Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 19)

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As the league looks towards the final few weeks of the season the playoff spots are getting less and less.

There are two teams that know where they will be in November and it won’t be in the playoffs with a shot at the Grey Cup.

Both Toronto and Montreal have fallen to the bottom of the league this season and they are both sitting on the outside of the playoffs.

They won’t be headed to the playoffs this year and neither will have a shot at the Grey Cup but they have a lot to play for.

This week both teams took on each other and they will do the same next week when Toronto travels to Montreal.

It is a unique situation for both teams as there is not much on the line when looking at the surface of the league.

Both teams were not going to make the playoffs and playing each other mean they couldn’t even play as spoilers.

Although the teams themselves had little to play for in the league there was a lot on the line throughout the roster.

Clearly, this season was not where either team wanted to end up although the expectations were different for both.

The Argonauts were coming off of a Grey cup win and they were expected to head back to the playoffs for another year.

A repeat wasn’t out of the question as they came into the season with a reloaded roster and coaching staff who turned the team around in a season.

Yet from the outset, they looked like a lesser team with Ricky Ray getting injured and a struggle to find a QB they sunk to the bottom of the league.

Montreal was in a different place as they had been struggling for years without any success.

Quarterbacks and coaches were constantly rotating in Montreal and heading into the 2018 season the same pattern was continuing.

This time they hoped it would change bringing in an NCAA and NFL veteran to coach the team and looking to a new set of QBs to help them get out of the basement.

Nothing really worked as the Als couldn’t find a solution to their issues and sank alongside the Argonauts.

With where they sat at this point in the season it seemed clear that either team could look entirely different by the time the 2019 season came.

Just about everything was up for grabs as these final games of the season meant everything to the players on the rosters.

Nobody was really safe as anyone could be cut when the season ends especially with nobody impressing all that much.

That is the fact that both teams faced when they took on each other as every player on the field was essentially trying out for the 2019 season.

Great performances could earn a roster spot and the biggest audition of them all was going to be under centre.

That is where the problems really started for both teams but both teams think they might have found the solution.

For the Argonauts, the solution wasn’t supposed to come this year as Ricky Ray still had a year left.

After the best season of his career, he returned to lead the team again and right behind him was James Franklin.football-sidebar

Franklin was always considered the best QB in the CFL who hadn’t been given a shot after years of sitting behind Mike Reilly.

He got the opportunity sooner than expected but when he did start under centre he struggled to get the offence going.

He is back as the starter and in the final weeks of the season, he is auditioning to be the starter in 2019 with games against Montreal marking the best chance for him to make an impression.

In Montreal, the hopes rest heavily on the shoulders of Johnny Manziel who the Alouettes traded for midway through the season.

The former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL draft pick has looked alright in his limited time on the field but he too is auditioning to be the starter in 2019.

Against the only other team as bad as them this is his best shot at taking that starting role and showing what he can do.

Of course, neither are able to do it all by themselves but both quarterbacks went out to prove that they belong as the starter when next year begins.

Although neither team is heading to the postseason they have a lot to play for with players needing to prove to their coaches that they belong.

These next few weeks could determine the future of most of the roster and the team heading into the offseason.


Fourth Down

All-Time List

There will be some serious debate and consideration when writers vote for the major season awards this year. Specifically, the debate will centre around the MOP and the MOR where an unusual pick could get a lot of traction. That unusual pick will be Lewis Ward who as a kicker could change the way people view kickers in the game. Ward went on a tear in his first season in the CFL never missing a field goal throughout the first 18 weeks and that put him in pretty rare company. He already had the record for the most consecutive field goals in CFL history but in Week 19 only a few field goals would put him on the top of the football world. With his 45th straight field goal, Ward passed Adam Vinatieri for the most consecutive field goals in pro football history all this in his first year in pro football.

A Big Loss

The Hamilton Tiger-Cats were motoring with one of the best offences in the CFL as they looked to carry that offensive power into the playoffs. It is going to be slightly tougher though as this week the Ti-Cats announced that one of their best weapons won’t be with the team for the rest of the year. Brandon Banks has not been the same returner he was a few years ago but that is largely because he has become more important in the offensive gameplan than ever in his career. He has been the top target for Jeremiah Masoli this year but with a broken clavicle, he won’t see the field again this year taking him out of the gameplan and leaving the Ti-Cats without their most explosive weapon heading into the playoffs.

Losing Their Heart

The Winnipeg Blue Bombers were dealt a blow this week when they saw the BC Lions clinch a playoff spot leaving one left. The Bombers sit ahead of the Lions in the standings but will need to win to guarantee a spot in the playoffs. As the Lions move up the rankings the Eskimos and Bombers are struggling to keep the pace. It might get only tougher for Winnipeg after bad news this week during practice. Maurice Leggett has been a mainstay on the Bomber defence for years but they might have to play without him in their most important times. With two weeks to guarantee their spot, they will be without the unquestioned leader of their defence after Leggett was carted off the field during practice.

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