TORONTO — The week opens with Toronto visiting La belle province for Friday Night Football. The Alouettes are coming off a tough 35-24 setback in Winnipeg and will be glad to return home where the team has compiled a 5-2 mark this season. Montreal will be looking to rile up the playoff-hungry crowd at Molson Stadium after earning the right to host the East Division semi-final on November 10. The Argonauts are hoping to make it two-in-a-row after opening Michael ‘Pinball’ Clemons’ era as general manager with a 28-21 win last week. Toronto will attempt to even the season series in the 7 p.m. contest after falling 28-22 to Montreal in Week 11.
The action then heads to BC place with the Roughriders in town. The visitors will need a victory to keep pace in a tight race for the West Division crown. Saskatchewan has an opportunity to sweep the season series after having claimed both matchups in a home-and-home set across Weeks 6-7. The Lions will attempt to return to their winning ways after a 19-6 defeat in Week 18 halted a streak of four consecutive victories. BC has a record of 2-7 as hosts this season. Kickoff is set for 10 p.m. ET.
Saturday’s doubleheader begins with a matinee in Hamilton. The REDBLACKS are in search of their third road win of the year which would snap an eight-game slide. Ottawa is facing a tough task ahead – the Tiger-Cats are not only well-rested following a bye week, but they are also a perfect 7-0 when playing in front of the home crowd at Tim Hortons Field. When the two provincial rivals last faced one another in Week 10, the Tiger-Cats emerged with a 21-7 victory.
The Week 19 finale begins at 7 p.m. ET and will take place at the setting of the 107th Grey Cup presented by Shaw: McMahon Stadium. The matchup featuring the Blue Bombers will open a back-to-back set with heavy playoff implications – the winner will take a significant step towards first place in the West Division and a Winnipeg victory will earn the visitors the tie-breaker after having claimed a narrow 26-24 decision in Week 9. The Stampeders are 6-2 as the home side this season and hold a game-in-hand. The contest pits the West’s two best intra-division clubs against each other: Calgary is 6-1 when facing a Western foe, while Winnipeg is 6-2.
- Calgary clinched is 15th consecutive playoff appearance in Week 15.
- Winnipeg secured its fourth straight spot in the post-season in Week 15.
- Saskatchewan punched its ticket to the post-season for the third consecutive year in Week 16.
- Montreal earned its first playoff spot since 2014 in Week 17 and claimed Eastern Semi-final hosting duties in Week 18.
- After reserving the right to host a home playoff date for a second year-in-a-row in Week 15, Hamilton secured home field for the Eastern Final in Week 18.
WILD WILD WEST
- Through 18 weeks, Calgary, Saskatchewan and Winnipeg all have an opportunity to earn a home playoff date. However, no club can clinch hosting duties in Week 19.
- The crossover team has yet to be determined.
Remaining schedules in the West Division
|Winnipeg||@CGY, CGY, BYE||20-10 (.667)|
|Edmonton||BYE, SSK, @SSK||20-10 (.667)|
|Calgary||WPG, @WPG, @BC||25-23 (.521)|
|Saskatchewan||@BC, @EDM, EDM||21-27 (.438)|
A DIME (OR MORE), A DOZEN
- With a Week 18 win over Saskatchewan, the Stampeders’ earned their 10th victory of the season, marking the team’s 12th consecutive season with double-digit wins.
- In the past 11 seasons from 2008-2018, Calgary has:
- Averaged nearly 13 wins per season
- Totaled 142 victories
- Hosted 10 playoff games, including seven Western Finals
- The next-best active streak is Winnipeg with 10+ wins in four-straight years.
- BC receiver Bryan Burnham leads the league with 1,329 receiving yards. The last Lion to top the statistical category was Geroy Simon (1,308) in 2007. Burnham needs 64 yards to surpass his career-high of 1,392 set in 2016.
- Toronto’s McLeod Bethel-Thompson leads the CFL with 22 TD passes this season. The last Argo to accomplish the feat was Trevor Harris (33) in 2015.
- Bethel-Thompson has been the top passer in four weeks this season (5, 11, 13 and 18).
- Home teams are 43-26 this year. Hamilton (7-0) is the only team that has not lost at home.
- Teams with a better average starting field position are 57-12 (.826).
- Teams with a better second down conversion rate are 54-15 (.783).
- If Hamilton wins one of its final three games, the team will set a new franchise record for wins with 13.
- 2019 will mark the first time since 2001, and only the second time since 1988, that at least one quarterback has not started all 18 games for his team.
- If Montreal can collect two victories in its final three games, the Alouettes will reach double-digits in wins for the first time since 2012 when the team won 11 matches.
- Best records when leading at the half:
- Edmonton: 7-0
- Saskatchewan: 10-1
- Winnipeg: 9-2
- 19 games in 2019 have been decided by 4 points or less, with 12 games to play. There were 17 such games last season.
- With a 90-yard punt return in Week 18, Montreal’s Mario Alford returned a kick for a touchdown for the second time in as many weeks. There have been 22 kick return TDs this season.
- Hamilton ranks first in kick return TDs this season (5).
- Calgary and Winnipeg lead the league with five defensive touchdowns scored this year.
- Toronto, Montreal and Hamilton lead the CFL in touchdowns scored when starting a drive from their own 1-to-20-yard lines (6). Ottawa is the only team which has yet to score in the same scenario.
- In Week 18, Ottawa’s Dominique Rhymes surpassed the 1,000 receiving yard mark for the first time in his career, becoming the ninth receiver to reach the milestone this season.
- Toronto’s S.J. Green led all receivers in Week 18 with 170 yards and became the 18th player to reach 10,000 in his career. At 10,080, he ranks No. 16 all-time and needs 40 yards to surpass Earl Windfield for the No. 15 spot.
- Winnipeg’s Mike Miller (184) is tied with Wade Miller for No. 2 all-time in special teams tackles.
- On Friday against Saskatchewan, BC’s Danny O’Brien will become the fourth QB this season to start his first-career CFL game, joining Will Arndt, Nick Arbuckle and Cody Fajardo. O’Brien will be the 20th different QB starter in 2019.
- In the Argonauts’ past six games, they have put together nine touchdown drives of 75+ yards, including three of 90+ yards.
- Hamilton’s Brandon Banks (94) is one reception shy of a new personal best.
- Cody Fajardo has the most passing yards (3,649) among active QBs behind the injured Trevor Harris (2nd at 3,706) and Mike Reilly (1st at 3,897) who is out for the year. The last time a QB did not pass for 5,000+ yards in a season was 2014.
- The Top-6 all-time field goal-kickers are all active in 2019, led by Rene Paredes (87.1%).