With files from Steve Daniel, Head Statistician
TORONTO — It’s a unique week in the CFL, with five games on the schedule for the first time since Week 6 of the 2005 season.
Coincidentally, the Argos were also the team chosen to play twice in a week nine years ago, and they just so happened to win both matchups, defeating Montreal 26-24, then the Blue Bombers four days later.
Fast forward to 2014, and the Argos are half-way towards duplicating their results from 2005, as they’ll be looking to sweep their two-game in one-week homestand in a matchup with the BC Lions on Sunday that will close out Week 8.
One day prior, however, the Stampeders will visit Hamilton to take on the Tiger-Cats in the first half of a double-header, while the Alouettes and Roughriders will renew hostilities at Mosaic Stadium several hours later.
Week 8’s Friday Night Football matchup will pit the Edmonton Eskimos against the Ottawa REDBLACKS at TD Place Stadium.
By the Numbers:
Trailing After Three Quarters: This season only four clubs have won a game when they entered the 4th Quarter behind.
Lack of two-point converts: There have been 11 two-point convert attempts this season – and ZERO made.
More points for than against: Since 2006, the Eskimos have been outscored by the opposition in every season but one (2011: 427-401). This year they have a +56 scoring record: 163-107 in six games. Winning percentage from 2006-2013: 60-83-1 .420; this season: 5-1 .833.
Back-to-back Punt Return TD Games: The Ticats are riding a streak of two games in a row with a punt return TD – and by two different players in Brandon Banks and Quincy McDuffie. The last team to do that was Hamilton themselves in 2012 when they ran off three games straight (Chris Williams). Prior to that, only Toronto in 1998 and again 2004 made it to three straight.
Multiple running backs: With their run of injuries this season, Calgary has featured five different players – Jon Cornish, Matt Walter, Jock Sanders, Martell Mallet and lastly Rob Cote – at running back through six games. No player has more than 32 carries this season – that compares to 2013 when Jon Cornish had just under 63% of their rushing attempts (258 of 414).
Dan Lefevour (100+ rushing): LeFevour ushed for 103 yards last week and BC and became the first CFL QB to record TWO 100-yard rushing games in the same season since Nealon Greene in 2002 (Jun 28/02 with 116 yards & Jul 11/02 with 111 yards).
Paul McCallum (2,934): Last week, Paul moved into the #3 all-time scoring spot with 18 points giving him 2,934, two ahead of Paul Osbaldiston (2,932). Paul made 5-of-5 FG attempts and is now 6 away from becoming #2 all-time behind Lui Passaglia (875). Paul’s 668 total FGs made is 15 back of Mark McLoughlin (673).
1-5 Starts to make the playoffs: Ottawa clubs have made the playoffs with 1-5 starts before, though never in the Crossover rule era. They started 1-5 in 1993, 1990, 1983 and 1982 and still made the post-season.
20 QB Sacks: Henry Burris is one three CFL quarterbacks to have been sacked at least 20 times this season. Only Kevin Glenn and Drew Willy with 23 have been sacked more often.
#1 Defence: Edmonton leads or is near the top in the CFL in most defensive categories including yards allowed (#1), fewest first downs #1 with only 86 against (22 less than any other club), pass defence (#1), run defence (#2), sacks made (#2), fewest offensive TDs allowed – 8 (#2). The capper is opponent 2nd down conversion where they lead with 34.1%.
Century Mark: Yannick Carter (CGY) and Chris Getzlaf (SSK) need one game to reach 100 in his CFL career. Andy Fantuz made his 100th career start last week and Shea Emry (TOR) has reached 100 games played.
Starting in Montreal, where the Alouettes will feature a significantly different look to their offence in Week 8. Usual starting QB Troy Smith will not be in the lineup, and will be replaced by the likes of Alex Brink and potentially one of either Jonathan Crompton and Tanner Marsh should the Als choose to employ a two-quarterback system against the Riders.
Smith will reportedly be placed on the six-game injured list.
The Argos, meanwhile, fresh off their first game of Week 8, will enter their second matchup of the week likely without the services of tailback Steve Slaton, who suffered a stinger in Toronto’s win over Winnipeg.
The Boatmen will also be without Maurice Mann, who will miss time with a hamstring injury.
In BC, the Lions could finally welcome Travis Lulay back to the lineup. Lulay has missed every game so far this season as a result of off-season shoulder surgery. But with potential good news, comes the possiblity of some bad, as Andrew Harris could possibly miss Sunday’s game with an ankle injury.
The Stampeders will have a new face in their backfield, as Hugh Charles is expected to start at running back. Martell Mallett was injured in last week’s win over Ottawa.
Hamilton could also feature a new face at running back, as CJ Gable was hurt in Week 7. Should he been unable to go, expect Mossis Madu to start in his place.
Below is a look at the top five consensus picks by position for Week 8, according to TSN Fantasy Owners.
QB: Ricky Ray (25.7%), Drew Willy (18.7%), Bo Levi Mitchell (13.6%), Darian Durant (12.4%), Mike Reilly (12.2%)
RB:Nic Grigsby (24.0%), Jerome Messam (9.8%), Will Ford (8.1%), Andrew Harris (7.5%), Brandon Whitaker (6.5%)
REC:Adarius Bowman (40.7%), Emmanuel Arceneaux (17.9%), Clarence Denmark (12.2%), Rob Bagg (11.2%), Chris Getzlaf (9.8%)
Flex: Nic Grigsby (11.8%), Adarius Bowman (6.2%), Steve Slaton (5.1%), Rob Bagg (4.0%), Emmanuel Arceneaux (4.0%)
Kickers:Lirim Hajrullahu (29.0%), Swayze Waters (19.9%), Grant Shaw (14.2%), Paul McCallum (10.0%), Justin Medlock (9.0%)
Defence/ST: Saskatchewan (27.4%), Edmonton (24.1%), Toronto (12.8%), Winnipeg (11.5%), Calgary (11.4%)