August 29, 2022

Landry’s 5 takeaways from Week 12

Kevin Sousa/

Hello, Ron Barss. How does it feel to become a sensation? Taking a hit from Malik Henry like that and then gathering yourself straight away to give the touchdown signal from a seated position. *Slow clap* That might have been the most impressive performance of the entire game and in a game like that, that’s saying something. If I don’t see this on the year-end ‘plays of the year’ reel I’m a gonna raise hell. I predict a surge in the sales of officials’ jerseys with the number 25 on them over the next few days. I know I want one.

» Argos pull together to grind out win over Ticats
» Mid-Season All-Stars: Who makes the list?
» Riders rally to earn road win over Lions
» REDBLACKS hold on to win rematch over Elks

Here are the Week 12 takeaways.


Go figure the Toronto Argonauts’ offence and quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson.

Slick and productive one half, dismal and suffering from repetitive punting syndrome the next. And you don’t know which half will be which. On Friday night, it sure looked like we were about to see the meaningful game time debut of back-up quarterback Chad Kelly, until McBeth engineered a late first half drive and then kept the beat going in the second, on the way to a big win over Hamilton.

Bethel-Thompson was asked about the inconsistencies after the game and he didn’t have any answers, which was not surprising. I mean, if he knew why it was, chances are he’d impart that information to his teammates and coaches and it would not be that way. And this takeaway would not exist. Wow, man. Butterfly effect.

What the Argos’ starting QB does know is that if his offence ever does find full-game answers, life will be much rosier.

“If we can do that for sixty minutes it’s gonna be fun to watch,” said Bethel-Thompson, who then offered up some belief.

“We can be that team,” he said. “We can be that team for sure.”

Can’t make that a takeaway just yet, though, McBeth. We’ll see what the next few weeks bring.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: The latest Ron Swanson Bring Me All The Bacon And Eggs You Have Award goes to Toronto defensive back Jamal Peters and his three interceptions, one for a touchdown. Peters says he’s gotten better in year two of his CFL career because he learned “to play slow. I was playing fast. Wasn’t trying to learn the game. In the off-season I got in my (play)books. Learned the game and cut my speed down.”



“That’s what Duke Williams told me before I left,” said Cody Fajardo of the headline over this takeaway. “That’s how I felt out there,” the Saskatchewan Roughriders’ quarterback told TSN in a post-game interview following Saskatchewan’s 23-16 win in Vancouver. “Just wanted to have fun. If I was gonna go out I was gonna go out with the stuff I felt comfortable with.”

He may not have liked it, but when head coach Craig Dickenson benched Fajardo during a Week 11 loss to these same BC Lions (Well, not exactly the same we’d all have to admit) he lit a fire under the struggling quarterback.

Fajardo’s performance on Friday night was tremendous and for the first time this season, really, he looked like the guy who was the West nominee for Most Outstanding Player in 2019, and the Roughriders’ team nominee for that same award in 2021. And with a receiving corps about to be bolstered with the return of Shaq Evans and Brayden LeniusKyran Moore made his 2022 debut on Saturday night as well – there will be a wellspring of optimism fuelling the ‘Riders as they prep for their Labour Day clash with Winnipeg.

“Everybody in that locker room needed that win,” said Fajardo. No one more than the quarterback himself.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: The unfortunate injury to BC’s back-up quarterback, Michael O’Connor, gave everyone a chance to reacquaint themselves with the notion that Antonio Pipkin can play a little. He is not just short yardage ammo. And he has a wicked competitive streak.



The Ottawa REDBLACKS had no choice but to elevate Nick Arbuckle to number one status ahead of Saturday night’s game in Edmonton. The man who had been number one in the absence of the injured Jeremiah Masoli, Caleb Evans, had been struggling much too much for it to be any other way.

But with Arbuckle looking steady after a week of QB1 reps and Evans trotting out there to make short yardage packages anything but routine plunges (how about a fake sneak and 33-yard completion on second and one?), the REDBLACKS might have struck on an offensive formula they can build on.

If Arbuckle and Evans settle comfortably into their roles, head coach Paul LaPolice might have a workable tandem that might just find some traction, with the possibility of knocking opposing defences off kilter with the odd change of pace.

Work in some DeVonte Dedmon running plays and… voila!

Big ‘ifs,’ I know. But when your team starts the season at 2 and 8, ‘ifs’ are what you have. And should the REDBLACKS beat Montreal on Friday night, the ‘ifs’ become ‘maybes.’

And after that? Well, I guess we should just stick with ‘if’ for now.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: A formula for the Edmonton Elks? Throw to Kenny Lawler. Always. Forever and ever. Do not stop. The other team will double team him. He’ll make the catch. They’ll triple team him. He’ll make the catch. They’ll quadruple team him. Someone gets flagged for PI. Which will be declined because Lawler still made the catch. They’ll quintuple team him. That’s when you dump it off to Ante Milanovic-Litre. On repeat.



Please tell me this is not the last time we’ll see Winnipeg and Calgary play against each other this year.

Three games – all Winnipeg wins, yes, but none decided by more than a touchdown. Between the two of them the Bombers and Stamps racked up 2,329 yards of offence (Wpg 1,265/Cal 1,064), pairing for 1,589 yards passing (Wpg 889/Cal 700) and 740 yards rushing (Wpg 376/Cal 364). Thirteen touchdowns between them.

Back and forth they went in these three games, each of those games continually swinging on momentous hinges, each game drenched in big, gaudy plays on both offence and defence.

Football doesn’t come much better than what these two have provided for us this season. Gimme more.


That is quite the one-two punch the Calgary Stampeders boast in their running back stable.

We already knew what Ka’Deem Carey could do and we’d gotten tantalizing tastes of what Peyton Logan could do as well, it’s just that we’d seen each of them, primarily, as a solo artist in the backfield.

On Thursday night, in Winnipeg, the Stamps showed us just what kind of nightmare they can let loose on an opponent as the two of them combined for 113 yards rushing (62 were Carey’s) and 66 yards receiving (52 were Logan’s). Took a while to loosen the cap against that Blue Bomber defence but when it was loosened, hoo baby.

Moving ahead, it’s hard to imagine the Stampeders not utilizing this newest version of thunder and lightning to the utmost. Which one is thunder and which one is lightning? I dunno, they both exhibit each of those traits, so take your pick.

And they’ve got Dedrick Mills on the practice roster, too. Well, that’s just showing off now.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: Ground game by committee ain’t half bad neither. Winnipeg went off for 171 yards along the ground with Brady Oliveira, Johnny Augustine, Nic Demski, Dakota Prukop and Greg McCrae all chipping in. Week by week, Oliveira seems to get stronger and he is obviously the committee chairman at this point.

AND FINALLY… So long, Al Bradbury. All the best to you in what’s next after retiring as an on-field official. 22 years and more than 350 games are tremendous milestones. Thank you for your love of and your dedication to the great northern league.

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