Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 15)

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When the CFL season began the Alberta teams were looked at closely as they were going to be the teams to beat in the league.

It has been that way for a number of years now as professional football in Alberta has never been better.

The Calgary Stampeders count as one of the best teams in the league as they have moments where they seem simply unbeatable.

Every year it seems like the Edmonton Eskimos might have everything a team would need to beat the Stampeders.

This year was no different as the Stamps came back as a top team with a chance to get back to the Grey Cup and possibly win.wk15

The Eskimos looked good but nobody seemed to know if they were going to be good enough to beat the Stamps.

Any doubt of that seemed to disappear when the season began as the Eskimos started the year on fire.

They won their first seven games of the year putting together one of the top records in the league.

They had passed their provincial rivals in the standings and as they headed towards the Labour Day Classic things were looking like a clash of the two best teams.

What made it even more amazing for the Eskimos was that they had put together that record with a huge amount of injuries.

Some of their best players including Adarius Bowman, Sean Whyte, Travon Van, Simeon Rottier, J.C. Sherritt, Kendial Lawrence and John White all hit the injured list at some point in the season.

Most were at the start including Kendial Lawrence and John White leaving the Eskimos without any of their top backs from a year ago.

Still, they were able to find their way to the top of the league winning seven straight games and looking like the best team in the game.

Especially when it was considered that they were going to get some of those injured players back and when they did they were going to be better.

Then in their eighth game came and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers handed them their first loss of the season.

It wasn’t to worry though as NFL cuts were coming and some big names seemed to be headed back to the City of Champions.

Then they lost their second game against Saskatchewan and after getting some reinforcements they still couldn’t take their eighth win.

Labour Day ended with the Stamps taking the win and then they lost the rematch bringing their losing streak to four games.

Players were coming back from the injured list and from the NFL but nothing seemed to help as the Esks continue to lose.

Their season has gone from one of the best starts to one of the worst collapses as Week 15 marked their sixth straight loss.

football-sidebarThey have gone from a team with a chance to actually beat out the Stampeders for the Western Division to a team just struggling to get into the playoffs.

If the slide continues for the Eskimos things could get pretty rough as they are only a few losses away from not even competing for a spot in the west.

Instead, they may be fighting it out with the BC Lions for the crossover spot where they will have to travel to the east to get to the Grey Cup.

For many that seems like a better option as the east has not been a challenging part of the league.

The Toronto Argonauts are 7-7 and close to clinching the east title while the Stampeders are waiting to clinch with a 12-1-1 record.

Heading to that side of the bracket could be the easier route but no western team has ever been able to make the postseason from the crossover.

The Eskimos were the latest to try but lost to the REDBLACKS in the eastern final last year.

They will look to try to avoid that fate again as they hope not to have to travel to the other side of the country and try to make the Grey Cup.

They will need to avoid heading down the rest of the season without a win and they need to figure out things quickly.

There aren’t many weeks left and if they can’t take a win the crossover will be their only option and it might not even be there if the Lions can move ahead.

If they finish last they could find themselves out of the playoffs altogether in what could be the worst collapse in CFL history.


Fourth Down

Gaining a Workhorse

After being one of the lone bright spots in their Week 15 game the Hamilton Tiger-Cats traded away their starting running back, C.J. Gable. The latest loss for the Ti-Cats is making a playoff run a lot more unlikely and this move seems to show that they might be ready to move on. Gable was doing great things in the backfield but they sent him to Edmonton where there is no running back after injuries placed three backs on the injured list.

Showing Interest

The Montreal Alouettes have been kicking the tires on a number of options at quarterback after the struggles of Darian Durant. They showed interest in Johnny Manziel but his rights were held by Hamilton. This past week the Alouettes looked to another athletic QB to solve their issues. They expressed their interest in Colin Kaepernick who has not been able to find an NFL job after his protests. The Als have heard nothing back from Kaepernick as of right now but he might have the skills to be a good asset for the Alouettes.

Not This Year

At the beginning of the week the commissioner of the CFL, Randy Ambrosie announced that he had made a decision on Johnny Manziel. After a meeting between the two Ambrosie decided that he would not approve any deal signed between any team and Manziel. It ended any rumours of Manziel entering the league this year as clearly the commissioner believes that Manziel has some work to do. It doesn’t mean that he won’t be in the CFL next year though as he left the door open for Manziel to be signed in 2018.

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