July 27, 2022

CFL.ca Game Notes: A look at Week 8

The Canadian Press

TORONTO — It’s almost time for Week 8 and there’s plenty of exciting CFL football on tap for fans across the country.

It all starts in Hamilton as the Tiger-Cats welcome the Alouettes to Tim Hortons Field for Thursday Night Football. Can the Ticats get their second win of the season or will the Alouettes get their third?

On Friday, the Saskatchewan Roughriders welcome the BC Lions to Mosaic Stadium as the Riders look to snap a two-game losing skid and the Lions will hope to carry forward momentum from their win last week.

Saturday will see the undefeated Winnipeg Blue Bombers take on the Calgary Stampeders at McMahon Stadium and finally, Sunday Night Football caps off Week 8 with an East Division clash between the Toronto Argonauts and Ottawa REDBLACKS.

Buy Week 8 Tickets
» Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET: Montreal at Hamilton
» Friday, 9:00 p.m. ET: BC at Saskatchewan
» Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET: Winnipeg at Calgary
» Sunday, 5:00 p.m. ET: Ottawa at Toronto

SHOWDOWN AT MCMAHON

  • The Blue Bombers bring their 7-0 record down to Calgary (4-1, including 2-0 at home).
  • Each of their past eight meetings was decided in the final three minutes.
  • Their past seven matchups were decided by one score with an average margin of victory of 3.6.
  • At home, Calgary holds a 69-34 advantage over Winnipeg.
  • The Blue Bombers have not won at McMahon during the regular season since Week 20 in 2017.
  • Winnipeg is looking to improve to 8-0 for the third time in franchise history (1960 and 1939).
  • Both teams are tied with the fewest turnovers (8), but Winnipeg has forced more (20 vs. 14)
  • Bo Levi Mitchell has never lost back-to-back starts against Winnipeg
  • Last meeting: Week 6 (in Winnipeg) – WPG 26 – CGY 19
    • Winnipeg’s suffocating defence limited Bo Levi Mitchell to 12-of-28 passing (42.9 per cent) and a season-low 187 passing yards.
    • Possession time: WPG 37:15 to CGY 22:45
    • Key players:

MANY HAPPY RETURNS

  • Last week, Saskatchewan’s Mario Alford returned a missed field goal 112 yards for a major, marking his fourth career kick return touchdown.
  • Through seven weeks, there have been six kick return TDs (4 KO, 2 MFG) compared to three at this time last season (2 PR, 1 MFG).
  • The league is on pace to have 18 kick return touchdowns this season.
  • 2021 vs. 2022
    • Average punt return: 9.2 yards vs. 10.3 yards (increase of 12 per cent)
    • 30+ yard punt returns: 7 vs. 7
    • Average kickoff return: 20.3 yards vs. 23.3 yards (increase of 14.8 per cent)
    • 40+ yard kickoff returns: 6 vs. 10 (increase of 67 per cent)
  • Despite the increase of big returns and return TDs, no team has returned a punt for a touchdown this season on 215 punts.
  • Montreal’s Chandler Worthy, who has two kickoff return majors this season, needs one more to set the all-time CFL record.

QUICK SLANTS

  • For second consecutive week, all four games were decided in the final 3 minutes.
  • Hamilton’s Lawrence Woods leads the CFL in punt return yards (371) and average (14.3). He is on pace for 1,112 punt return yards – the most since Roy Finch in 2017 (1,200).
  • David Côté, Sean Whyte and René Paredes are a combined 51-for-51 on convert attempts.
  • The Ticats have the most 2-and-outs this season (40), but they have also forced the most (36).
  • BC leads the league with 176 offensive points this season – 35 clear of Calgary (141).
  • Saskatchewan holds a slight 9-8 edge against BC in their last 17 meetings. However, the Riders have taken the previous eight games, including the last four at home. BC has not won in Mosaic Stadium since October 29, 2016.
  • The Riders’ Larry Dean (40) and Darnell Sankey (39) sit atop the leaderboard in tackles.
  • Teams coming off a bye week are 6-2 this year. Calgary is coming off a bye, and is 19-2 on a week’s rest since 2008.
  • Bo Levi Mitchell (31,830) needs 362 yards to move past Henry Burris (32,191) as the Stampeders’ leader in passing yards.
  • Last week against Montreal, the REDBLACKS had two receivers eclipse the 100-yard mark: Jaelon Acklin (133) and Darvin Adams (118). The REDBLACKS have not had two receivers manage the feat in the same game since Oct. 19, 2018 (RJ Harris with 131 and Brad Sinopoli with 118).
  • Acklin leads the league in receiving yards (543), 30+ yard receptions (5) and 100+ receiving yard games (3).
  • Ottawa’s Lorenzo Mauldin is on a three-game sack streak with five over that span. He sits second in the league with six behind Saskatchewan’s Pete Robertson.
  • Andrew Harris (16,692) needs seven yards to pass Chad Owens (16,698) for ninth on the combined yards list. Terry Vaughn sits in eighth with 17,351).
  • Harris also needs 218 rushing yards to pass Charles Roberts (10,285) for fifth all-time.
  • Argonauts quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson (9,903) needs 97 passing yards to reach 10,000 in his career.Bethel-Thompson owns a perfect 6-0 record against Ottawa.
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