Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 15)

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The CFL season is starting to wind down but one of the most exciting parts of the season has just beginning.

The playoff race is just beginning and each division has its own race going on that is entirely different.

The west has already seen their playoff race fill up quickly as the Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos both locked up playoff spot this week.

The two Alberta teams have been two of the best teams all year as they have been consistently on top.

They were rewarded for that consistency with earning the first two playoff spots of the year but their fight is not over.

Only two points separate the two teams and there are plenty of games left for the Eskimos to find their way to the top of the division.

Week 16 will become that much more important as the Esks and Stamps face-off for the third and final time this year.

Whoever wins takes the season series and will hold the tiebreaker if they end the season tied for first place.

The rest of the West is a fight as they attempt to fend off losing their third playoff spot to the East.

The BC Lions took a big win this week that sent them into the third place ahead of the Montreal Alouettes who are competing for the crossover.

They sit there but just barely as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Saskatchewan Roughriders, despite their struggles, are still in the running for the playoffs.

With five weeks left in the season there is more than enough time for the Roughriders or Bombers to move up and the Lions to move down.

It is a tough road for the Riders who have only two wins but they are not out of it yet and the Bombers are just a few wins away from entering the playoff spot.

There is still plenty to fight for in the west despite the fact that two playoff spots are already gone.

In the east it is a far different story though as the competition is wide open with anywhere from four to two teams making the playoffs.

The crossover taking away an eastern spot doesn’t seem too likely right now but it still is a possibility that with a run and a bad end to the season from the east the Bombers could eliminate the third place team in the east.

As of right now though it seems more likely that all four teams will make it and it will come down to the wire.football-sidebar

At the top it seemed certain that the Hamilton Tiger-Cats were going to take the division title for another year.

With Zach Collaros leading the way in what was sure to be an MOP season the Tabies looked like nobody could beat them.

Then Collaros went down and the Ti-Cats have lost two games in a row, opening the door for the rest of the east.

Just when they seemed out of the battle for first the Argos and REDBLACKS are right in it once again.

Hamilton will need to figure things out at quarterback without Collaros and if they don’t they might have a terrible fall to the bottom of the east.

Toronto and Ottawa are easily in striking distance with the REDBLACKS currently tied for first with Hamilton.

This week they will play each other with the Argos already having the season series. If the Argos win they will move into a three-way tie for first and would sit in second place with the tiebreaker against Ottawa but not against Hamilton.

Hamilton, of course, still has a game to play that could change things but the Argos will play two games this week and if they win twice they will be in a good spot to try to take away the top spot from the Ti-Cats.

The Alouettes have plenty to play for as well with a chance to possibly take an eastern playoff spot if things go right or taking the crossover if they can put up enough wins to pass the Lions and fend off the Bombers and Riders.

It is starting to get that much more intense as the season moves on.

There are more than few possibilities heading into the final few weeks of the season and Week 16 could be a pivotal moment for more than a few teams.

The race will continue late into the season as team continue to try to find their chance to earn a ticket to Winnipeg and take home the Grey Cup.

Fourth Down:
(Thoughts on Week 15 in the CFL)

Still Making Waves
At 40-years-old Henry Burris is having a resurgent season leading the REDBLACKS to east division contention and he took that a step further this week when he put his name in the record books again completing a CFL single-game record 45 passes

Returning to their Roots
The CFL announced this week that the 104th Grey Cup will take place in Toronto at BMO Field, a stadium that the Argos will begin to play in for the 2016 season and that is built on the ground of the old CNE stadium that has hosted the second most Grey Cups in CFL history

Reinforcements in La Belle Province
The bidding process was a long and important one when Henoc Muamba decided to return to the CFL after his time in the NFL and in the end it was Montreal that landed the sought after free agent as Muamba provides a boost for the playoff run

A Great Debut
The quarterback situations throughout the CFL continue to make headlines including this week when the BC Lions went with an unproven Jonathan Jennings under centre, a decision that proved to be right as Jennings threw for 364 yards and 4 touchdowns in his debut

standings-w15.fw

Week 15 Scores:
Ottawa REDBLACKS 39 – 17 Montreal Alouettes
– The REDBLACKS and Als had plenty to play for in this game both trying to shore up a spot in the playoffs but the Als and Rakeem Cato couldn’t get anything going while Henry Burris had a career night with over 500 yards on a record 45 completions to lead the REDBLACKS to the win

Calgary Stampeders 23 – 20 Hamilton Tiger-Cats
– It was a struggle for both teams at the wind tunnel that is Tim Hortons Field with both teams struggling to score against the wind but the Stamps fought through to earn the win, a win that turned out to be important as they later clinched the first playoff spot

Edmonton Eskimos 24 – 23 Winnipeg Blue Bombers
– A battle between Mike Reilly and his former back-up, Matt Nichols turned into a battle of the kickers when last year’s western Special Teams Player of the year nominee Lirim Hajrullahu missed four field goals and Sean Whyte made all three of his including the game winner

BC Lions 46 – 20 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Lions went with an unproven Jonathan Jennings as they continued to try to find a replacement for the injured Travis Lulay and Jennings proved that the decision was the right one throwing four touchdowns and moving them into a playoff spot

Week 16 Matchups:
Ottawa REDBLACKS vs. Toronto Argonauts (Tuesday October 6th; 7:30 pm ET)
– The Ottawa faithful get a bonus game as their Week 16 matchup was to take place in Toronto before the MLB postseason forced the Argos to reschedule as the Argos will need to deal with a rowdy crowd for the second time in a row hoping for the same result to move ahead of Ottawa

Saskatchewan Roughriders vs. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (Friday October 9th; 7:30 pm ET)
– The Ti-Cats are not looking like the team that many are used to without Zach Collaros under centre but they are sticking with Jeff Mathews as they take on the Roughriders who remain in the hunt and will try to continue a rise from a terrible start to the year

Edmonton Eskimos vs. Calgary Stampeders (Saturday October 10th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Battle of Alberta is once again a significant one as the season series is tied after Edmonton beat Calgary for the first time in four years the last time these two met and now the Esks hope to take another win and move into first while the Stamps try to move further ahead

Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. BC Lions (Saturday October 10th; 10:00 pm ET)
– The Bombers are another struggling team in the west and after a tough loss to Edmonton last week they hope to recover and shut down the rookie Jennings who impressed in his first game and hopes to do the same while moving the Lions closer to a playoff berth

Toronto Argonauts vs. Montreal Alouettes (Monday October 12th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Argos will have big opportunity with two games this week that could change the look of the eastern playoffs and they hope to go 2-0 in the week while the Als try to keep up with the west in an attempt to earn the crossover

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