CFL.ca Staff With files from Steve Daniel, Head Statistician
TORONTO — With two cross-divisional matchups on tap between Thursday and Saturday, Week 6 presents the East with a golden opportunity to a dent into the West’s seemingly sturdy armour.
The action gets underway on Thursday night, when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will play host to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at McMaster University’s Ron Joyce Stadium.
24 hours later, fans will be treated to a double-dose of Friday Night Football action, as the Alouettes welcome the Toronto Argonauts to Percival-Molson Stadium for their first meeting of the season, while the Stampeders and Lions will face off three hours later at McMahon Stadium.
The week comes to a close on Saturday night, with the REDBLACKS returning to TD Place to take on the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Equipped with the most up-to-date storylines, roster moves, stats, milestones and trends, enjoy this week’s CFL.ca Game Notes.
Ticats vs. Bombers – One for the ages: This week’s first game pits two clubs coming off big wins in Week 5. In fact, it is the first time since 2011 that Hamilton and Winnipeg are meeting having BOTH won their previous game (August 26, 2011 at Canad Inns Stadium). Winnipeg won that wild game 30-27 scoring the final 10 points of the contest.
10, 4, 3 & 1: The Ticats have allowed 18 sacks thus far and rank #8 overall. However, their 4-game week-by-week progress in sacks allowed suggests they are turning the corner fast. 10, then 4, 3 and then only ONE last week.
Wide margins of victory: Through Week 5, winning clubs hold a 30.2 to 15.0 scoring edge, more than double their opponents. 11 of the 20 games have been decided by 11 or more points, and six games by more than 20. The keys: sacks made edge of 3.9 to 2.3, turnovers 1.4 to 3.3 & big plays 3.3 to just 1.9 per game.
Consecutive wins to start a career by a QB: Calgary’s Bo Levi Mitchell has won the first seven starts of his career, going 3-0 in 2013 and 4-0 so far in 2014. Mitchell is one win away from passing the (newly-researched) all-time CFL record of 7 held by Calgary’s Jeff Garcia. There are only four QBs in league history with 6+ wins to start their career:
Bo Levi Mitchell
Jim Van Pelt
Henry Burris (5,113): Needs just 10 rushing yards to pass Russ Jackson and move up to #37 all-time in total and #4 among quarterbacks.
Argos Roster: As of Week 5, Toronto had 59 players on their roster including 13 on the Injured List. Those players averaged just 3.14 years per man in the CFL (including 2014). That is the second-lowest average in the CFL ahead of only Hamilton at 2.68 years per player.
Ray-zor Sharp?: Ricky Ray has a career record of 93-83-1 as a starter, but is just 14-15 in 29 games with the Argos. At home in his career, Ray is 55-30-1, and is just 38-53 on the road. In his 12 visits to Montreal, Ray is 5-7 as a starter, and is 9-12 vs. the Alouettes in 21 games. Over his last two games, Ray has thrown for 519 yards, one TD and 4 interceptions.
Stingy Defences – Sub 300: This year, there are THREE clubs averaging under 300 yards allowed per game (BC and Calgary along with Edmonton). The last time the CFL had three teams go sub-300 in the same year: 1979 – 35 years ago.
Home Streak: Calgary has won 5 consecutive home games and 15 of the last 16 at McMahon Stadium.
Kevin Glenn: The Lions’ starting QB has gone 2-3 in 2014 with the Lions, and this week will mark his 160th career regular season start (83-75-1). As a starter at home, his record is 51-26 (.675), on the road his record is 32-49-1 (396). Against Calgary, Glenn has a record of 4-10.
The Last Two Bomber 4-1 Starts: The Blue Bombers started off 4-1 or better in 2011 and before that in 2003. With a win this week they can get to 5-1 for the first time since 2011 and before that in 1987. They have been 6-1 just once since 1985.
After impressing in his first-career start last week, Dan LeFevour will once again get the nod under centre in Week 6 for the Ticats.
In Winnipeg, the Bombers will be without receiver Nick Moore due to a foot injury. Aaron Kelly will return in his place.
The Alouettes will welcome speedy receiver Duron Carter back into the lineup. He’s been out since Week 1 with a lower-body injury. However, it’s not all good news for the Als, as they’ll be without slotback SJ Green due to injury.
Stampeders head coach John Hufnagel was forced to do some juggling to his lineup this week. With Canadian tailback Matt Walter out with a concussion, veteran Martell Mallett will make his first start since 2009, the same year he was named the league’s Most Outstanding Rookie as a member of the Lions.
Due to ratio complications, it’s expected that Nik Lewis will be a healthy scratch against BC.
Stay tuned for more roster moves as the week continues.
Below is a look at the top five consensus picks by position for Week 6, according to TSN Fantasy Owners.
QB: Drew Willy (37.6%), Bo Levi Mitchell (19.1%), Darian Durant (19.1%), Ricky Ray (8.1%), Dan LeFevour (7.7%)
RB: Will Ford (32.9%), Nic Grigsby (27.3%), Brandon Whitaker (9.7%), Chevon Walker (7.2%), Andrew Harris (7.2%)
REC: Jeff Fuller (26.9%), Emmanuel Arceneaux (25.2%), Nick Moore (18.8%), Clarence Denmark (18.5%), Taj Smith (18.2%)
Flex: Nic Grigsby (15.6%), Will Ford (11.6%), Brandon Whitaker (6.9%), Andrew Harris (6.3%), Chevon Walker (5.9%)