With files from Steve Daniel – CFL Head Statistician
TORONTO -- While the scorching summer weather seems to have subsided in favour of a cooler autumn breeze, the race for the 101st Grey Cup Playoffs has just started to heat up.
After the Stampeders punched their ticket to the post-season dance last week, there was a chance that the Roughriders would join them in Week 13.
However, that chance was eventually squashed before the Riders even took the field, as the Eskimos stunned the Bombers for a miraculous comeback on Friday Night Football.
On Saturday, NAPA Touchdown Atlantic takes centre stage in Moncton, where the Tiger-Cats will play host to the Alouettes in what will be a crucial Eastern battle (emphasis on the Eastern) on Saturday afternoon.
That same night, the Argonauts and Stampeders will engage in the second 100th Grey Cup rematch of the season at McMahon Stadium.
On Sunday, the Riders welcome the BC Lions, as Geroy Simon needs just six catches to become the league's all-time leader in receptions.
Equipped with the most up-to-date storylines, roster moves, stats, milestones and trends, enjoy this week's CFL.ca Game Notes.
By the Numbers:
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Friday, 8:00 pm ET: Eskimos at Blue Bombers (EDM 35, WPG 27)
Saturday, 4:00 pm ET: Alouettes at Tiger-Cats (Moncton)
Saturday, 7:30 pm ET: Argonauts at Stampeders
Sunday, 4:30 pm ET: Lions at Roughriders
Touchdown Atlantic History: This will be the third regular season Touchdown Atlantic game following the 2010 and 2011 contests played in Moncton, New Brunswick. Prior to that, there were two exhibition games played in Saint John, NB in 1986 and 1987 between Winnipeg and Montreal, and then the Alouettes again in 1987 versus Hamilton.
Hamilton vs. Montreal: This will be the first meeting of the 2013 season between Hamilton and Montreal and it does not take place until September 20th. That is latest start to a Tiger-Cats-Alouettes season series in 52 years.
The first meeting of 1961 came on September 23rd, and that was in a year where the CFL season did not get underway until August 7th. Three of the last 7 games for each club are against each other.
2nd and too long?: Montreal has been in 2nd-&-long 80 times in the last 5 games compared to just 38 in 2nd-&-6 or less. That translates into 68% of the time compared to 2012 when they were in 2nd-&-long on average 58% of the time.
As a result, their 2nd down conversion rate has dropped from 46% in 2012 to 35% in 2013 (#8 in the CFL). The Montreal defence however is #1 in the CFL allowing conversions just 39% of the time.
4x1000 chance?: Hamilton has two of the Top 5 receivers in Greg Ellingson (800) and Bakari Grant (697) along with Andy Fantuz (528) who is #1 on a per game basis at 88.0 yards. With the strong play lately of C.J. Gable (back-to-back 108-yard games), they have an outside chance at FOUR 1,000-yard players in 2013. The Ticats have never had more than two 1,000-yard players in one year.
|Related: Week 13 Action|
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» Video: Sheets Out With Sprained Knee
» Stephen: QB Carousel Continues for Stamps
» Campbell: Give Reilly Some Credit
» Moffat: Smith biding his time with Als
» Dunk: Ticats hoping for success out East
» Cauz: Back with a vengeance
» Irving: Roberts had rare wow factor
» Morris: Lions prepping for Geroy
» Busy Tuesday steals spotlight
» Lulay shelved for two games
» Sheets out for Week 13 vs. Lions
» Popp still evaluating Als backups
» Argos hoping Collaros will improve
» Bombers juggle lineup ahead of Week 13
Home Warriors: Calgary has a 5-0 record at home in 2013 and a 10-game regular season winning streak at McMahon Stadium. The last time they were perfect at home was 1994 (9-0). This 10-game home winning streak is their longest since 1997-98– they have not had a 10-game home winning streak since their league record 27-game run ended in 1995.
Road Warriors: The Argos lead the CFL in 2013 with a .833 winning percentage away from home at 4-1. If they win this week and go to 5-1, they will have matched their highest road win total in the last 15 years at 5. They have not had 6 wins away from home in one season since 1996 when they went 6-3.
Looking for Win #600: Since 1936 and the birth of the old WIFU, Winnipeg has compiled a regular season record of 599-550-14. This week, they are looking for franchise win #600 in game #1,164. Only Edmonton has 600 lifetime wins.
Slump Busters: Edmonton snapped their longest losing streak in 42 years last week with a 25-7 win over the Bombers – it was only their third losing streak of 8 games or more across the entire club history. The 17 points that Edmonton scored in the 1st quarter last week was the most for them in any opening frame since exactly six years ago – Sept. 14, 2007 vs. Montreal (17 in a 47-28 win).
De-fence!: The Winnipeg defence allowed 170 yards in the 1st quarter last week vs. Edmonton but after that forced 7 two-&-outs and allowed Edmonton only 67 net yards in the 2nd half. They forced Edmonton to punt in each of their six 2nd-half possessions. The Bombers lead the CFL with 41 QB sacks and their 8 two weeks ago vs. the Riders were the most by any team in 2013. The 8 sacks were also the most by the Bombers in any game since Sept. 1, 2002.
Run Reilly, Run: The 113 rushing yards by Mike Reilly last week was the first 100-yard game by a CFL QB since Adrian McPherson’s 102 yards on Nov 13, 2012. Since 2002, there have been just nine 100-yard games by QBs – the last by Edmonton was Ricky Ray in 2010.
Perhaps the biggest news of the week came out of Regina where it was announced that Kory Sheets would miss Saskatchewan’s matchup against BC on Sunday.
His replacement hasn’t been decided on yet but Neal Hughes, who subbed in admirably against Toronto, will likely not take the majority of the reps. That role will probably go to one of Jock Sanders or former Blue Bombers running back Chris Garrett.
In Calgary, it was reported that Kevin Glenn is likely to start on Saturday when the Stampeders host the Toronto Argonauts. Glenn has been relegated to backup with an injury since Labour Day and Bo Levi Mitchell has gone 2-0 in his absence.
Speaking of the Argonauts, they continue to juggle around pieces due to injury – mostly due to their two Chads. Chad Owens is “doubtful” according to head coach Scott Milanovich as he recovers from injured ribs.
Chad Kackert meanwhile, is “day-to-day” after sustaining a hit from Roughriders safety Tyron Brackenridge on Saturday that saw him leave the game.
The Argos also added their seventh overall pick from the 2011 CFL Draft, Tyler Holmes, after he spent time with the Minnesota Vikings. As a result, they released OL Joel Reinders, who was subsequently added to Hamilton’s practice roster.
In Winnipeg, it seems as though Max Hall will get another shot to take over the reins of the Blue Bombers offence as Justin Goltz completed just 5 of 10 passes for 54 yards against Edmonton last week.
In Tigertown, Luca Congi will sit out this week’s contest in Moncton against the Alouettes as Kent Austin tries to get a boost in the kicking game.
Congi missed two field goals last week in a tight contest in Calgary, leading the way for rookie Brett Lauther. The Saint Mary’s product was Hamilton’s seventh round pick (53rd overall) in the 2013 draf.
Out to British Columbia where the Lions got an update on their quarterback, Travis Lulay. He will miss two weeks with a shoulder injury. The Lions have yet to announce who will start in his place, but it's expected to be DeMarco. Last week, DeMarco completed 4 of his 6 passes for 47 yards and a touchdown - the first of his CFL career.
In Montreal, The Gazette’s Herb Zurkowsky tweeted that Tanner Marsh will be forced to miss Saturday's game against the Tiger-Cats because of a thumb injury. Josh Neiswander will start in his place.