Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 6)

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The CFL is fast approaching the halfway mark of the season with only a few weeks left until the Labour Day weekend.

Yet as the league approaches the halfway point two teams will only now begin their home games.

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Toronto Argonauts have been on two long road trips this year as other events prevented them from playing in their home stadiums.

Both teams were victims of the largest multi-sport event in the history of Canada as the 2015 Pan am Games displaced them both from their stadiums.

For the Ti-Cats, Tim Hortons Field was the home of soccer throughout the two weeks as the stadium was partially built for the games.

For the Argonauts the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Pan am Games were held at the Rogers Centre.

Not only did the Argos have to deal with the games but the permanent tenant of the Rogers Centre, the Toronto Blue Jays, had taken many of the dates around the games preventing the Argos from playing at home.

For both rival teams it has been a long time travelling but both teams will have different feelings about returning home.

The Ti-Cats couldn’t wait to get back to Tim Hortons Field for the first time in Week 6 as this has become a pattern for the team.

Last year delays in the construction of the stadium forced them on the road until the Labour Day Classic against the Argos.

Since that opening day Hamilton has been in love with their new home field. They came into their first game of the season at home with a 6-0 record while their defence had only allowed 12.6 points per game at Tim Hortons Field.

It has been one of the biggest home field advantages since the second half of the season last year.

This year they tried to continue that dominance at home against their long-time rivals in Toronto who once again played the home opener down the QEW.

That was exactly what they did as they went 7-0 at home in another dominant performance in front of a sell-out crowd.

The Argonauts have yet to play at home this season but their time is finally coming when they take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Week 7.football-sidebar

For the Argos the return home is not nearly as great as their home record totals 14-13 over the last three seasons.

Rogers Centre is never sold out and rarely sells much more than 10,000 people. Most of the best attended games are full of fans from other teams like the Ti-Cats or Saskatchewan.

It is not the best place for the Argos but returning home is a lot more than just where they play. Coming home means not living out of a suitcase in a hotel and practicing anywhere they can find some time.

Coming home means players get to see their families and practice in their own facility. Travelling can wipe people out and although the Argonauts have been used to this long road trip throughout the last few years it is still a taxing thing.

The Argos will finally return home next week and it will be the last home opener at the Rogers Centre for the team.

All of those issues that the Argos have dealt with as tenants of the Rogers Centre should be finished come 2016.

That is when Bell and Larry Tanenbaum take over the team and move them down the road to BMO Field in just about the same spot as the old Exhibition Stadium.

They will share the field with Toronto FC but should get a lot more favourable home games as the MLS plays only once a week like the CFL making it easier to schedule between home and road stands.

The stadium should also provide a better atmosphere and could bring more fans out.

The Argos will hopefully not have to wait this long for their opener next year while the Ti-Cats are sure to get back home much earlier in 2016 as the long road trips might be over for these Ontario teams with some light at the end of the tunnel.

standings-w6.fw

Fourth Down:
(Thoughts on Week 6 in the CFL)

Another QB Down
Before the week began another quarterback fell out of the starting role and onto the injury list as Kevin Glenn tore his pectoral muscle leaving the 0-5 Riders with rookie QB Brett Smith to lead them in week 6 which only extended their losing streak to six games

Controversy No More
The Eskimos made a strange move when they brought in James Franklin in Week 5 and began a QB controversy but this week Matt Nichols stepped in to start another game and put an end to any controversy with a big performance in a big win

Another Weapon on the Line
The Edmonton Eskimos are proving once again to be one of the toughest teams to play and they won’t make it any easier on opposing teams when they added Shomari Williams to an already great defensive line this week

Week 6 Scores:
Winnipeg Blue Bombers 23 – 13 BC Lions
– The Lions got out to an early lead once again this week scoring the only touchdown of the first quarter but once again they failed to keep the momentum as Drew Willy ran his team to a win only a week after hurting his knee

Edmonton Eskimos 30 – 5 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Riders went into another game with another starting quarterback as Brett Smith started his first game in the CFL and it turned out to be a forgettable one as the Eskimos easily got by Saskatchewan who suffered their sixth straight loss

Calgary Stampeders 25 – 22 Montreal Alouettes
– The Alouettes started strong coming out to a 17-point lead in the first quarter that included a Stefan Logan return TD but that start went to waste as the defending champs battled back to take the win

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 34 – 18 Toronto Argonauts
– The oldest rivalry in the CFL got underway once again this year in front of a sold out crowd at Tim Hortons Field and the fans got what they wanted with the Ti-Cats taking a win with a dominant defensive performance

Week 7 Matchups:
Edmonton Eskimos vs. BC Lions (Thursday August 6th; 10:00 pm ET)
– The Lions are having some major issues in keeping momentum throughout the entire game and they will need to figure it out quickly as they take on one of the hottest teams in the league who will not be waiting for the Lions to gain momentum

Montreal Alouettes vs. Ottawa REDBLACKS (Friday August 7th; 7:30 pm ET)
– It is not the biggest rivalry but it is sure to grow into one as the Alouettes travel just down the road to take on the REDBLACKS who are playing much better than last year and will try to double their win total from a year ago

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Toronto Argonauts (Saturday August 8th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Riders need a win in a big way as they travel across the country to Toronto where the Argonauts play at home for the first time all year and hope to continue their momentum from a successful road trip

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Sunday August 9th; 5:00 pm ET)
– The Ti-Cats will enjoy yet another great atmosphere as tickets for their home stand have been 95% sold out and the Bombers will come in looking to break the 7 game win streak to continue their momentum from Week 6

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