Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 18)

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The CFL season is only one week away from the playoffs and the games have already been decided. The Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders have clinched their divisions while the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Edmonton Eskimos have been officially eliminated from the playoffs. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Saskatchewan Roughriders will host the semi-finals with the Montreal Alouettes and BC Lions going on the road. As the teams all prepare for their playoff push it is time to look at the teams that have already taken one step closer to the Grey Cup. Six teams will make their way into the unpredictable world of the playoffs but for some teams a trend is their best hope for winning the Grey Cup. When approaching the playoffs the best bet to win the Grey Cup has been the team that enters the playoff as the hottest team in the league. There is always a few teams that look completely unbeatable as they head to the playoffs and these teams try to carry that into the playoffs. The B.C. Lions were the team that came into the playoffs as the hottest team in 2011. They would take a long winning streak into the postseason and eventually to a Grey Cup win. The Toronto Argonauts were the same in 2012 when they would find ways to win at the end of the season and move through the playoffs to a Grey Cup win. This year two more teams are looking to take their strong end to the season into the playoffs to win the Grey Cup. Oddly enough the two teams playing the best right now are the two teams who met last year in the Grey Cup. In the West the Calgary Stampeders have now won 5 games in a row and have launched themselves to the top of the division. They are looking like the best team in the league right now and if they can continue their winning streak they have a good shot of returning to the Grey Cup again this year. In the East the Toronto Argonauts are the team that only looks to be getting better as the weeks move on. They have won two in a row and have done it in more convincing fashion than most teams in the CFL. More than just these two teams though it is the leaders on these teams that have given plenty of reason for hope. For the Stampeders the hope is coming from their best player and potentially the best player in the CFL this year. Jon Cornish was the Western MOP last year and this year seems to be headed towards the same honour. He has run all over teams this year and as the season moves on he seems to only be picking up steam. He may not win the rushing record this year as he is still 266 yards off of the record with only one game left and his playing time likely taking a hit. Cornish is the leader on the Stamps and they will be looking to him to lead them back to the Grey Cup which is a good decision based on how he is playing heading into the playoffs. For the Argos this player is the man who many expected to be the guy in Toronto as Ricky Ray has been amazing this year. Ray may even force another showdown between and Argo and a Stampeder for the CFL MOP award this year. Since returning from an elbow injury two weeks ago Ray has stepped back in and helped the Argos to their two game winning streak. His importance and ability was never on display more than this past week when he went 39/45 and threw for 505 yards against the Blue Bombers. It was a performance that left many wondering what Ray could do with another game under his belt. They won’t get the chance to see it next week with Ray resting before the playoffs begin. Still Ray is only getting better and for other teams in the CFL that could be a scary thing. As the playoffs are almost ready to begin these two teams and two players could meet again in the Grey Cup for a chance to take home the prize. Then again there is always a chance for any other team to make a run with one week left to work out the kinks and only two games before the big game.

 

Fourth Down:
(Everything else about Week 18)

Big Addition to the Boatmen
The Argos have been playing well in the last few weeks and now they would add yet another weapon on their team as the Boatmen would sign former first round pick by the Buffalo Bills Aaron Maybin to add to their pass rush for the playoffs

Another Social Media Fine
Nik Lewis would get in trouble as the latest player to sound off on social media when he criticized the officiating of the Stamps game this week as the pattern of players using social media to complain and getting fined for it continues

Scary Incident in TO
The Argos-Bombers game went a little long on Thursday but for good reason as they would take a break for a scary incident where defensive back Neiko Thorpe would land awkwardly on his neck and stay down for a long time but would make a full recovery

 

CFL Standings:

Eastern Division:
1. y-Toronto Argonauts (22)
2. x-Hamilton Tiger-Cats (18)
3. x-Montreal Alouettes (14)
4. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (6)

Western Division:
1. y-Calgary Stampeders (28)
2. x-Saskatchewan Roughriders (22)
3. x-B.C. Lions (20)
4. Edmonton Eskimos (6)

 
y-Clinched First Round Bye
x-Clinched Playoff spot

 

 

Scores:
Toronto Argonauts 36 – 21 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
– Ricky Ray would take control of the game against the Bombers as he would throw for 505 yards in the game and would dominate the Bombers while leading the Argos to the win and to first place in the East

B.C. Lions 43 – 29 Edmonton Eskimos
– The Lions have struggled on their way to the playoffs this year but they would get the win against the Eskies after Buck Pierce replaced Thomas DeMarco and threw three TDs while running for another to lead the Lions to the win

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 27 – 24 Montreal Alouettes
– The Alouettes had dominated the Tabies the week before behind the arm of Troy Smith and were hoping to do the same in hopes of a home playoff game but they couldn’t get it done with the Ti-Cats coming out on top

Calgary Stampeders 29 – 25 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Riders were the team to beat at the start of the season but a lot has changed since then with the Stamps now becoming the team to beat and securing first place in the West with the win over Saskatchewan

 

Next Week:
Montreal Alouettes vs. Toronto Argonauts (Friday November 1st; 7:00 pm ET)
– When this game was scheduled it was expected that these two teams would be fighting for the tops spot in the league but it was not to be as the Alouettes are looking to get another good game in before the playoffs while the Argos will rest most of their top players to prepare for the Eastern finals

Calgary Stampeders vs. B.C. Lions (Friday November 1st; 10:00 pm ET)
– The Stamps have already secured the top spot in the league and will likely rest most of their players while the Lions take the opportunity to test out Thomas DeMarco once again to make sure he is the one to lead them into the playoffs

Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Saturday November 2nd; 2:00 pm ET)
– The Bombers are out and the Ti-Cats are looking to a home playoff game in the first round but that doesn’t mean that both teams don’t have some tweaking to do as the Bombers look to next year and the Tabies look to the next week

Edmonton Eskimos vs. Saskatchewan Roughriders (Saturday November 2nd; 5:00 pm ET)
– The Riders are hoping that they can get a win against the Eskies to give them a boost heading into the playoffs as they are hoping to make a run towards a home Grey Cup game while the Eskimos are preparing for the offseason

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