Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 1)

 

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That is one way to start a season as the CFL’s year officially kicked off with one of the best weeks ever.

There are always some great games in the CFL but often the opening week is one where mistakes are made and where there is usually a blowout or two.

This year that wasn’t the case as the CFL saw closer games than ever as the Montreal Alouettes barely left Percival Molson with a win taking their opener 17-16 against the Riders.

Edmonton squeaked by the BC Lions in Vancouver needing one last play to take the three-point win and their first win.

The Battle of Ontario was very close through the entire first half before the new-look Argos took over in the end as the only close to blow-out game of the week.

There was only one that was closer though and it has only added to one of the best budding rivalries in the league.wk1

The Ottawa REDBLACKs were in an interesting place when they were named as the newest team in the league.

They were a team with plenty of support and what was sure to be somewhat of a struggle but the fans were there.

The only thing really missing was a rivalry for this new team and there were certainly some potential teams.

There was the Battle of Ontario 2.0 against the Toronto Argonauts as both cities have had a long-standing rivalry going back through the years in the NHL.

Another NHL rivalry could have been the one as well with Ottawa and Montreal consistently disliking each other.

Hamilton could have been another Battle of Ontario but without much of a history between the two cities, it wasn’t likely.

It was going to take some time for a rivalry to form as there needed to be big games and big moments to form the rivalry.

That is what the Battle of Ontario, the Battle of Alberta and the Banjo Bowl all have in common as they have been played at the most important times throughout the league.

The history behind these massive rivalries is something special and the games between these teams are always entertaining and meaningful because of that history.

Ottawa didn’t have that history and so fans watched and waited to see where the rivalry would develop.

Not many expected that the rivalry would come from across the country in Alberta and would be against one of the best teams in the game.

It’s only been three years in the league for the REDBLACKS and yet it was their third year that established a new rivalry in the league.

It started in week 3 when the Calgary Stampeders took on the REDBLACKS in a match-up that everyone thought was going to be pretty easy for the Stamps.

After all, they were quickly being considered the best team in the league while Ottawa was still a developing team with a question at quarterback.

Both teams fought it out to essentially no result as the game went two overtimes with neither team being able to break the tie.

It caused a 26-26 finish in a surprising game that nobody thought would end the way it did but it also started a rivalry.

The next time they faced off things were very different as the Stamps easily got by Ottawa for the big win and things were right in the league again.

Then came the Grey Cup where the latter result was expected between the two teams until the REDBLACKS brought their best to Toronto.

football-sidebarThe REDBLACKS surprised everyone pushing the Stamps to the first overtime game in Grey Cup history.

The REDBLACKS took the win and the Grey Cup and the formations of a rivalry were there with the Stamps.

They had played in two very close games in 2016 with one counting the most out of any game in any season.

This year they opened the season against each other in the Grey Cup rematch and once again the two teams fought to the bitter end.

There was more scoring than their first game last year but the result ended up the same as both teams finished in a tie for the second year in a row.

After two overtimes the two teams finished 31-31 with no winner decided and no revenge for the Stamps after a disappointing finish to their 2016 season.

There have rarely been any teams more evenly matched in the CFL than these two teams are right now.

Ties are a rare occurrence but two ties in two years including a very close Grey Cup game makes it hard to argue that these two teams are the closest that any two teams have ever been.

It is only one week and in Week 2 they will face off again hoping to find a winner this time but also hoping to build on their developing rivalry.

A rivalry has formed and it is going to be interesting going forward to see what other chapters can be added while these two teams are still so evenly matched.

 

Fourth Down

Disappointing End

JC Sherritt is still a record holder in the CFL as the man with the most tackles in a single season and he was quickly on his way to being one of the best linebackers ever. Injuries have hurt his rise though, and they will continue to as Sherritt’s season is already done. The Edmonton Eskimos announced the Sherritt will be gone for the entire season after he ruptured his Achilles in Week 1 against the BC Lions.

Plan B in Montreal

The Montreal Alouettes were happy with the way that their first game turned out under the leadership of Darian Durant. They also seem to know that the ageing QB is in danger of hitting the injured list like he has in the last two years. Durant is in no danger of losing his job but the Als were able to find a potential plan B when they signed Drew Willy this week to be his back-up and provide a safety blanket.

Celebrating Canada’s Day

The CFL is going to be a big part of Canada’s 150 celebrations and that includes next weekend when the league celebrates Canada Day with the fans. The league is planning on some special things to celebrate as well with footballs that have red laces for kick-off and special referee uniforms for all of the games. They will also honour Canadians with special Canadian legend T-shirts that have the names of legendary Canadians to be worn by non-playing personnel

 

 

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