Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 12)

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It is built as one of the biggest weeks of the season in the CFL with Week 12 marking Labour Day weekend.

Aside from the playoffs and the Grey Cup, it is the most important week of the season as this is the moment that can truly define a season.

Nobody playing or coaching wants to admit it because it essentially erases the importance of the entire season before Labour Day.

Although still important, the rest of the season is more of a setup leading into Labour Day and every week beyond Labour Day.

No team is ever really out of the running by Labour Day and none are necessarily guaranteed a spot.

Once this week begins though that is when things become so much more important as every win and loss becomes so much more important.

It is almost the unofficial start of the playoff race with nine weeks left to add up those points and earn a playoff spot.

Last year this week marked the turning point for the Toronto Argonauts as they lost to the Ti-Cats before winning five of their last seven.

That momentum lead to the playoffs and eventually to the Grey Cup where the Argos took the win against the Calgary Stampeders.

Labour Day marked the moment where the Argos began to fix their game and moved up the rankings all the way to champions/

This year everyone knew that story and knew just how important this weekend could be as the teams on top were looking to turn up the pressure while the others teams were attempting to reduce the distance.

Teams know how important this week is when they came into it and for many teams the matchups they had made everything even bigger.

As usual, the biggest rivalries in the league took the focus but so did a rivalry that the league hopes to continually grow.

The Ottawa REDBLACKS and Montreal Alouettes began the week off and it was a big game for the Alouettes.

Sitting at the bottom of the league means that the Alouettes have a slim chance of making the playoffs this year.

They almost need to win out the rest of the season if they hope to sniff the playoffs this year and after beating Toronto a week ago they got their chance to take out another divisional rival.

If the Als could win they could find their playoff hopes still alive as the east remains a division where being .500 can win the entire thing.

They were able to get through the REDBLACKS with a 21-11 win that has left a serious question mark at quarterback for the team.

It was the second win for Antonio Pipkin who got the start ahead of Johnny Manziel after he returned from his concussion issues this week.

For the second straight week, Pipkin was able to lead the team to a win and keeping their hopes alive for the playoffs with six points after their Labour Day matchup.football-sidebar

Then came the legendary rivalries as the Saskatchewan Roughriders took a home win against the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

The Riders were in a similar situation to the Alouettes sitting near the bottom of the division but the win against the Bombers pushed them near the top.

With such a close battle in the west very win is so important and with the Bombers fighting for the same playoff spot the Riders’ win is a big one to start the second half.

In Calgary, the Eskimos looked to get past their provincial rival in the Battle of Alberta but weren’t able to do it.

Although they looked like the better team, the Esks couldn’t stop the Stampeders from coming back and taking the win to keep their hold of first place in the west and creating a bigger hill to climb for the Esks.

In Hamilton, the Argonauts looked to upset the Ti-Cats and begin another amazing run with a rare win in Hamilton.

Although they had some great moments the Ti-Cats were able to put up 41 points and sink the hopes for the Argos.

That game puts the Argonauts in a tough spot heading into the second half as they are tied with the Alouettes for last in the division.

They will need to make some serious adjustments in order to compete again and try to find a playoff spot.

The Labour Day games are done and now come the rematches for a number of the teams giving every losing team a chance to get some revenge and the winning teams another chance to move ahead in the standings.

As Labour Day weekend fades it is time for teams to look to the near future and the playoff race.

Only a few teams will get the chance and all need to focus in order to find their way to the playoffs with a chance at the Grey Cup.

 

Fourth Down

A Big Punishment

Kyries Hebert will miss some very important games in the next couple of weeks after the CFL announced that he would be suspended for two games. The suspension came after a dangerous hit during Friday’s game against Montreal. Hebert launched himself into B.J. Cunningham hitting the Montreal receiver with a helmet to helmet hit. The suspension has come under fire since the league announced it on Monday as many think that it is too harsh. It is the longest suspension for something during the game but this is not the first time that Hebert has been in trouble. He has made a habit of playing on the edge and often goes over that edge like he did earlier this year when he was given a one-game suspension after Week 3, likely leading to his second suspension is longer.

Scouting Bureau Rankings

 The First Scouting Bureau rankings are out giving fans a glimpse into the future of the league but there is an interesting pattern. This year there are more Canadians earning their stripes in the NCAA rather than U Sports. In the top ten of the first rankings, there are a total of eight players playing in the NCAA while only two Laval players make that top ten. It is a sign of a trend in Canadian football with more talent heading south than ever before. The NCAA is beginning to see potential in Canadian high schools bringing them north to try to find their top players. It could be concerning for the CFL though as those NCAA players aren’t often known for heading to the CFL as many go to the NFL with more teams taking a look at them and their NCAA careers.

A busy time for Scouts

It is one of the busiest times of the year for CFL scouts as they look to the South to find more talent for the playoff run. Players who took their chances in the NFL found out their fate this week with NFL cuts provided a clearer picture for some major names in the CFL. Every year a number of the best players in the CFL head to the NFL to try out for teams and some won’t be able to make it, getting cut throughout training camps. Although they may not have made it in the NFL they usually get a chance to return to the CFL as teams begin bidding wars on some of the biggest names. This year that name might be DeVier Posey who was cut by the Baltimore Ravens but was a star in Toronto a year ago. The Argonauts will likely go after him but with interest from around the league he could end up in any of the teams within the next few weeks.

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