The CFL is back baby! And it is glorious. After a cancelled season in 2020, and a shortened season in 2021 the 3 Down league is back on track. Setting pulses racing and giving us plenty to chew over from Week 2.
For 2022 we have a full 18 game schedule laid out ahead of us. We have built up to that with a look at the players to wach out for and a guide to which team to follow.
Now all the teams have played at least one game this season. So what did we learn from the games in Week 2?
What did we learn? Week 2
The week started in Toronto where the Toronto Argonuats squeaked out a 20-19 win over the Alouettes. We learnt, once again, that kickers matter. Montreal’s David Cote had been 4 for 4 before missing the chip shot. Which means the Als have lost back to back games by a total of 4 points! This one had to hurt too as it was lost on that short kick attempt at the end of the game.
We learnt that Toronto can attract a few more fans – and they were pretty loud. Because there were 12,498 fans at BMO Filed for this game. It may not sound like much. But it is a pretty good improvement on the 7,758 who turned out for the corresponding game last September.
More things we learned
We learnt that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers still know how to win. But they do not look nearly as dominant over the past 2 seasons. The O Line is the area that would be the one to worry me most if I was a Winnipeg fan. Their D however looks really good still.
More frustration for the the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Coming off a 6-26 run over the past two seasons, they have looked much more competitive for 2022. Yet they are still 0-2 thanks to back to back losses to Winnipeg. Like the Als they have had 2 close defeats. These by a combined total of 9 points.
Week 2 in the CFL also brought up that old adage – a game of two halves. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats, hosting the Calgary Calgary Stampeders took a 24-3 lead into the half only to lose 33-30 in overtime.
We learnt two things here. First, the Stampeders can win close games (30-27 Week 1 & 33-30 in overtime in Week 2). Secondly Tim Hortons has seen some heartache. After all, this comeback OT win is the first game played on the Tabbies field since they lost last year’s Grey Cup in an overtime heartbreaker too.
Week 2 – Final game
In an all West game the Saskatchewan Roughriders pulled to 2-0 following a 26-16 win over the Edmonton Elks in the Elks home opener. What we learnt here in Week 2 though was that depsite the win, the Roughriders have some discipline issues.
They had 14 penalties for 134 yards. You cannot sustain winning with ill disciplined play and unless they get this sorted it will come back to bite them.
Edmonton fans will have been happy to see that even though they lost they were much more competitive than in Week 1. They will want to see the Elks run D firm up though.
What did we learn? The week 2 Key take away
The key take away from week 2 of the 2022 CFL season for me is a simple one. The West is still dominant. But, not as dominant as it has been in the past.
So far the West is 5-0 against the East. But 4 of those games have been close. Take out the Roughriders 30-13 win over Hamiton in Week 1 and the rest of the wins have been close. Scores of 30-27, 19-17, 19-12 and 33-30 (OT) suggest that what the Western teams do really well is finish in tight games.
No doubt for some it will reignite the whole 2 Divisions versus 1 league ladder debate. It’s far too early to look at that though surely? Let’s see how this plays out over the whole season.
Oh, and kudos to anyone who had Dane Evans, Jamal Morrow and Tim White in their CFL Fantasy teams.
Now let’s sit back and enjoy watching the rest of the season unfold. Let’s enjoy the ride!
Did you have something else you would have added? Something else you think we learnt this week? Let us know in the comments. Or get in touch with the Ninety-Nine Yards team.
Banner Image: The Stampeders celebrated a huge comeback win. Image from pehalnews.in