Week 19 of the CFL is behind us and every single playoff spot has been determined except for one, everybody is just fighting for seeding now. Close games, for the most part, this week. Johnny Manziel walks out on his team after being pulled from the game for the last play of the game. BC continues to be unbeatable at home as they clinch a playoff spot and is Calgary no longer the best team in the CFL? Find out those and other storylines in this weeks CFL recap.


Week 19 Bye:

Hamilton (8-7) -31

Ottawa (8-7)-35

Week 19 of the CFL started with an Eastern division matchup between the Ottawa Redblacks and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, with a first-round bye on the line for both teams, this was a very important game to start the week.
The Ticats would win the toss and choose to defer, Ottawa with the wind at their back would go two and out and be forced to punt the ball on the game’s opening drive. Hamilton on the ensuing drive would drive the ball upfield. Alex Green would take a swing pass on second-and-seven and turn it into a 40-yard gain for Hamilton. A couple players later Masoli would find Luke Tasker in the end zone on a 22-yard passing play to give the Ticats’ a 7-0 lead.

The Redblacks would get the crowd going with a Harris to Harris connection for 58 yards, the Redblacks drive would get stalled forcing a Lewis Ward 22-yard field goal that of course, he put through the uprights. His 44th in a row tying the professional football record with NFL kicker Adam Vinatieri.
Following a Jeremiah Masoli interception by Sherrod Baltimore, the Redblacks would once again get stalled in Hamilton territory leading to a special moment for rookie kicker Lewis Ward as he drained his longest of the season, 52-yard field goal to smash the professional football record.

The interception didn’t do much when it came to Masoli throwing the ball as the next drive he quickly got to work. Masoli connected with Brandon Banks on three consecutive passes, including a 33-yard catch-and-run to extend Hamilton’s lead to 14-6.

Hamilton continued their strong first half with Masoli’s third TD pass, second to Luke Tasker extending the Tiger-Cats lead to 22-6.

Ottawa needed an answer before the end of the half to get some momentum back and they did just that as Harris would connect with four straight passes setting up a one-yard plunge. Powell would run in the two-point convert and the Redblacks would pull within 8 points.

Ottawa came out of the half a different team after a Hamilton pass interference penalty extended the drive, the Redblacks would once again find themselves on the doorstep and would punch it in from one-yard out. This time RJ Harris would convert the two-points and the Redblacks would be behind three with 9:45 to go in the third.

Hamilton would connect with a field goal to give them a six-point lead, but it didn’t stop Ottawa from continuing to dominate on the offensive side of the ball, Harris would connect on four straight passes with four different receivers including Diontae Spencer to give the Redblacks a 29-28 lead.

Hamilton would kick another field goal, this time from 53-yards out to give themselves the lead early in the final frame. Ottawa would get the ball back and after a drive riddled with Hamilton penalties, Davis would find himself on the doorstep once again, plunging from the 1-yard line for his third touchdown of the game giving the Redblacks a 35-31 lead which they would hold onto.

Ottawa has all but clinched the East as they hold their destiny in their own hands, they look extremely good and will be a tough out in the Eastern Final if they clinch it.
Hamilton hasn’t sold me yet, especially after injuries to Brandon Banks and Delvin Breaux as they are two huge loses for the Ticats. I don’t think they’ll beat out Ottawa in the East and they’ll have their hands full with whatever team crosses over from the West.

Player of the Game: Dominique Davis. A perfect 3-3 on plunges from the 1-yard line. He supplied 18 points for the Redblacks.

Edmonton (8-8) -32

BC (8-7) -42

The second games of Friday’s doubleheader were equally as important as the first, with playoff seeding and positioning on the line the Eskimos’ would head into BC to take on a Lions team that is 6-1 on home turf.

The Eskimos’ would get on the board first midway through the first after a fumbled punt return by Chris Rainey, the Esks would begin their drive in Lions territory but the Lions defense would hold strong and force the Eskimos to settle for a 47-yard field goal.

The Eskies were able to pin the Lions deep in their own zone on the ensuing drive, resulting in a safety and extended their lead to 5-0 early.

After an amazing one-handed catch by Duke Williams for a 47-yard gain. Mike Reilly would sneak into the end zone from a yard out to give the Eskimos a 12-0 lead with just over 4 minutes left in the first quarter.

On the ensuing kickoff, Chris Rainey would make up for his earlier fumble, taking the punt back 95-yards to the house.

The Lions wouldn’t stop there as they would end the first quarter with a bang. Travis Lulay would connect with Bryan Burnham to give the Lions a 14-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.

