Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 17)

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Seemingly out of nowhere the CFL playoffs have been pretty much figured out after Week 17 brought plenty of clarity to the league.

A week ago things were looking foggy as teams that had a chance to end the speculation lost and left the door wide open.

The Argonauts had their chance to clinch a spot but lost to the Saskatchewan Roughriders leaving things available to Ottawa and Hamilton.

Meanwhile, Winnipeg took a loss instead of clinching a spot in the west they left things up in the air.

This week things changed as a Hamilton loss and Ottawa win gave clarity to the eastern division.

The REDBLACKS took over first place and clinched a spot in the playoffs while the Argonauts, despite a close loss to Edmonton, clinched a spot in the playoffs with the Hamilton loss.wk17

That has determined the future of the east as the Argos and the REDBLACKS are in the playoffs and nobody else will make it from that side of the country.

It has become commonplace now as the east is just not good enough to fend off the west leaving them with only spots in the playoffs.

Last year the Eskimos took a spot in the eastern playoffs and this year with the top team in the east having a losing record.

Ottawa is going to finish with a losing record as a win makes them 8-9-1 while the Argonauts could get back to .500 if they win both of their remaining games.

Meanwhile, the top team in the west has a record of 13-1-1 and every other western team is just chasing them.

Only BC has a losing record in the division and that sets up the crossover where the second worst team in the west travels to the east for the playoffs.

It will be the second straight year that this has happened and with the eastern teams continuing to struggle it may be a much more common practice.

What is more interesting about the crossover though is that despite the dominance of the west throughout the CFL’s history there has never been a crossover team in the Grey Cup.

Every year that the crossover happens it is pretty much expected that the western team is going to do well after they played a great regular season.

The fact that there is a crossover means that the eastern teams have not had a great year and even the best eastern team usually has an easier schedule.

The western team should logically be the favourite to win because they are just better teams but it has never happened.

There could be many reasons for the issues but the main one might just be the travel that a western team needs to endure.

They have to travel across the country for a big game and either stay in unfamiliar territory or travel and try to adjust right before a game that becomes a lot more about energy.

That is the situation that a number of teams are going to try to avoid this season as there is still time for a number of teams to stay out of the crossover spot.

The Lions could find their way there if they can win every game left in the season and get some help from the Saskatchewan Roughriders.football-sidebar

For Saskatchewan, a win will put them into the playoffs and begin an even tougher for the crossover.

The Roughriders are sitting in that crossover right now and could take their rise through the standings to the crossover.

They also have a shot to avoid the crossover altogether though as the Edmonton Eskimos are not out the woods just yet.

If Edmonton struggles through the final weeks of the season and the Roughriders can win their remaining games the Eskimos could find themselves in the crossover.

It is not where any of the western teams will want to be but one team will have to make their way east for the playoffs.

It could be interesting as the western teams in the hunt for the crossover are two teams that have looked good at the end of the year.

The Riders never were going to make the playoffs until they began a great middle season and at the end of the season, they have had some success against the east.

They continue to be a threat to the eastern teams and could do something if they were to move to that side.

The Eskimos started their season great winning seven in a row but struggled in the middle of the season.

Lately, they have found their way back and they could be a tough team even if they lose a few games at the end of the year to find the crossover.

It will be the biggest playoff battle left in the final few weeks as the teams are almost all figured out but not everyone knows who they will play yet.

 

Fourth Down

Collaros Stays Put

He was certainly one of the biggest names floating around all week as Zach Collaros was expected to be traded before the trade deadline. Before the day though the Ti-Cats released a statement claiming that he was going to stay put and there were no plans to move him at any point. That came to light when the rumours died and Collaros stayed in Hamilton after the deadline. It also leaves questions about his role going forward on a team that has seemed to find their starter for the future.

Great Year Cut Short

Maurice Leggett has been a big part of the defence for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers as an emotional leader for the team. He has also been having a great year for the team this season with 50 tackles, three sacks, three interceptions and three forced fumbles. That great year has come to an end though as his stats will not be any bigger after leaving the game this week. After examination of his injury, Leggett suffered a torn Achilles and will miss the rest of the season.

The Dead…Line Day

The CFL trade deadline is not necessarily the most active of all days on the league calendar but this year it was shaping up to be interesting. Big names like Collaros never moved and there weren’t many rumours coming out about potential deals. In the end, nobody moved on trade deadline day making it a quiet one for everyone. The day also marked some missed opportunity for teams looking to load up as Hamilton and Montreal could have been sellers but were not in the mood to negotiate.

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