TORONTO — The long-awaited CFL season is finally here.
The 2022 campaign kicks off at McMahon Stadium where the Calgary Stampeders will host the Montreal Alouettes on Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. ET.
The first Friday Night Football game takes place at IG Field where the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Winnipeg will be unveiling their Championship banner before the game and kickoff is slated for 8:30 p.m. ET.
CFL’s Saturday Primetime slot will start with a doubleheader in Week 1. Things begin in Saskatchewan as the Roughriders open the doors of Mosaic Stadium to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats for a 7:00 p.m. ET kickoff. Then in the second slot of the evening, Week 1 wraps up in BC for a matchup between the Lions and the Edmonton Elks at 10:00 p.m. ET at BC Place.
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» Thursday, 9:00 p.m. ET: Montreal at Calgary
» Friday, 8:30 p.m. ET: Ottawa at Winnipeg
» Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET: Hamilton at Saskatchewan
» Saturday, 10:00 p.m. ET: Edmonton at BC
- Stampeders quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (30,531) needs 1,661 passing yards to pass Henry Burris (32,191) for the top mark in franchise history. Mitchell also needs 1,210 passing yards to move past Darian Durant (31,740) into the Top-15 all-time.
- Argonauts running back Andrew Harris (9,661) needs 625 rushing yards to pass Charles Roberts (10,285) and move into the Top-5 all-time. Harris (14,884) also needs three scrimmage yards to eclipse Allen Pitts (14,886) to reach the Top-5.
- With 22 more defensive tackles, Blue Bombers linebacker Adam Bighill (745) will leapfrog Greg Battle (766) into 8th all-time.
FAST FACTS: ROSTERS
- Entering Week 1, of the 499 players on CFL rosters, 78 are entering their first year in the league (15.6 per cent).
- Edmonton has the most first-year players (16) and Montreal has the fewest (three) – two of whom were selected in the first round of the 2022 CFL Draft (Tyrell Richards and Tyson Philpot).
- On average, CFL players entering this season have 35 games and approximately three years of CFL experience.
- One third of CFL roster players have come via U SPORTS (167).
- In Ottawa, 17-of-56 players competed for another CFL teams last year.
- Winnipeg and Montreal have the oldest rosters in the league with an average age of 28.3. Toronto and Calgary are tied for the youngest roster with an average age of 27.5.
- 65.1 per cent of players returned to the same team they played for in 2021.
- Overall, 82.4 per cent of players returned to the CFL following last season.
- There are 22 players with 10+ years of experience; Winnipeg has six of them.
- Of the 27 2021 CFL All-Stars, 25 are back in the CFL, including nine in Winnipeg.
SEASON OPENERS SINCE ‘08
- Ottawa | 5-1-1
- Calgary | 7-5-1
- Saskatchewan | 8-5
- Edmonton | 7-6
- Montreal | 7-6
- Toronto | 7-6
- Winnipeg | 7-6
- BC | 4-9
- Hamilton | 2-11
NO. 1 QBS ENTERING THE SEASON
- Bo Levi Mitchell | 108 starts | 84-22-2
- Zach Collaros | 80 starts | 46-34
- Jeremiah Masoli | 51 starts |27-24
- McLeod Bethel-Thompson | 30 starts | 13-17
- Cody Fajardo | 29 starts | 21-8
- Vernon Adams Jr. | 27 starts | 17-10
- Dane Evans| 15 starts | 11-4
- Nick Arbuckle | 11 starts | 6-5
- Nathan Rourke| 2 starts | 1-1
FAJARDO THROUGH 30
In Week 1, Cody Fajardo will make his 30th career start. With a victory (22), he would move into sole possession of 7th-most wins through his first 30 starts as a QB.
- 1 – Bo Levi Mitchell | 26-4
- 2 – Tracy Ham | 25-5
- T3 – Warren Moon | 24-5-1
- T3 – Jackie Parker | 24-6
- 5 – Kenny Ploen | 24-6
- 6 – Joe Zuger | 23-7
- T7 – Cody Fajardo | 21-8
- T7 – Bruce Lemmerman | 21-7-2
- T7 – Dave Dickenson | 21-8-1
- T7 – Jeff Garcia | 21-9
- T7 – Ken Johnson | 21-9
- Thursday’s season kickoff between the Alouettes and the Stampeders will be the earliest the CFL season has ever begun. 2019 previously held this distinction with a start on June 13.
- The season has not opened in Calgary since 2003. Coincidentally, the Stampeders also faced the Alouettes then, with the visitors coming away with a 23-20 victory.
- The last four matchups between the Stampeders and the Alouettes have been decided in the final three minutes, coming down to a single score.
- Five teams will start the same quarterback in 2022 as they did in 2021: Montreal (Vernon Adams Jr.), Toronto (McLeod Bethel-Thompson), Winnipeg (Zach Collaros), Saskatchewan (Cody Fajardo) and Calgary (Bo Levi Mitchell).
- For the first time since 2003, no rookie head coach will begin the season.
- Winnipeg is looking to win a third-consecutive Grey Cup for the first time in team history. No team has managed the feat since Edmonton won five straight from 1978-82. Additional three-peats in league history:
- Edmonton (1954-56)
- Toronto (1945-47)
- Queens’ University (1922-24)
- University of Toronto (1909-11).
- BC’s Nathan Rourke goes into 2022 as the No. 1 quarterback for the Lions. No Canadian has entered the season as No. 1 since Gerry Dattilio with Calgary in 1983.
- REDBLACKS head coach Paul LaPolice is set to coach his first game in Winnipeg since August 24, 2012.
- Chris Jones is back as head coach with the Edmonton Elks. He has a record of 53-37 (.589) and 7-5 versus BC.
- Winnipeg is 18-1 in its last 19 home games with the only loss being a 33-13 setback to Hamilton on September 27, 2019.
- A Week 1 victory would give the Blue Bombers 10 straight home wins, matching a feat they accomplished from August 13, 1993, to August 24, 1994.
- Hamilton’s Orlondo Steinauer and Saskatchewan’s Craig Dickenson started their head coaching careers in 2019. Steinauer is 23-9 and Dickenson is 22-10.
- Last season, Hamilton and Saskatchewan were among the best at protecting the football. Hamilton committed only 20 turnovers (T1) with a differential of +13 (T2). Saskatchewan had 22 turnovers (T3) and a +12 differential (T3).