These two teams would keep going back and forth. Edmonton was able to regain the lead after a strong drive by Reilly, he’d eventually find Bryant Mitchell in the end zone from 23-yards out for another major.

Both teams would trade field goals to end the half and we’d go into halftime with the Eskimos’ in the lead 22-17.
The second half for the Lions was all about DeVier Posey as by the end of the third quarter he’d have three touchdowns.

His first one came off a short drive by Travis Lulay, he would connect with Burnham on a 55-yard catch before finding Posey in the end zone on the next pass attempt to give the Lions the lead by two points.

Posey wasn’t done there as Lulay would connect with him on the Lions very next drive for a 65-yard TD.

He wouldn’t stop. As Lulay would once again find him all alone in the end zone for a 32-yard TD. Posey’s third TD in just this quarter alone as the Lions would take a commanding 38-22 lead and take over this game in under 15 minutes.

Even though it looked like Edmonton was down for the count, with five minutes left in the fourth quarter Aaron Grymes would give them some life, picking off Travis Lulay for a 57-yard pick six.

The Eskimos would add a 40-yard field goal on a question 1st and 10 fields goal decision by Jason Maas on BC’s 33-yard line, but that’s as close as they’d get as BC would hold on to win this one 42-32 and move to 7-1 at home and clinch a playoff spot.

BC looks like a team that can do some damage in the playoffs if they were playing at home. I’m not confident in them walking into either Saskatchewan or Calgary and earning a winning in November, however, they’ve been the best team in the league since Labor Day, so anything can happen.

The nail is in the coffin for the Eskimos’ season in my opinion. I’ve lost all faith in Maas to make decisions for this football team and everybody else around them has only gotten better as the season has progressed.

Player of the Game: DeVier Posey. 5 catches for 113 yards and 3 TDs

Montreal (3-12) -22

Toronto (3-12)-26

The third game of the week was the only one without any playoff implications tied to it. A matchup between the Montreal Alouettes and Toronto Argonauts took place from BMO Field. Both teams sat at the bottom of the Eastern Division at 3-12.

The Alouettes were coming off a bye week, having lost to both Saskatchewan and Calgary in consecutive weeks prior. Despite losing both games Montreal kept those games close. Having only lost to Calgary 12-6 they stayed in the game until the end. The loss to the Riders came at a 34-29 final but Johnny Manziel found some success in the loss and again kept it close until Saskatchewan pulled away late.

The Argos, on the other hand, have lost four in a row since their Week 14 bye and the steak continued prior to the break. The team has been in a tailspin for most of the season and have been bouncing back and forth between quarterbacks. With the team announcing they would stick with James Franklin the rest of the way they hoped they could create some clarity into what their team will look like going into next year.

With both teams being far from any sort of postseason play, they looked to figure out how to shape and mold their respective rosters this offseason. Consider this some audition football for positions with question marks.

Franklin would make the first big play of the game finding Armanti Edwards for a 69-yard bomb down the seam. After a pass-interference penalty against Montreal in the end zone set the Argos up at the 1-yard line, Franklin would take it in for the 7-0 lead.

The Als would answer back with a successful and efficient drive of their own. However, they would be forced to settle for the field goal, with Boris Bede knocking it through from 24-yards out for the 7-3 score.

Montreal would start to steal momentum by forcing a turnover on the next drive. Franklin would have his pass picked off by TJ Heath giving Al’s possession at the Toronto 48-yard line. The turnover would not result in any points for Montreal but both teams would exchange drives.

To cap off the first quarter the Als’ William Stanback took off for a 72-yard run down the sideline setting Montreal up in great scoring position to start the second. The drive would then stall resulting in another Bede field goal and the 7-6 score.

The Argos would have a drive of their own stall resulting in a 37-yard Drew Brown field goal, pushing their lead out to 10-6. Montreal found some rhythm late in the half and took the lead into halftime. As the first quarter died down, Manziel took the offense on a 6-play drive from his own 35-yard line into the end zone. The drive ended with an 11-yard TD pass to Eugene Lewis for the 14-10 halftime lead.

Toronto came out on fire to open the second half, driving down the field before cutting the Als lead down to just one point. The 13-play drive which started from their own 28-yard line would stall ending in an 11-yard Drew Brown field goal and the 14-13 score.

Montreal snatched that momentum right back with another score of their own. Tevaughn Campbell intercepted a James Franklin pass and return it 37 yards for the pick-six and 21-13 lead. Drew Brown added two more field goals as both offenses sputtered leading to a 21-19 Montreal lead with five minutes left in the game.

