Tuesday Morning QB (CFL Week 20)

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Heading into the season nobody saw the finish that seems to be happening right now as the predictions were pretty clear.

The Calgary Stampeders were going to be far and away the best team in the league and sitting right behind them would be the Edmonton Eskimos.

That is, after all the way things have gone for years now with Alberta taking over the league in recent years.

Edmonton was really the only team who could find their way to challenging the Stamps while everyone else just fought for the crossover and the third-place spot.

That was what was expected and as the season got underway that is what was going to happen as Calgary and Edmonton rose to the top of the west once again.

They were going to fight it out for the top spot in the division and they were going to enter the playoffs likely head-to-head and both with a legitimate shot at the Grey Cup.

The season hasn’t panned out that way though as that usual start gave way to a bit of chaos in the west.

Unlike in the east, the chaos was more about teams being great than falling off and being worse than many thought.

The Eskimos began to sink as they were unable to keep up with teams that were making some serious runs through the league.

Saskatchewan began to find a groove with a ball-hawking defence that put up their own points and a quarterback that finally met expectations when healthy.

The Riders were a team on the rise and as the season moved on they were one of the best teams in the league.

They rose to the top of the division and now they head into the final week of the season with a shot to take home the first place spot.

The Stampeders have still been good but they don’t seem as unbeatable as they used to be and that is evident by the fact that they are still fighting for first place.

By this time in almost every recent season, they have had things locked up and have begun debating whether or not they should rest their star players.

Now they have to win in the final week of the season if they hope to get first place in the west and a berth in the semi-finals.

That is thanks to the resurgence by the Riders but the Riders aren’t the only team playing really well right now.

The BC Lions have had their own resurgence thanks to the return of Travis Lulay under centre.

They have been one of the hotter teams at the end of the season and with that has come a berth in the playoffs.

Unfortunately, for the Lions the bad start that they had put them too far behind and they couldn’t make up the ground.

Still, they went from a potential last-place finish to the playoffs as they will now play in the crossover where they travel to Hamilton for the eastern semi-final.

With Saskatchewan and BC moving up the Eskimos were bound to move down but the Bombers were the team to take third place.football-sidebar

That has left the Edmonton Eskimos out of the playoffs in a shocker of a finish for a team that is used to being one of the best.

They are constantly in the running for the Grey Cup but when the Grey Cup heads to Edmonton they won’t be a part of the conversation.

As the Eskimos lick their wounds thanks to a lost season the Lions and the Riders are moving up and taking momentum into the playoffs.

With one week left they will look to figure out the kinks before they head into the playoffs and both are trying to keep up their runs.

The Riders will hope to do so in the west as they host the Bombers in the first round of the playoffs.

Losing only two games out of their last ten has given them plenty of confidence and in those 8 wins, they have beat both Calgary and Winnipeg, although the last meeting with Winnipeg did not go well.

Now they will have to get through both if they want to take a trip to Edmonton at the end of November.

The Lions have won six of their last eight games but have the tougher road as they fly to the other end of the country to play in the east.

They have had success in the east this year beating Hamilton and Ottawa in the regular season but no western team has ever made the Grey Cup from the crossover.

With two hot teams heading into the playoffs, there is a shot for both teams to get to Edmonton this year as they need to take the momentum into the postseason to keep their hopes alive.

Fourth Down

A Ten-Team League

The rumours have been building over the last few years and they continued this week when the company proposing to bring football to Halifax took a big step. Maritime Football Ltd. Drew up plans and created a proposal for what they are hoping to be the future home of a team in Halifax. If approved it will be the last major hurdle for the group as the biggest issue has been where the team would play. There is no stadium big enough in the city to hold a CFL team and be viable but the concern is just how big it can be for what would be the second smallest market in the league. The CFL world will be watching as the goal has always been to get to ten teams and this seems to be the best chance the east coast has to get involved.

QB Battle Brewing

The Montreal Alouettes are already out of the playoffs and have little left to play for but the audition process for the quarterback position is just getting started. Heading into 2019 the Alouettes already had Johnny Manziel under contract and this week they added more to the mix. They signed Antonio Pipkin, Jeff Mathews and Vernon Adams Jr. to new contracts for 2019. That seems to send a clear message that the Alouettes are still searching for a quarterback and for Pipkin and Manziel that competition will continue into Week 21 when both could get some time under centre to get the leg up heading into the offseason.

Canadian Legend

Canadians have always had a special spot in the CFL and they should continue to take those special roles especially when they prove to be great. Brad Sinopoli is one of those players but it was never supposed to go that way. The former University of Ottawa quarterback was going to be a hope to start a CFL game and become a Canadian legend by entering his name into the record books alongside Russ Jackson. That never worked out as he was forced out of the QB position and moved to wide receiver which has turned out to be a good decision. This week Sinopoli hauled in his 113th pass this season passing Ben Cahoon for the most receptions in a single season by a Canadian as the former QB continues to chase greatness at a new position.

 

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