Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 14)

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Last year was a big adjustment for a lot of teams in the CFL as the league welcomed in a new team and re-aligned.

The Bombers were out to the east and moved to their rightful place in the west while the REDBLACKS were brought in and placed in the east.

It left the divisions unbalanced and in a big way changed the face of the league.

The REDBLACKs had changed everything in the league with the re-alignment and in the biggest way, the expansion draft.

The league had collectively lost a number of good players as they couldn’t protect all of them in the draft and that is a tough thing to overcome.

In 2014 is seemed like the east took a lot longer to overcome those losses than the west did.

Throughout the entire 2014 season the east could not beat the west.

They even struggled to pull away from each other most of the year with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats winning the division in the second last week after beating Montreal and taking the season series.

They finished 9-9 on the year along with the Alouettes and when it came to the two divisions facing off, no eastern team had a winning record.

Hamilton finished with a 4-6 record while the second place team, Montreal, finished with a 2-8 record against the west.

Toronto finished the year going 4-6 against the west while the REDBLACKS took one of their two wins all season from a western team.

The east was a disaster and at the end of the year two 9-9 teams made it into the playoffs while the rest were eliminated and overtaken by the west in the crossover.

The BC Lions needed just a 9-9 record to find their way into the playoffs with the crossover in effect and they did just that leaving the unbalanced playoff representation.

The bad season by the east led to plenty of uproar as it seemed like the west was just too strong and that even the Bombers deserved a better shot at the playoffs, especially after a hot start to the season.

The outcry turned into a lot of people wanting to get rid of the two unbalanced divisions, both in amount of teams and talent, and put everyone into one big division.

That way the teams that deserved to make it in didn’t have to worry about a tougher schedule in facing better teams in the west than in the east.football-sidebar

To beat their own division it was going to be tough in the west but to beat teams from the east was a much simpler task.

That way the best six or eight teams regardless of division were going to make the playoffs.

The detractors of that plan said that an expansion franchise will always have this effect on a league as teams will get worse when they lose a number of players.

It did seem to affect certain teams more but those that wanted to keep the divisions said all that was needed was patience and the league would even itself out.

Between the two it seemed like the proponents of getting rid of the divisions were right because the disparity was so big between the two divisions.

Now 14 weeks into the new season keeping it the same turned out to be the right decision as balanced has been clearly restored among the divisions.

Throughout the year so far it has been clear that Calgary and Hamilton have been by far the best teams, which might change with some big losses to both teams, regardless of divisions.

Meanwhile the eastern teams are all faring better than they did just a year ago. Hamilton is currently 5-2 against the west, Toronto is 4-3, Ottawa is 5-3, and Montreal is 3-5 living them one more win than last year against the other division.

The east took a year off last year and gave plenty of people a reason to want to change the way that the CFL is.

Although those people still believe that one division is the way to go it is clear that the west is not necessarily the best anymore.

The league is far closer than it was a year ago and nowhere is that more evident than in the crossover standings.

Unlike last year when the Lions earned the crossover with a 9-9 record the Montreal Alouettes are now sitting in the crossover spot beating Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, and BC for the final playoff spot.

If the season were to end right now all four eastern teams would be in the playoffs while only two western teams would make it.

The crossover race will be a close one this year as six more weeks stand between teams and the playoffs an every team will be looking for every win as there aren’t too many teams that seem safe at this point in the season.

Fourth Down:
(Thoughts on Week 14 in the CFL)

Big Loss for the Champs
The Stamps took a win in Week 14 but they took some big losses as well with Juwan Simpson and Joe Burnett going down as Simpson is set to miss 4-6 weeks and Burnett’s season is done as the Stamps will need to overcome some major losses the rest of the season

Double Duty
The Argonauts had to do some adjusting this week when they learned that Swayze Waters could be out the rest of the year and they did so signing Justin Palardy as their new kicker while also signing Michael Palardy, no relation, as their punter

The Incorrect Call
The Calgary-Winnipeg game came down to the last minutes of the game and a controversial illegal procedure penalty made the difference at the end of the game and after the week the CFL released a statement admitting that the call was the wrong one

Staying with the Team
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats are a changed team without QB Zach Collaros for the rest of the season but the leader of the team will still be there as Collaros is set to remain with the team the rest of the year in the hopes that his presence keeps them on

standings-w14.fw

Week 14 Scores:
Calgary Stampeders 25 – 23 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
– A controversial call ended the comeback by the Bombers but they still had a chance until Lirim Hajrullahu missed the tying field goal as the Bombers dropped another game to fall further out of the playoff picture and the Stamps gains a little more breathing room

Edmonton Eskimos 29 – 23 BC Lions
– The Eskimos were looking to keep up with their provincial rivals as they took on BC and after going down 15-7 in the first half they stormed back scoring 14 points in the fourth quarter to take the win and stay within striking distance of first

Toronto Argonauts 35 – 26 Ottawa REDBLACKS
– The Argos and REDBACKS will face-off in back to back games that will determine second place and potentially first place in the east and the Argos took the first swing beat the REDBLACKS and taking the season series win

Saskatchewan Roughriders 33 – 21 Montreal Alouettes
– The Roughriders are still a struggling team but in the playoff hunt but they have little room for error which they seemed to understand this week when they beat the Alouettes thanks largely to Macho Harris’ three picks on the day

Week 15 Matchups:
Montreal Alouettes vs. Ottawa REDBLACKS (Thursday October 1st; 7:30 pm ET)
– It is a busy few days for the REDBLACKS who will also kick-off Week 16 on Tuesday against the Argos as they hope to go into that week with one more win than the Argos and they take on the Alouettes who might have a big questions at QB to answer

Calgary Stampeders vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Friday October 2nd; 7:30 pm ET)
– This could have been a Grey Cup rematch and preview but nobody knows how the Ti-Cats are going to react to losing their starter and everyone will figure it out as they take on the top team in the league in the Stampeders

Edmonton Eskimos vs. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (Saturday October 3rd; 4:00 pm ET)
– The Eskimos are still following their provincial rivals and once again they go into the week hoping to take the win and see the Stamps lose as they take on the Bombers who have been struggling all year

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. BC Lions (Saturday October 3rd; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Roughriders and Lions are sitting at the bottom of the west right now but both are still in the fight for the playoffs as the Riders look for their third win of the season to start a run and the Lions try to fend them off and cancel out the crossover

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