TORONTO -- As we enter the second and final bye week of the season, Week 7 will mark the final time teams are given the opportunity to rest up before heading into the stretch drive towards the playoffs.
This week, a pair of rivalry games will headline the action.
On Thursday, Ricky Ray and the Toronto Argonauts travel to Montreal to take on the new-look Alouettes in a battle for first place in the East Division.
Friday night will see two bitter West Division rivals go at it, as the undefeated Roughriders head to Calgary to take on Kevin Glenn and the Stampeders.
Equipped with the most up-to-date storylines, roster moves, stats, milestones and trends, the Week 7 CFL.ca Game Notes will provide you with everything you need for the upcoming week of football.
By the Numbers:
Recent Head Coaching Changes: Jim Popp takes over for Dan Hawkins in Montreal, marking the 56th in-season head coaching change in the CFL since 1956. The 55 previous coaching changes have seen new head coaches win just 25 and lose 30 of their debuts. This is the seventh in-season head coaching change in the CFL since 2006, the 13th since 2000, and the first for Montreal since 2006.
A First for 2013: Hamilton’s win over Edmonton last week was the first game to be decided by less than 5 points in 2013. Prior to that, the narrowest margin was 5 points on five occasions. Last year at this point of the season, there had been 10 games decided by 4 points or less. There have been 13 games that ended with a final margin of 10 points or more this year.
50-yard field goals?: This season in the CFL there had not been a field goal attempted outside of 48 yards until Friday night’s game between Hamilton and Edmonton on the last play. Moreover, there have now been only 6 attempted even from 45+ yards. There were only 13 attempts from 50+ taken in 2012 but 21 in 2011. It has been 48 years since the last CFL season in which there were no field goals made from 50 yards and beyond (1965).
Darian Durant and Ricky Ray: Ray’s completion mark of 75.4% is well above the league record held by Dave Dickenson of 74.0% (2005), and only three QBs have ever gone 70%+ in a season (Dickenson twice and Anthony Calvillo in 2009). Darian Durant’s passer rating of 136.9 is also well above the league record (as are Ray’s at 124.0 and Drew Tate’s at 124.5) of 118.8 by Dickenson in 2005. Ray set an all-time CFL record last week completing 19-of-20 passes for a 95% completion rate (min. 20 atts). Neither has thrown an interception to this point – it is the first time in Durant’s career that he has gone four starts in a row without throwing at least one. Ray has gone four games in a row once before but not in the same season.
|Related: Week 7 Action|
» Video: Toronto at Montreal Preview
» Berry takes over Als play-calling
» Glenn will start for Stamps vs. Riders
» Ray ready to play in Week 7
» Richardson out for the year for Als
» Landry: Mitchell getting his groove back
» Moffat: Okeke making his mark
Montreal vs. Toronto: This game is a definite early 4-pointer and the East Division will either have Toronto with a 4-point lead or be level with two 3-3 clubs on top. Montreal is 17-8 against Toronto at home since re-entering the CFL in 1996, but the Argos have won 3 of the last 7 meetings played in Montreal since 2010 (including the 2012 Eastern Final). Toronto is coming off a huge 38-12 win over BC while the Als have a 32-27 win over Edmonton to build on. Jim Popp takes over for Dan Hawkins this week and has a 1-1 record in his first game as a mid-season coaching replacement (he won his last one in 2006 35-8 vs. Saskatchewan).
Calgary vs. Saskatchewan: This game is yet another early 4-pointer and the West Division will either have Saskatchewan with a 4-point margin or be level with two 5-1 clubs on top. The Riders have won the last two meetings after Calgary had their 7-game series win streak snapped in 2012. All three games in the 2012 series were settled by 7 points or less, while the Riders won the first game of 2013 36-21. That victory was a tale of two halves as Saskatchewan shutout Calgary 22-0 in the final 30:00 to overcome their largest deficit of the 2013 season (11 points down at 14-3 0:37 into the 2nd Quarter).
The most notable roster move of the week comes from Calgary, where the Kevin Glenn has been announced as this week’s starter following a setback by Drew Tate.
Tate will receive an injection in his injured arm and won’t be throwing for potentially up to a week.
In Toronto, Ricky Ray will reclaim his spot under centre after missing last week’s action with a lower-body injury. His running back Chad Kackert is still out with a knee injury as well. Curtis Steele will continue to carry the ball for the Argos.
The Als will be without tailback Brandon Whitaker this week. The veteran rusher suffered a shoulder injury late in Montreal’s win over the Eskimos. However, after early reports indicated that he’d miss a month of action, Head Coach and GM Jim Popp said Whitaker might be able to go for their Week 8 clash against the Roughriders.
Geroy Simon: With 5 receptions for 125 yards in his last game, Simon is now just 4 catches away from 1,000 for his regular season career and 50 yards short of 16,000. His 100-yard game last week was the 63rd of his career which puts him just one back of all-time leader Calgary’s Allen Pitts who had 64 from 1990 to 2000.
Rene Paredes: Last week Paredes made all 5 of his FG attempts to set a new CFL record for consecutive makes with 34, four more than BC’s Paul McCallum had in 2011. Paredes’ last miss was 12 games ago on Sept. 23, 2012 from 45 yards out at Regina. During his streak his longest was from 46 yards, 27 have come from inside 40 yards, and 7 from 40 and longer with an average of 30.3 yards per attempt. Of the most recent 16 made FGs in the streak, 15 have come from inside 40 yards (average 28.6 yards).
Kory Sheets: After 5 games Kory Sheets has 712 rushing yards which is the highest total any CFL player has ever accumulated at that point of any season. Sheets needs 104 yards this week to surpass Willie Burden’s 6-game total of 815 yards but already has enough to be at least #2 at that point. The best 7-game total is Burden’s 908 (129.7/gm). Video
Preview: Toronto at Montreal Wk. 7
Consecutive Games with Receptions: Calgary’s Nik Lewis has extended his streak to 162 straight games with at least one reception accounting for every regular season game in his 10-year career. It is the 3rd longest streak of all-time. Geroy Simon has catches in both of his games in 2013 extending his consecutive run to 175 in a row which is 2nd all-time, 41 back of the all-time record holder Don Narcisse of Saskatchewan at 216. Weston Dressler now has a 50 game reception streak underway and Fred Stamps has extended his to 91 games.
QB Streak: Anthony Calvillo has thrown a TD pass in 22 straight games, the CFL’s 3rd-longest streak in history. It is notable that Calvillo’s TD pass streak has a similarity to Travis Lulay’s 26-gamer in that Calvillo was part of the 42-man active roster on Nov. 2, 2012 but did not see the field at all. The CFL’s prior ruling was that such streaks can continue due to the specific nature of the QB position. Of additional note, Calvillo’s current run of 5 games under 300 yards is his longest since 2006 (8 games in a row).
All-Time Stats: Arland Bruce III currently ranks #11 at 10,985 yards and with 15 more can reach 11,000. With another 185 yards Bruce can move into the all-time Top 10 matching Brian Kelly’s total of 11,169 yards. Anthony Calvillo now has 79,529 career regular season passing yards and therefore needs 471 to become the first to 80,000. Ricky Ray needs 271 yards to reach 46,000 for his career while Noel Prefontaine needs just 8 points to reach 1,600 for his career and will be playing in his 250th career CFL game this week if he suits up.