Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 16)

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The Canadian Football League is the only professional league that is 100% Canadian, even if it wasn’t always that way.

When the league began there were nine teams that spanned almost all the way across Canada.

Since that time the dream has been to create a league that stretches from coast to coast and includes every region of the country.

It has yet to do that as the league continues to find ways to get a team everywhere throughout Canada.

One of the biggest issues in the league had been trying to make a team work in an essential part of Canada.

Ottawa has had a long history of football as the Ottawa Rough Riders were among the first teams to form the CFL in 1958 and were one of the first football teams in North America when they were created in 1876.

Ownership issues in the 1980s and the 1990s that included bankruptcy and an owner who never attended a single game caused the Rough Riders to fold in 1996.

The team returned in 2002 but once again ownership was not good enough to keep the team in place.

That ownership and the fact that the newly created Renegades were consistently the worst team in the league, at times struggling to win even one game, caused the new version of the Ottawa franchise to fold in 2006.

The nation’s capital has always been a priority when it came to the CFL as they needed a team in capital of the country.

So in 2008 a new ownership group with plenty of experience running successful sports franchises in the city, namely the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL, looked to bring football back to Ottawa.

The ownership group was awarded a franchise and the speculation began about whether or not the city was ready to support a football team.

After all, the Renegades suffered from terrible attendance in their short stint which caused many to think that another team was not going to be successful and that it was just going to add to the many chapters of failures in Ottawa football.

The fans have proved every doubter wrong though as their first year on the field in 2014 saw plenty of sellouts.football-sidebar

The problem was that the on-field talent was not matching the enthusiasm from a fan base.

Sellouts were great but the debate still went on about whether or not the fans were going to stay if the REDBLACKS continued to lose.

After only picking up 2 wins in their first season the REDBLACKS went about trying to show their fans an appreciation for the support.

They added a number of key receivers and hoped that another year together could help create that team bond that is needed to have success.

Those moves proved to be essential and the thought of a new team unity was proved to be right.

They haven’t been at the level of the top teams in the league like the Calgary Stampeders, who they did beat earlier in the year, or the Ti-Cats. But they are far beyond their two-win season from a year ago as everything is firing properly for them throughout the year.

They have moved into the top of the east where they were tied with the Ti-Cats only a week ago.

A loss to the Argonauts on a short week has hurt their chances of winning the division but making the playoffs is a good possibility.

Going from a terrible record to being a true contender is a massive change and a great reward for what has been major support from the city.

The REDBLACKS owe a lot of their success to 40-year old QB Henry Burris who many thought was finished after a rough year in 2014.

With the injury to Collaros, Burris is now the front-runner in the MOP race and if he keeps it up making the playoffs might not be the only accomplishment the REDBLACKS see this year.

Football is working in Ottawa and this season it is more than just the fans as the REDBLACKS are looking to make their first playoff appearance in only their second year as a franchise

Fourth Down:
(Thoughts on Week 16 in the CFL)

Moving Away Again
The Toronto Argonauts are once again dealing with the MLB postseason as their October 17th home game against the Stampeders has been moved to Hamilton pending the Blue Jays results in the first round of the postseason

Ottawa Loses Johnson
The REDBLACKS have had a great year but one of the big reasons aside from the play of Burris is sticking with Jeremiah Johnson at running back which has led to great things but won’t any longer as he will miss the remainder of the season after an injury this week

A Busy Week
The Toronto Argonauts had another busy week as the new 9-team format has forced them to play two games in the same week for two straight years and this time around it worked out will for a team now competing for first place

standings-w16.fw

Week 16 Scores:
Toronto Argonauts 38 – 35 Ottawa REDBLACKS
– In their first of two games the Argos where hoping to get the season sweep of the REDBLACKS and move ahead of them in the east standings as the two teams battled it out again with the Argos coming out on top thanks to a game-winning one-handed catch from Chad Owens

Hamilton Tiger-Cats 30 – 15 Saskatchewan Roughriders
– The Tiger-Cats were still attempting to figure out how good they could be without Zach Collaros and although Jeff Mathews lost his first start he impressed his second time around while pushing the Riders further out of the playoffs

Edmonton Eskimos 15 – 11 Calgary Stampeders
– The Eskimos broke a long drought against the Stampeders and now were going for the season series in Calgary, coming out on top for the first time and moving into first place with the tiebreaker on their side this year

Winnipeg Blue Bombers 29 – 26 BC Lions
– The Lions went into a new week looking for Jonathan Jennings to help them towards a playoff spot but the young QB was not as sharp throwing two interceptions in the game and coming out on the losing side

Toronto Argonauts 25 – 17 Montreal Alouettes
– It was the second game of the week for the Argos and they looked to keep up with the Tiger-Cats to sit in right behind the Ti-Cats, who hold the tiebreaker, as they beat the Alouettes who fell further behind the crossover spot

Week 17 Matchups:
Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. Ottawa REDBLACKS (Friday October 16th; 7:30 pm ET)
– The Bombers are coming off of a big win against the Lions as they continued to move towards the playoffs and are hoping to get closer against the REDBLACKS who themselves are trying to keep up with the top two teams in the division

Calgary Stampeders vs. Toronto Argonauts (Saturday October 17th; 4:00 pm ET)
– The Argos have won three games in a row over the past two weeks and they are going to try to keep that momentum but it won’t be easy against an angry Stampeders team coming off of a loss to their rivals and looking to stay on top in the west

BC Lions vs. Edmonton Eskimos (Saturday October 17th; 7:00 pm ET)
– The Lions are still fighting to take the third spot in the playoffs but to do that they will need to beat the top team in the west as the Eskimos look to try to take another win and get closer to ensuring their first round bye

Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs. Montreal Alouettes (Sunday October 18th; 1:00 pm ET)
– The Ti-Cats have seen what Jeff Mathews can do against a struggling team and he might be in for a big game again as the Alouettes lost Rakeem Cato early in Week 16 and aren’t sure if he will be back to keep up with the top team in the east

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