TORONTO -- Only three spots remain in the 100th Grey Cup Playoffs, and there’s a possibility that all will be filled when Week 17 comes to an end.
On Friday night, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and Toronto Argonauts square off at Rogers Centre to kickoff a double-header on TSN, with the second game featuring the BC Lions playing host the Edmonton Eskimos.
|Related: Week 17 action|
» Video: Winnipeg at Toronto Preview
» Video: Edmonton at BC Preview
» Video: Cauz and Effect
» Video: Cup visits PEI & Newfoundland
» Video: Belli returns to Argonauts
» Video: Gaydosh Prospect Profile
» Ray set to return to Argos lineup
» Pierce healthy and ready for action
» London Falling: Receiver out for the year
» Belli anxious to get going
» Updated 2012 Standings
» Week 16 CFL.ca Power Rankings
Saturday’s action will also feature a double-header, as the Montreal Alouettes and Saskatchewan Roughriders go head-to-head at Mosaic Stadium, while the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Calgary Stampeders conclude the week with a crucial matchup at McMahon Stadium.
Equipped with the most up-to-date storylines, roster moves, stats, milestones and trends, enjoy this week's CFL.ca Game Notes.
The CFL enters Week 17 of the 2012 season with three teams having the opportunity to clinch a spot in the 100th Grey Cup Playoffs, while two others have an opportunity to secure their spot atop their respective divisions.
Here is how:
Montreal win OR Toronto loss = Montreal clinches first place in East Division
Toronto win + Hamilton loss = Toronto clinches home playoff game
B.C win OR Calgary loss + Saskatchewan loss = B.C clinches first place in West Division
Saskatchewan loss = B.C. clinches home playoff game
Calgary win + Saskatchewan loss = Calgary clinches home playoff game
Saskatchewan win OR Hamilton loss = Saskatchewan clinches playoff berth
Edmonton win + Hamilton loss = Edmonton clinches playoff berth
By the Numbers:
Standings Issues: With three weeks to play all eight clubs have either secured berths in the 2012 post-season already or remain in contention in some way. BC, Calgary and Montreal and have clinched a spot in the playoffs, though home dates are still up in the air due to tie-breaker situations, while Saskatchewan needs just one win to ensure qualification. Montreal has secured a home game but only in the Semi-Final at this point. Winnipeg still has a chance but must win out and have either Edmonton lose all of their games, or have Toronto and Hamilton finish at 7-11 and beat Toronto on the final weekend.
Pass Efficiency – 90.0 + : This year, CFL passers have a cumulative efficiency rating of 93.0; easily surpassing the all-time league-wide best mark of 91.5 in 2008. The top six yardage leaders this season are all over 93.3, and carry completion percentages over 60 per cent as well. The league-wide completion percentage of 63.5 is also an all-time league high.
Where’s the Rouge?: The importance of maintaining good field position has never been more prominent, which means the casualty has been the single point. The loss of 35 yards of ground after kicks into the end zone has meant that thus far there have been only 70 singles in 60 games in 2012. By comparison in 2007 there were 119 in 72 games, a reduction of nearly 30 per cent.
Kickoff Return TDs: There hasn’t been a single kickoff return TD this season. It has now been 91 regular season games since the 2011 season when Marcus Thigpen brought a kick back 93 yards for a major. This season there have only been five returns of 60-plus yards, though three of those have come in the last two weeks.
Montreal and Calgary: The Alouettes secured a playoff spot for the 17th consecutive season, tying Winnipeg (1980-1996) for the second longest streak in league history. Montreal has made the playoffs each year since returning to the CFL in 1996. Calgary has reached the playoffs for the eighth straight year, the second-longest run in club history, and for the 21st time in the last 24 seasons.
Jamel Richardson: Thanks to his 75-yard touchdown reception, Richardson registered his first 100-yard game of the 2012 season. Richardson needs 212 yards over his next three games to extend his 1,000-yard receiving streak to five seasons.
Hugh Charles: The 26-year-old tailback had a career outing in Week 16, rushing for 152 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. It was Charles’ second 100-yard rushing outing of the season.
Kevin Glenn: With Drew Tate breathing down his neck, Glenn put together a stellar outing, completing 21 of his 29 passes for 286 yards and a pair of touchdowns, leading the Stamps to a spot in the post season. Glenn now faces the task of keeping his level of consistency at the same level, with the Stamps sitting just two points ahead of the Riders in the West Division.
Courtney Taylor: The rookie Lions receiver had a career outing last week, hauling in six passes for 93 yards, including his first CFL TD. With Geroy Simon and Arland Bruce likely to remain out of the lineup this week, expect Taylor to factor into the Lions’ plans against the Eskimos.
Throwing the Flag:
With just three weeks remaining in the season, the Toronto Argonauts continue to be the most undisciplined team in the league. Through 15 games this season, the Boatmen have been flagged 173 times for a loss of 1,542 yards, averaging 102.8 yards lost per game.
The Alouettes are now the most disciplined team in the league, but not by much. Both Saskatchewan and Montreal have been flagged just 127 yards, with the Als holding a small advantage, as they have lost just 1,079 yards, compared to Saskatchewan’s 1,091.
The Alouettes ran into some injury problems earlier this week, as they announced that receiver Brandon London will miss the remainder of the season after he underwent knee surgery on Wednesday.
The Toronto Argonauts will welcome back both Ricky Ray and Chad Kackert to the lineup this week. Ray has missed the last three games with a knee injury, while Kackert has missed the last two with a rib injury.
The Blue Bombers will have their undisputed leader in Buck Pierce back under centre. Pierce was cleared to return to action on Wednesday by the Winnipeg medical staff.
Winnipeg, however, did receive some bad news on Wednesday, as it was announced that Cory Watson and Alex Hall will both be shut down for the remainder of the season.
Chris Matthews: The Winnipeg receiver went over 1,000 yards last week, and became the first true rookie in club history to achieve that distinction. Matthews ranks third with 1,090 yards and needs 440 yards over three games to match Matt Clark’s CFL rookie record of 1,530 (1991).
4000/5000 yard passers: The CFL features three quarterbacks who have already gone over the 4,000-yard mark in 2012 – Anthony Calvillo, Henry Burris and Travis Lulay. Kevin Glenn and Darian Durant are on pace to go over 4,000 and Ricky Ray is also within reach. That would make six in one season and match the league-high (six in 1993 and 2000). The all-time record for 5,000-yard passers in one year is four set in 2004 so that seems out of reach.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|