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 1.
But now it gets real. All of the teams, except for the Toronto Argonauts who kick off in week 2, have been on the field in action. So what did we learn in Week 1?
What did we learn?
In Vancouver, home of the BC Lions, we learnt that if you put on a show, people will come. With a season opening concert and plenty of promotion the Lions opened in front of 34,082 people. The first time in over 8 years 30,000+ people have been to see the Lions.
We also learnt that either the Lions are really good or the Edmonton Elks are really bad. Only a few more games will tell us which. BC’s 59-15 win was keyed by the running of James Butler and the passing of Nathan Rourke.
Rourke, a Canadian QB, went 26 of 29 for 282 yards and 3 touchdowns. He also had 7 carries for 78 yards and 2 touchdowns.
We learnt that Rourke could be a susperstar in this league – and the CFL would do well to embrace and promote him if that proves to be the case. If you have come across Rourke’s name before on this site it might be as a two time winner of the Cornish Trophy in 2017 & 2018 as the QB of the Ohio Bobcats.
We aren’t sure what we learnt about Edmonton yet because it is still week one. They have time to turn things around yet.
More things we learned
We learnt that home is where the heart is. All four home teams won by a combined score of 138-72. We also learnt that the West is still in charge (for now) as the West teams finished 3-0 against the East Division. This by a combined score of 79-57.
Added to that we saw that the Ottawa REDBLACKS, coming off a 6-26 run over the past two seasons, looked much more competitive for 2022. They took the two time defending champion Blue Bombers to the wire, in Winnipeg, before falling to a narrow 19-17 defeat on a game closing Field Goal.
What did we learn? The Key take away
The key take away from week 1 of the 2022 CFL season for me is a simple one. The CFL is at its best when we have a full slate of games. When a full season is ready to roll out in front of us. At a time when we see the deep ball thrown, the key blocks, the cut backs, the power running, the defensive skills, the hits, the pressure, the superb special teams. All of it.
The CFL puts a thrilling brand if football on the field. Featuring top class athletes. Don’t be fooled – there are some NFL athletes who couldn’t play this game, and their are some CFL players who could be interchangebale with some NFL pros.
Now we get to sit back and enjoy a full season of it unfold. Let’s enjoy the ride!
Oh, and kudos to anyone who had Nathan Rourke and James Butler in their CFL Fantasy teams.
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: What did we learn? That Nathan Rourke can play in this league! Image from keremeosreview.com