Tuesday Morning QB (Week 17)

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The Toronto Argonauts are in a unique spot in 2012 as they have the opportunity to make history at home. With the 100th Grey Cup coming back to where it started in Toronto as the city who took home the first Grey Cup, Thanks to the University of Toronto Varsity Blues, began the season with some hope to get back to the big game. The Argonauts were looking to do what the B.C. Lions did last year and play a home game in the Grey Cup. They made a full commitment to do just that trading for QB Ricky Ray and adding Montreal Offensive Coordinator Scott Milanovich to lead the team as a head coach. The Argos started the year with a lot of hope but the hope was quickly washed away. The Argos newly revamped offence struggled to get going putting them in some bad situations early in the year. Luckily the defence was able to step up and lead the team to a number of wins and keeping them in the battle for first place in the Eastern Division. As the season came to a close the Argos were clearly not the best team in the CFL but they proved to be a scrappy team that never seemed to give up. Then came an injury to Ricky Ray who hurt his leg against the Montreal Alouettes. This put Jarious Jackson in the spotlight and initially it looked like they would continue their path with Jackson leading the team to a win against Winnipeg. The Argos went home with a chance to take over the top spot in the East and overtake their longtime rivals in Montreal. The Argos could not take advantage as the offence looked terrible losing to Saskatchewan and then to Montreal. It was two weeks in a row where the Argos gave up a golden opportunity to put themselves in first place in the division and both times they blew their chance. For fans it was disappointing but there was still hope as they seemed destined for the playoffs and for another shot at a Grey Cup run. Then came week 17 in a game against the Blue Bombers were the Argos would welcome back Adriano Belli, Chad Kackert, and Ricky Ray to help them clinch a playoff spot. The game was supposed to be a fairly easy win especially with Ricky Ray back to lead the offence. Ray did what he was brought in for leading the Argos offence to an early lead and bringing back the offence that was lost under Jackson. Unfortunately for the Argos the defence seemed to be taking a break as they gave up over 200 yards rushing in the first half and let the Bombers stay in it. When the dust settled the Bombers had taken a win and the Argos were left on the brink of what has become a tough playoff race in the East. The West had been figured out fairly easily as teams all knew where they were going to be almost halfway through the season. The East was a bit different but it seemed that the Argos and Als had separated themselves from the pack until the end of the season when the Argos fell to earth. Toronto had a chance to lock up a playoff spot but they blew it just like when they tried to take over first place in the East. Now they sit without a guaranteed spot in the playoffs and a number of scenarios that could play out leaving them without a chance at a home game for the Grey Cup. The Argos simply need to win one more game to clinch a spot in the playoffs but that could be harder that it may seem. Their next game will be against the Saskatchewan Roughriders who beat them in Toronto by a score of 36-10. Then they would take on the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in a rivalry game that could go either way depending on who shows up to play that day. If the Argos lose both games that will give the Hamilton Tiger-Cats a tie with the Argos, the Bombers will be eliminated as the Argos are 2-1 against them, with the season series tied and the point differential possibly in favour of the Tabies. This could put the Argos in third place which would usually mean a playoff spot but in 2012 the Edmonton Eskimos could put the crossover in effect meaning the Argos would lose out on a playoff spot. It is a difficult position to be in but the Argos put themselves there with multiple opportunities to end the speculation. The Argos have a perfect opportunity to stay home for the Grey Cup but the pressure seems to be getting to them and has created a race that could go down to the last week of the season in the East.

 

Four Quarters:
(Four Quick Thoughts on Week 16)

 

The offence is back in T.O.
Ricky Ray led the resurgence of the Argos offence in Week 17 as they were able to finally put some points on the board but if only their defence could have stayed solid as Toronto still lost the game despite an offence that was finally back

 

Even With Backups the Leos are #1
The Lions were without a number of top players including Travis Lulay and Arlan Bruce III but that didn’t stop them from beating up on the Eskimos proving that even without their starters the Lions are the best team in the CFL

 

Saskatchewan’s Grit Pays off
Saskatchewan became the latest team to clinch a playoff spot and all of that after a season that some them play great and then playing terrible as their determination helped them through to return to the playoffs once again

 

Canadian Football is Here
The last game of the week in Calgary gave a unique picture into Canadian football as the Calgary weather showed what true Canadian football is as the Ti-Cats and Stamps fought it out in a snow storm despite it only being October

 

CFL Players of the Week

Offensive POW:
Jamel Richardson, SB (Montreal Alouettes)
8 rec
161 yds
20.1 avg
0 TD

 

Defensive POW:
Keon Raymond, DB (Calgary Stampeders)
8 tkl
2 sck
1 INT
0 FF

 

Special Teams POW:
Weston Dressler, PR (Saskatchewan Roughriders)
2 ret
76 yds
38 avg
1 TD

 

Canadian POW:
Jon Cornish, RB (Calgary Stampeders)
7 rec
108 rec yds
1 pass TD
13 rsh
27 rsh yds
1 rsh TD

 

CFL Standings 

Eastern Division:
1. x-Montreal Alouettes (20)
2. Toronto Argonauts (14)
3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (10)
4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (10)

 

Western Division:
1. y-B.C. Lions (24)
2. x-Calgary Stampeders (20)
3. x-Saskatchewan Roughriders (16)
4. Edmonton Eskimos (14)

 

y- Clinched Division
x- Clinched Playoff Spot

 

Scores:
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 44 – 32 Toronto Argonauts
– Despite the return of Chad Kackert and Ricky Ray plus the un-retirement of Adriano Belli the Argos still could not get out of their slump as the Bombers were led by a great running game to play spoilers

 

B.C. Lions 39 – 19 Edmonton Eskimos
– The Lions went into the game without some of their best players but that didn’t stop them from beating the Eskies who were looking for every point they could get for a chance at the crossover

 

Montreal Alouettes 34 – 28 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Als continue to roll on as they won yet another game putting them permanently at the top of the Eastern Division and earning them a first round bye while the Riders still were able to clinch a playoff spot despite the loss

 

Calgary Stampeders 34 – 32 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
– The Tabies had a chance to make life a little easier for themselves but in the snow of Calgary they could not pull it off despite making it close as they made their path to the playoffs that much harder with a loss

 

Next Week:
B.C. Lions vs. Calgary Stampeders (October 9:00 pm EDT)
– The Lions and the Stamps know where they will be when the playoffs start but that doesn’t stop both teams from trying to send a message to each other in a preview of what could be the Western Division Finals

 

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (October 27th; 1:00 pm EDT)
– The Bombers have already played spoilers to the Toronto Argonauts and they will look to do the same in surprising the Tiger Cats who need to win to preserve their chance at a playoff spot as a loss will officially eliminate them

 

Toronto Argonauts vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders (October 27th; 4:00 pm EDT)
– The last time these two teams faced off the Riders dominated the game but this time the Argos will have Ricky Ray and Chad Kackert in the offence as they look to win and clinch a playoff spot although pressure games seem to be their downfall

 

Edmonton Eskimos vs. Montreal Alouettes (October 28th; 1:00 pm EDT)
– The Als know that they will be able to sit back and watch in the first round of the playoffs but the Eskimos are still trying to figure it out as they need every win they can get to stay ahead in the crossover which has become their only hope at making the playoffs

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