The Als looked to extend their lead with a field goal from 39 yards away, but Bede would miss right, his second miss of the game settling for just a single point and the 22-19 lead. Toronto took possession with just over two minutes left. They drove down the field from their own 35-yard line to the Montreal 16-yard line before Montreal took a pass-interference penalty in the end zone again, giving Toronto possession at the 1-yard line.

James Franklin took it the rest of the way for this 14th rushing TD of the season tying Doug Flutie for the single-season record. The score resulted in the 26-22 Argo lead with under a minute left in the game.

Manziel was able to find TJ Graham for a 19-yard gain giving his team possession at their own 36-yard line with 13 seconds left in the game. But Manziel then took an intentional grounding penalty pushing them back to the Toronto 48 with five seconds left. Mike Sherman opted to put Antonio Pipkin in for the Hail Mary pass, but he would be sacked on the play ending in the 26-22 Argo victory.

During the play, Johnny Manziel was seen running off the field to the locker room. Might be nothing, and perhaps it would just be looking too much into the situation but you would have to think the star QB would not have been too happy being pulled on the last play of the game.

For a game between two teams with just three wins each, this one turned out to be a rather exciting matchup. Montreal controlled it through the second quarter while both teams quieted down in the third before Toronto took it back in the fourth.

For the Argos, James Franklin looked the best he has all year. For a team looking at the future of the position and a QB looking to earn a job for next season, this was the perfect performance for him. The team overall played a very solid half with the defense bending but not breaking then getting lucky with some missed field goals.

Montreal got a solid performance from Johnny Manziel and much like Toronto, that’s exactly what they needed for a team looking to audition players next year. Manziel threw for 220 yards and a TD and just fell short of his first win in the CFL.

The Als were able to get 118 yards on the ground from William Stanback and 100 from Eugene Lewis, it just wasn’t enough to overcome a quiet and slow second half. Boris Bede missing two field goals also didn’t help the team with the four-point loss. One of those kicks would have come late in the game to help solidify the win.

The Argos improve to 4-12 with Montreal falling to 3-13 at the bottom of the league as both teams continue to fight for the first overall pick in next year’s draft.

Player of the Game: James Franklin. Franklin had his best game as a starter this year putting up 277 yards while rushing for 43 yards and two touchdowns. Franklin made a huge step in the right direction in obtaining the starting job for next season.


Saskatchewan (10-6) -29

Calgary (12-3) -24

Closing out the week came a game with heavy playoff implications balancing on its shoulders. The Saskatchewan Roughriders took on the Calgary Stampeders from McMahon Stadium. Both teams were at the top of the West, a crowded division that would be thinned out over the week.

The Roughriders were coming off an embarrassing 31-0 loss to the Bombers in Week 18. For what looked like the team to watch out for over the last five or six weeks, Saskatchewan looked like a lost team in Winnipeg. Give the Bombers some credit for great game planning, but the Riders did not play the type of football we had seen from them over most of the year.

Zach Collaros was pulled at halftime in Week 18 for Brandon Bridge after a poor first-half performance. They needed a bounce-back game from their quarterback, especially coming into a game with the league’s best defense. With BC and Edmonton quickly biting at their heels, the Riders needed to come out of Calgary with a win to maintain that second-place seed.

Calgary has been the best team in the league all year but has suffered an immense amount of injuries. With a depleted receiving corps, Bo Levi Mitchell has had to put together great games with paper thin options to help him. Despite that, the team’s defense continues to be the best in the league and has kept them afloat.

The Stamps were coming off a 26-21 loss to the Lions in Week 18, only their third loss of the year. Much like Saskatchewan, Calgary needed a bounce-back win in this one to keep pace with the crowded West. Holding onto first place and that first round bye is now their most important and only goal.

The Riders would get on the board first after a quick drive ended in a 50-yard Brett Lauther field goal and the 3-0 lead. Calgary jumped right back out to the lead with a huge punt return. After a Rider two-and-out, they kicked the ball away to Romar Morris who returned it 78-yards for the TD and the 7-3 lead.

The Riders would get a solid return of their own from Cameron Marshall who was on the roster with a Marcus Thigpen scratch. Marshall took the kickoff to the Calgary 47-yard line. After two big plays to Jordan Williams-Lambert set them up at the 4-yard line, Tre Mason would run it in for the 10-7 lead.

Calgary went on a promising drive with Mitchell hitting Chris Matthews, who made an amazing jumping catch on a deep ball. A few plays later Rene Paredes would kick a 25-yarder to tie the game at 10-10.

