I’m a big believer in having the CFL season open on Canada Day each and every year. IMHO, a truly Canadian league should identify itself with its country’s birthday. It could be an annual tradition that the CFL can build on each and every year.
But what do I know?
It was nice to see each team decked out in Canada 150 shirts this past weekend that celebrated its hometown or adopted legends. George Reed isn’t a Canadian by birth, but he has adopted Canada as his home. As has Mike ‘Pinball’ Clemons. And Henry Burris.
Just in time for Canada 150, Chris O’Leary wrote a great article about Americans CFL players who’ve adopted Canada as their home. You can check it out here.
Week 2 got off to a great start with another match up between the Stamps and REDBLACKS, then featured a rather ho-hum Friday night doubleheader and ended with the Riders somehow managing to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Ottawa at Calgary
Like last year, REDBLACKS’ QB Trevor Harris is starting off the season with a couple of strong starts. He threw for 425 yards, and three of his receivers had 100+ yard games (Ellingson, Sinopoli, and Spencer).
Yet his team remains winless.
The biggest question that comes out of this game for me is whether both of these teams’ defences suck or if their offences are just that good.
I am impressed with the REDBLACKS. I assumed they’d suffer a post-Grey Cup hangover, especially with Henry Burris retiring. So far they haven’t lost a beat, and have played the Stamps down to the wire each week.
As for the Stampeders, I expected them to hammer the REDBLACKS both weeks. Regardless, it does my Rider heart good to see the Stamps at 1-0-1, and not 2-0 through Week 2.
Calgary 43 (1-0-1), Ottawa 39 (0-1-1)
BC at Toronto
This game was booooooooring. It took forever for one team to take control of the game, which ended up being BC.
The high-flying offence the Argos sported a week ago was nowhere to be found, although Ricky Ray still managed to throw for 327 yards. Rider castoff Armanti Edwards had a huge game, with 133 yards and a touchdown.
Are the Argos taking a page from Chris Jones’ playbook and dispensing with any sort of a running game?
Jeremiah Johnson had a good night on the ground for the Lions, with 70 rushing yards and a TD. Bryan Burnham was Jonathon Jennings’ favourite target, with 118 yards receiving.
This was not a clean game; there were a lot of turnovers. The Lions had an interception and a fumble, while Argos also had an interception but managed two fumbles.
BC 28 (1-1), Toronto 15 (1-1)
Montreal at Edmonton
It’s only Week 2, but the Esks have lost two starters to season-ending injuries. LB JC Sherritt ruptured his Achilles tendon last week, while in Week 2 RB John White tore his ACL and will be out for the remainder of the season.
Lucky for the Eskimos, they were playing the Alouettes, who got off to a 10-0 start in the first quarter and had trouble getting anything going after that.
Darian Durant did not have a great game, throwing for only 166 yards. The Alouettes’ biggest offensive weapon was Tyrell Sutton, who posted 88 rushing yards.
After a few early drops, the Eskimos’ receivers finally got in gear in the second half. Adarius Bowman amassed 117 receiving yards and a TD. Travon Van (who?) filled in admirably after John White went down and added 50 rushing yards to the Eskimos’ offensive output.
Last week’s standout receivers, Brandon Zylstra and D’Haquille Williams, were both quiet, only having 17 receiving yards between them.
Als’ PK Boris Bede is off to a much better start in 2017, making 5/6 field goals thus far, including going 4/4 in the loss to the Esks.
Montreal 19 (1-1), Edmonton 23 (2-0)
Winnipeg at Saskatchewan
Damn you, Riders. Just like last week, you gave me hope and then you took it away and it made me feel like this:
BTW, Tyler Crapigna has not had a good couple of weeks.
After getting out to a 10-0 start and playing a perfect defensive game in the first quarter, the Riders’ defense fell apart, giving up 21 points in approximately 11 minutes in the third quarter. Weston Dressler had the Riders’ secondary chasing him all night long, and he would’ve had three TDs if Matt Nichols hadn’t overthrown him in the end zone.
Despite throwing two interceptions, both of which I would put under the category of ‘inexplicable’, Kevin Glenn managed to get the Riders back into the game into the fourth quarter and send the game into OT. But in class Kevin Glenn-style, he screwed up when the team had chances to win the game.
Nic Demski continued his great play, picking up 82 receiving yards and a beauty TD where he got in behind coverage and was all alone.
Sadly, the Riders lost Caleb Holley to a shoulder injury. He’ll likely be out for some time.
Winnipeg 43 (1-0), Saskatchewan 40 (0-2) (OT)