TORONTO -- Only eight games remain in the 2012 regular season, with each-and-every matchup holding massive significance on the upcoming 100th Grey Cup Playoffs, as well as the CFL record book.
Week 18 has no shortage of storylines, beginning with Friday night’s contest between two Canadian stars in BC’s Andrew Harris and Calgary’s Jon Cornish, who will go head-to-head at McMahon Stadium.
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» Week 18 Playoff Scenarios
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» View Updated CFL Standings
» Week 17 CFL.ca Power Rankings
On Saturday, Ivor Wynne Stadium will open its doors for Tiger-Cats football one last time, as the home-town Tabbies bid farewell to their 82-year-old residence against the visiting Blue Bombers.
Three hours later, the Toronto Argonauts will look to book their ticket to the post-season dance, as they travel to Regina to take on the Roughriders at Mosaic Stadium.
On Sunday, the Edmonton Eskimos will look to secure themselves a playoff spot with a win, as they get set to take on the Alouettes at Percival Molson Stadium.
Equipped with the most up-to-date storylines, roster moves, stats, milestones and trends, enjoy this week's CFL.ca Game Notes.
With just two weeks left in the 2012 regular season, here is a closer look at what could happen to set the stage for the 100th Grey Cup Playoffs.
The Toronto Argonauts can clinch second place in the East Division and a home playoff game if they win one of their final two games or if the Hamilton Tiger-Cats lose one of their final two games.
The Argonauts will finish in third place if they lose their remaining two games, including a loss to the Ticats of nine points or more, and the Edmonton Eskimos loses their remaining two games.
The Tiger-Cats can clinch second place in the East Division and a home playoff game if they beat the Blue Bombers on Saturday, the Argos lose to the Saskatchewan Roughriders on Saturday and then defeat the Argos on Thursday, Nov. 1 by nine points or more.
The Ticats can clinch third place in the East Division if they win their remaining two games and the Eskimos lose their remaining two games.
Hamilton will be eliminated from the playoff race with either a loss or an Edmonton win.
The Blue Bombers can finish in third place by winning their final two games and Edmonton losing its final two games.
A loss by the Bombers or a win by the Eskimos would eliminate Winnipeg from the playoff race.
Saskatchewan has clinched a spot in the playoffs, but has to secure its position.
Saskatchewan can clinch third place in the West Division with two wins or one win and an Edmonton loss or if Edmonton loses its remaining two games.
If they lose their final two games and the Eskimos win one of their remaining two games, the Roughriders would finish in fourth in the West Division but would crossover and play in the Eastern Semi-Final.
The Riders would also crossover to the East if they win one of their remaining two games and the Eskimos win both of their games.
The Eskimos need one victory to clinch a playoff spot and two wins combined with at least one Roughriders loss to clinch third place in the West Division.
If Edmonton loses its final two games they will be eliminated from the playoff race.
By the Numbers:
Getting the W: Despite being defeated on the stats-sheet, the Calgary Stampeders still managed to pull out a massive win over the Hamilton Tiger-Cats last week. The most notable of those statistical defeats? Their seven turnovers proved to be the most by any winning club since July 3, 2009 when Saskatchewan had eight vs. BC and won 28-24. Other than these two wins, no CFL team has won a game with six turnovers or more since Edmonton 10 years ago.
Run Hard: In their win over Toronto in Week 17, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers ran the ball 43 times, the most in any CFL game since Saskatchewan had 43 rushes for 290 yards at Edmonton on July 19, 2002, over 11 seasons ago.
AC 5K: Anthony Calvillo leads the CFL in passing yards with 4,761 and needs 239 more to become the first CFL player to throw for 5,000 yards or more seven times during his career. Doug Flutie is the only other QB to have six 5,000-yard seasons (1991-94, 1996-97). Calvillo can also tie Flutie with five years of leading the entire CFL in passing yards, one back of the six times that Ron Lancaster and Sam Etcheverry topped Canadian football in that category.
Follow the Leader: Keeping an eye on Andrew Harris; no Canadian player has ever led his club in rushing and receiving in the same season. He leads Geroy Simon by 45 yards.
Team Success: BC has 19 turnovers in 16 games. The CFL record for fewest in a season is 28 by Ottawa (1967) & BC (2006). Montreal has committed just 26 and may also end up with less than 28. Hamilton has six kick return touchdowns. The CFL record for most in a season is seven by Toronto in 2003 and 2004. Hamilton has five punt return touchdowns. The CFL record for most in a season is five by several clubs. Hamilton has six two-point converts (one last week). The CFL record for most in a season is eight by Montreal in 1984.
Chad Simpson: While Buck Pierce took centre stage for his solid outing in his return to the gridiron, it was Simpson who really carried the Bombers offence, carrying the ball 20 times for 136 yards and a touchdown, en-route to a 44-32 win over the Argonauts.
Anthony Calvillo: Usually a danger with his arm – and his arm only – Calvillo made the Roughriders defence pay with his legs. In addition to throwing the ball for 262 yards and a touchdown, the 40-year-old quarterback took off running three times for 36 yards and a pair of scores.
Keon Raymond: In what was arguably the most impressive performance on either side of the ball in Week 17, Raymond was simply dominant for the Calgary defence. Now in his fifth season – all with the Stamps – Raymond notched eight tackles, two sacks and one interception that he returned 100 yards through a fleet of snow to the endzone.
Jason Barnes: With his old friend Ricky Ray back under centre for the Double Blue, Barnes had one of the biggest outings of his career, hauling in four passes for 71 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort.
Throwing the Flag:
After losing their title as the most disciplined team heading into Week 17, the Saskatchewan Roughriders regained their composure and are back to being the least penalized team in the CFL. Head Coach Corey Chamblin’s group has been flagged 136 times for 1,190 yards – just 10 less than the Alouettes.
The most penalized team in the league are the Argonauts, who have a distinct ‘lead’ in the category, with the orange flag being thrown their way 183 times for a total loss of 1,613 yards.
Quarterback Drew Tate will likely see some playing time this week, as Head Coach John Hufnagel moved his young pivot to number-two on the depth chart behind Kevin Glenn.
The Lions will be giving Mike Reilly his second-straight start under centre, as Travis Lulay’s sore shoulder continues to bother him.
Sticking with the Lions, receiver Geroy Simon will be making his return to the lineup, following a three-game absence with a hamstring injury.
Because of the strong play by Simon’s replacement – Courtney Taylor – BC opted to keep their young receiver and release fellow pass-catcher Kierrie Johnson.
With the status of Hugh Charles still unknown, the Edmonton Eskimos have brought back Cory Boyd to fill his void in the backfield.
JC Sherritt: Sherritt had seven tackles at BC last week and now has 115 on the year. He needs another 15 tackles to surpass Calvin Tiggle’s total of 129 set in 1994.
Jon Cornish: Cornish leads the CFL with 1,302 rushing yards and is 135 short of matching Normie Kwong’s 1,437 yards in 1956 – the all-time record for a Canadian.
Andrew Harris: Last week, Harris became the ninth Canadian to reach 1,000 rushing yards in a season – with 51 yards this week he will move past Orville Lee’s 1988 total of 1,075 yards, the sixth-best by a Canadian running back.
|2||Blue Bombers||DE||Mulumba, Andy|
|3||Alouettes via EDM||LB||Edem, Mike|