Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 8)

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At the end of 2017, the Toronto Argonauts were standing on the top of the CLF as the Grey Cup champions.

They got there in a somewhat surprising way as it wasn’t until about halfway through the season that they finally found their groove.

That was just in time to take the eastern division title and then eventually make a run through the playoffs to the Grey Cup.

It seems like the same plan is in place this year as the start of the season has been a rough one for the defending champions.

They started off with a good game against the Roughriders but still took a loss and then took a bad loss to the Stampeders.

They haven’t been able to find their groove and with their star QB going down at the beginning of the year things got even more complicated.

They had signed a replacement that star as Ricky Ray was getting older and likely not going to be around for much longer.

James Franklin was one of the best young QBs in the game but had never really gotten a chance and he was set to be the next in line in Toronto.

That chance came earlier than expected and when he did take over it didn’t change the struggles for the offence.

With Franklin under centre, they earned one win but that was all they could get and although the offence wasn’t the major problem they decided to switch quarterbacks.

Week 8 was the first start for McLeod Bethel-Thompson with the Argos looking to him to turn things around before Labour Day.

The new quarterback didn’t really work out all that well to start the game as the Ottawa REDBLACKS built an early lead while the Argos offence struggled.

It seemed like the last ditch effort for the defending champions and it was not going well leaving their hopes crushed.

The second half was a different story though as the Argos slowly climbed back into the game and eventually gave Bethel-Thompson a chance to solidify his spot as the starter.

With one second on the clock, Bethel-Thompson threw to the corner of the end zone where Armanti Edwards made the catch to put Toronto up for good.

The win was one of the greatest comebacks in CFL history with the Argos down 24 points at halftime and ending up with the 42-41 win.

It is a moment that will go down in the history books but it might be more important than that for the Argos.

They have been looking for a spark to bring them out of the slump and to the top of the east before it gets too late.

This might be the thing as they never gave up on the game and fought until the end coming out on top.

The win is important in the standings as they were able to take their first game against an Eastern opponent this year and it was against a team that will be fighting for the top spot.

More important is the fact that Bethel-Thompson got the win in a gutsy performance.

He wasn’t necessarily amazing in his debut and didn’t look like an other-worldly QB that was going to carry them but he won a very tough game.football-sidebar

There is something to be said about a QB who can lead his team when everything looks terrible.

The way that the game started it wouldn’t be surprising to see a team collapse, especially with a new QB under centre.

Instead, they were able to find a way back and that QB may have just become the leader that the team needed.

He might not have been the most impressive QB but he did enough and leading the team to the comeback is more important than any of that.

He clearly has the talent to be a good QB but with an entire team behind him, even an average quarterback can do great things.

The Argos have to be careful though as one win does not make all the difference in a season.

They are not a team built for success this year at least as they are right now with a defence that provides little pressure and no coverage.

Throughout the first half, Bethel-Thompson and his receivers were not on the same page leading to a lot of offensive issues.

The team needs to step up and be better if they want to make a run but this type of win is an important one for more than just the standings.

They are on a path now and Bethel-Thompson has proven to be effective for now and will continue to get chances.

He might be just what the Argos need as Labour Day approaches and every decision becomes more important.


Fourth Down

Less Than Ideal Debut

Johnny Manziel took a lot of the headlines this week as he took first-team snaps and was set to make his first start. Everyone was watching from around Canada and in the USA to see how Manziel would do in his first serious action in the CFL. It didn’t go well as the rookie CFL QB threw four interceptions in the first half in a game that collapsed right from the start. It wasn’t all on Manziel as the Als looked terrible in every aspect of the game but the focus was on Manziel. He struggled in his opening game but will not lose his spot as the starter with the Alouettes likely riding him until the end of the season to let him work through the struggles.

T.O. in Regina?

Terrell Owens had an eventful week as he held his own ceremony at his school after being inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and then looked to show he still has it on the field. The second part was a continuation of his attempt to play football in the CFL. Earlier this year he activated the 10-day clock with the Edmonton Eskimos forcing them to make a decision on whether or not to sign him to a contract. The Eskimos decided against it and removed him from their negotiation list. This week he hoped to find a new team as he worked out for Chris Jones who will now consider whether or not the 44-year-old would be a good addition to the Roughriders.

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