Saskatchewan moved back downfield with a big 42-yard gain from Collaros to Kyran Moore setting the Riders up at the Calgary 22-yard line. After back to back, Stamps sacks the Riders settled for a 27-yard Lauther field goal and the 13-10 lead.

After a Cordarro Law sack pushed the Riders into a 3rd and 21, they added another field goal over halfway through the second quarter. Brett Lauther kicked a 49-yarder for the 16-10 lead. Lauther continued to be most of the offense for the Riders as he would add another field goal for the 19-10 halftime lead.

The Stamps opened the second half with an efficient drive moving down the field from their own 29-yard line to the Saskatchewan 4. The drive resulted in a 4-yard Lemar Durant TD and the 19-18 score after the two-two-point conversion. But the Riders kept their momentum rolling.

After a 14-yard run by Cameron Marshall, Saskatchewan faced a 3rd and 1. Nick Marshall came in as the short-yard QB and took the snap around the o-line, taking off for 24 yards setting up the Riders at the Calgary 8-yard line. Unfortunately for the Green & White, they would then be stopped on two straight plays forcing them to settle for the field goal and 22-18 lead.

The Stamps started another drive of their own marching down the field. Mitchell found Eric Rogers and Markeith Ambles for a few gains before setting up camp in the red zone. Mitchell would look for Rogers again in the back of the end zone, but the ball was intercepted by Mike Edem.

After both teams traded drives, Saskatchewan pulled away even more after Collaros made beautiful throws to Jordan Williams-Lambert, Shaq Evans and the new-comer KD Cannon. He found Cannon for a total of 31 yards on the drive on two catches on the 11-play, 85-yard drive.

The Stamps then stopped the Riders on 2nd and 1 but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Micah Johnson gave Saskatchewan a first down at the 1-yard line. Nick Marshall ran it in the rest of the way for his fourth offensive TD of the year and the 29-18 lead.

But you can never count out Bo Levi Mitchell. The former MVP lead the team down the field with plays to Eric Rogers and Markeith Ambles. The drive would end with a 13-yard TD pass to Ambles. On the two-point attempt, Ed Gainey would make a goal-line tackle on Ambles just keeping him off the line for the 29-24 score.

Calgary then stopped the Riders on a two-and-out forcing them to punt from their own end. The short kick gave the Stamps field position at their 50-yard line. They couldn’t do anything with the short field, however, with another two-and-out coming at the hands of these great defenses.

Saskatchewan took possession with under two minutes left in the game, and after an offensive, pass interference penalty against Shaq Evans set up a 2nd and 16, Collaros found Jordan Williams-Lambert for a first down, effectively running the clock out and sealing the 29-24 victory.

The Riders needed a huge bounce back win after the 31-0 drubbing they suffered a week prior. Their offense put up 492 yards of total offense while their defense held Bo Levi Mitchell and his offense to just 274. Saskatchewan was able to run the ball for a total of 140 yards, with Cameron Marshall totaling 76 yards on the ground and the rest coming from Nick Marshall and Tre Mason.

The passing game was night and day from the Week 18 loss to the Bombers. Collaros lit it up while Jordan Williams-Lambert made five catches for 113 yards. The defense didn’t get a sack on Mitchell all game, but they didn’t allow too many big plays. They gave up a bit but came up huge when they really needed to. Mike Edem’s interception in the back of the end zone was a game changer.

The Riders have now clinched second place in the West and will host a playoff game. Now all they fight for is a shot at first place.

The Stamps have now lost three in a row and don’t seem to be the same scary force they have been for years. Bo Levi Mitchell had a solid game throwing for 221 yards and two touchdowns, but the offense couldn’t make the big play when they needed to. Mitchell threw the interception in the end zone and the run game was non-existent. It looks like their receiving corps may be pulling together with some new faces but will it be enough on a playoff run?

The defense for Calgary has been the most shocking. They gave up a tremendous number of yards in this game, but most shocking was the number of big plays they gave up. In key moments when they had a shot to shut the Riders down late in the game, they gave up big plays for first downs allowing Saskatchewan to come out with the win.

Calgary is far from done but they are plummeting right now, and during a race for first place. It’s no longer a guarantee that they are the best in the league or even the West anymore.

Player of the Game:  Zach Collaros. After the horrible game he had against Winnipeg, Zach Collaros had the best possible game he could ask for against the Stamps. He went 24/35 for 352YDs. He couldn’t get any passes into the end zone which is something that still needs work, but he didn’t turn the ball over and made the big plays when he needed to.

CFL Week 19 Recap

Leave a Reply