Tuesday Morning QB (Week 9)

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The CFL Season is approaching its halfway point as Labour Day approaches and teams begin to gear up for the last half of the season. For some teams it is a matter of getting into a rhythm and starting to win while other teams require a lot more work. After Labour Day teams are essentially locked into their lot in the CFL as the bad teams find it too late to change anything for this season and good teams continue to roll. With that in mind many teams have looked to make changes in the first half of the season adding players and removing players from the roster. In 2012 though there seemed to be a new patience forming as head coaches remained around in the first half of the season despite some teams struggling. The worst of those teams was the Winnipeg Blue Bombers who had won two games before week nine with a total record of 2-5. The Bombers seemed to be getting slightly better every week and head coach Paul LaPolice was hoping to get back into the win column before the second half started. Going against the B.C. Lions would be a tough way to get the next win as the Lions came in with the best defence in the CFL. The Bombers would look to Joey Elliott for the second straight game in hopes that he could go 2-0 this year. It was not to be though as the Bombers put up a tough fight but lost to the Lions on a last-minute field goal. It was another disappointing loss but it also showed something else. The Bombers actually challenged the best team in the CFL. A loss to the Lions is nothing to be ashamed of as they have beat almost everyone all year and are the clear favorites to repeat as Grey Cup Champions. What the Bombers could take away from the game though is that they challenged the Lions and pushed them to the edge. It showed that the Bombers are an improved team and that they may have something left in the tank for a second half run at the playoffs. It was a promising sign for some as the Bombers looked much better and could be on their way if they could continue the trend. Then came Saturday when the Blue Bombers announced that Paul LaPolice had been fired and that defensive coordinator Tim Burke would take over the head coaching duties. It was a shock to many as LaPolice had seemed to be on the verge of turning the corner on the 2012 season and was hammered with injuries. Over LaPolice’s career as a head coach in Winnipeg there were many highs and lows. He resurrected the team to bring them to the 2011 Grey Cup while leading the team through the injuries of QB Buck Pierce. The team had looked like they would be a contender for the coming years under LaPolice but that thought ended when the 2012 season started. Although hopes were rising for the Bombers in the coming weeks the management of the Bombers were not patient enough to care. The management of the Bombers had some good reasons to fire LaPolice though as reports had surfaced that the locker room was no longer behind their head coach. The reports stated that the players did not take him seriously anymore and when that happens the entire locker room falls apart. There is still no word as to the legitimacy of that claim but if the management in Winnipeg believed this was happening it could be a good reason to let LaPolice go. Still the firing of the coach may not have been too warranted and may do nothing to turn around the season as LaPolice may not have been the problem. Only time will tell though as the Bombers are running out of time to turn their season around and make a run at the playoffs. Meanwhile LaPolice will now be without a job but probably not for long as he has plenty of experience and will be picked up by someone in the CFL when the eventual coaching carousel begins. With an entire half season left the Bombers will be the ones that will prove whether the firing of LaPolice was a good decision or if he was not the problem at all as they will either sink or swim without him.

 

Four Quarters:
(Four thoughts on Week 9)

Age Truly is Just a Number
Anthony Calvillo turned 40 this week and his birthday present was getting knocked around as the Alouettes beat the Ti-Cats while Calvillo continued the trend of +35 QBs taking control in the CFL not letting their age slow them down

 

Bombers Can’t Find a Way to Win
The Bombers came close to getting back on track with a win against the B.C. Lions but the celebration was short-lived as the Lions kicked a last-minute field goal to win the game as the Bombers continued to struggle in the first half of the season

 

Riders are in Trouble
The Roughriders looked to be a force at the beginning of the season but lately they have faltered losing 6 straight games as Rider Nation looks on wondering what the team will do to get the Riders back on track

 

Offence Continue to sink the Boatmen
The Argos have struggled over the past few years to find a QB but all that was supposed to change when they traded for Ricky Ray and yet at week 9 the Argos are still struggling to find offence that can keep up with the league as they need to fix something before it is too late

 

CFL Standings:

Eastern Division:
1. Montreal Alouettes (10)
2. Toronto Argonauts (8)
3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (6)
4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (4)

 

Western Division:
1. B.C. Lions (12)
2. Edmonton Eskimos (10)
3. Calgary Stampeders (8)
4. Saskatchewan Roughriders (6)

 

Scores:
Montreal Alouettes 31 – 29 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
– The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were looking like they would have the luck in the game after blowing a number of big leads in previous games they were finally the ones coming back but it was too good to be true as Anthony Calvillo led a last-minute drive to win the game

 

B.C. Lions 20 – 17 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
– The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were ended their home stand against the best team in the league and despite their struggles were able to keep up with the Lions until the defending Grey Cup champions kicked a winning field goal

 

Calgary Stampeders 17 – 10 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Roughriders were looking for some help to get back in the win column but it would not come at the hands of the Calgary Stampeders who got out to an early lead and held on to force the 6th straight loss for the Riders

 

Edmonton Eskimos 26 – 17 Toronto Argonauts
– The Argonauts defence took away the threat of Cory Boyd and took out starting QB Stephen Jyles but it wasn’t enough as another former Argonaut, Kerry Joseph took over and led the team to a win against the struggling offence of the Argonauts

 

Next Week:
B.C. Lions vs. Montreal Alouettes (August 31st; 7:30 pm EDT)
– The East will take on the West to kick off the Labour Day weekend as the best of the west takes on the beasts of the east in a matchup of the two first place teams to determine who the best team in the CFL is

 

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders (September 2nd; 4:00 pm)
– The Bombers and Riders are struggling and both need a win as they face off in the Banjo Bowl with the Bombers breaking in a new coach and the Riders just looking to break out of their 6 game losing streak

 

Toronto Argonauts vs. Hamilton Tiger –Cats (September 3rd; 1:00 pm EDT)
– The Battle of Ontario is the oldest rivalry in North America and has been played on Labour Day for years and this year the two teams are revamped with new offences as both teams are looking for a berth in the Grey Cup in Toronto this November

 

Edmonton Eskimos vs. Calgary Stampeders (September 3rd; 4:30 pm EDT)
– The Battle of Alberta closes out the Labour Day weekend traditions as both teams are looking to get on a more consistent track with the Stamps and Eskies continuing to trend up and down all season

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