a passing TD to SJ Green to put the Argos in front.
Vernon Adams Jr led the Alouettes back. They hit on two passing TD’s to lead by 10 late on. The Argos hung around with another TD of their own & the game was only over when a 51 yard Field Goal was missed by Toronto at the end of the game.
Saskatchewan Roughriders 27 at BC Lions 19
This was a closer call than some may have expected for a Riders team challenging for the West Division. Especially given the injury issues at QB for the Leos.
Quarterback Cody Fajardo passed for 224 yards and a touchdown to Kyran Moore for Saskatchewan.
Meanwhile William Powell ran 111 yards and another score to lead the Riders to a balanced victory.
Bryan Burnham was a human highlight reel at receiver for BC. The CFL’s leading receiver with 1400+ yards looked a solid choice for Lions player of the year.
Danny O’Brien was behind centre for BC making his first career start since entering the league back in 2014 with the Ottawa REDBLACKS.
What does bode well for the Riders’ playoff hopes is their D. That defense put up six sacks, two forced fumbles, and a victory sealing interception.
Ottawa REDBLACKS 12 at Hamilton Tiger-Cats 33
The Tabbies set a franchise single-season record with their 13th win in this one.
Although the final score looks one-sided this was a contest for longer than expected. The tabbies went in at the half with a slender 12-9 lead.
At one point it was 9-9. That followed Lewis Ward hitting a 56-yard field goal following a big punt return.
In some ways that seemed to sting Hamilton into action. They responded with a quick scoring drive and then took over in the second half.
A highlight reel play came as Dane Evans hit Brandon Banks for a 60 yard catch and run TD in the third.
Evans went 32 of 41 for a career best 452 yards in this one. Banks had 7 catches for 116 yards and a score. That took him over 100 catches in a season for the first time in his career.
A pivotal moment occurred in the third quarter. The REDBLACKS looked to have an interception in the end zone. However it was chalked off for a controversial pass interference call on the play.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 33 at Calgary Stampeders 37
The first of a home and home series for these two produced a tight contest that the home team won.
There was pressure on Calgary with the Riders winning the night before. To keep pace in the West they had to win.
The Stamps basically went bombs away for victory. Reigning MOP Bo Levi Mitchell went 22/33 for 337 yards with 3 TD’s – all of which went to Reggie Begelton.
Record setting Winnipeg QB Chris Streveler added to his Blue Bomber single season rushing record. By the end he had 85 rushing yards on 15 carries, bringing his season rushing total 726.
Passing however was less impressive as he finished 18 of 27 for 134 yards with 1 TD and 2 picks.
Calgary were up 11-3 after a quarter before the Blue Bombers burst into action in the second. At that point the Bombers D was firing as they had a scoop and score TD and an interception to set up another score from the O.
A 24 point burst saw them lead 27-19 at the break. Both teams traded field goals to start the second half before Calgary tied it up with a touchdown drive that was followed up with a successful two-point conversion.
The third TD strike from Mitchell to Begelton proved the winner as Winnipeg were unable to come back.
Streveler briefly left the game with an apparent lower body injury midway through the fourth quarter after being tackled by linebacker Wynton McManis. He came back in but it is a moot point as to how good an idea that was at the time.
Following week 19 of the CFL season the inter-Divisional standings were unchanged and the West Division leads 25-15 on the season.
The playoff scenarios are starting to become a little clearer. The East is set. Hamilton will host the East Final and Montreal the Semi-Final against the crossover team.
In the West Division the Stampeders continue to hold the advantage. They and Saskatchewan both still have the chance to take to Division on 13 wins. If they tie then the Stamps hold the tie-breaker.
Winnipeg have one game left and will look to play spoiler against Calgary.
Week 20 of the CFL season kicks off with the reverse fixture of this weeks game of the week as Calgary travel to Winnipeg. Again this has implications for the Western title.
That is followed by two rookie coaches who could be in line for coach of the year facing off. The Tiger-Cats will travel to the Als looking to add to their regular season franchise record. Montreal will want to nail down their first winning season since 2012.
Ottawa travel to Toronto in a match that will decide which team sits at the bottom of the East Division. It has been a long season for both sets of fans and because of that any chance of a win will generate some excitement.
Finally Saskatchewan travel to Edmonton looking to keep the pressure on at the top of the West Division standings. The Esks will look for some form before the playoffs kick off.
Banner Image: the Ti-Cats celebrate a franchise record 13th regular season win. Image from cfl.ca