July 4, 2023

Landry’s 5 takeaways from Week 4

Minas Panagiotakis/CFL.ca

Hello, Robertson Daniel. Congratulations, you are the latest recipient of the Ron Swanson “Bring Me All The Bacon And Eggs You Have” Award.

Only the most worthy gluttons are so honoured. Three interceptions for 170 yards, including a pick-six, well that certainly fits the bill. There is no actual award, Robertson, and no cash prize or anything, so please don’t contact me about any of this. Look, just enjoy your imaginary bacon and eggs.

Here are the Week 4 takeaways.

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ONCE AGAIN, PLEASE ADJUST YOUR POWER RANKINGS ACCORDINGLY

Last week I wrote that the power rankings would most definitely have the BC Lions at the top of the heap after they rolled into Winnipeg blasting BTO’s “Takin’ Care of Business” on the ol’ eight-track.

This week, you can argue the toss as to whether the Lions or Bombers get to be number two at the moment but the chief takeaway from the Monday nighter in Toronto is that it is the Argos who deserve bragging rights, at least for this week.

If the new king knocked off the old king and then you knock off the new king, they become the old king and you become the new king until a newer king – even if it is an old king – makes you the new old king. That’s just math. Calculus, to be precise. At least I think it’s calculus; I actually failed that class pretty miserably in high school. Maybe it’s trigonometry, whatever the hell that is.

Really, the one thing that may have kept anyone from digging the Argos’ 2023 vibe would have been questions about their new starting quarterback because outside of that, they returned a lot of starters from their 2022 Grey Cup championship team.

Chad Kelly stepped up against the Lions, going 23/29 for 249 yards and a touchdown and throwing no interceptions against a BC defence that was widely accepted to be the best in the league heading into the game. He passed the litmus test and gets to charge up the quarterback power rankings a few rungs. He’s not the new king, that’s not what I’m saying. But he is inside the palace now.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: Your evil twin is always there, lurking. Just waiting for an opportunity to make another appearance. No matter how far you’ve come, you must stay vigilant, always. Six interceptions says that is so.

 

A SIGH OF RELIEF, AN ANGUISHED CRY

We knew Friday’s game between Ottawa and Edmonton would be tonic for one struggling team, vinegar for the other.

That giant gust of wind you felt on Friday night was just every single Ottawa player and fan exhaling at the exact moment the clock trained to zeroes.

A 26-7 win provided a number of positives for the REDBLACKS, including a continuation of good defensive play, some killer gymnastics moves from quarterback Tyrie Adams and probably most importantly, positive steps in the rushing game. Many, many positive steps, in fact, as De’Montre Tuggle carried 17 times for 126 yards and a touchdown, with Jackson Bennett adding solid run game relief with 8 carries for 44 yards.

Yes, those ground stats did come against the team with the worst fortifications against such things in the CFL, but that doesn’t mean you don’t get to celebrate understanding the assignment and then executing it well. Ottawa had the lowest-ranked rushing attack in the league heading into this one, so it can be duly noted that in the battle of the resistible force versus the movable object, the resistible force ruled the day.

Now to build on that success moving forward.

For the Elks, there are more fretful questions. And the hope that unplugging Taylor Cornelius and then plugging him back in is just what they need to reboot in Week 5.

 

AS YOU WERE, WINNIPEG

I don’t know how seriously anyone was taking the results of the Blue Bombers’ last home game and using it as cause for concern but if you were, I have two words: Simmer down.

After being dismantled by the BC Lions in Week Three, the Bombers returned to their regularly scheduled programming with a menacing defence and a balanced, opportunistic offence.

No, they’re not too old. No, they’re not complacent. No, the ride is not nearly over.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: “Learn his name,” said Willie Jefferson as he pointed to Cam Lawson, Saturday night. And we are. Not just because big Willie said so, either. With two tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble against Montreal, the second-year Bomber defensive tackle – a second-round draft pick of Montreal in 2020 – is making a name all for himself.

BONUS BONUS TAKEAWAY: In order to even things out a bit, maybe Jefferson should be forced to play with his helmet on sideways always. Not that it seemed to slow him down on that play.

OKAY, GOOD NOTES, THANK YOU

The Montreal Alouettes must’ve been feeling awfully good about themselves after two wins to start the season. Yes, those two wins came against Ottawa and Hamilton but all you can do is play the opponent in front of you and the Als took care of business against the REDBLACKS and Ticats well.

Against a motivated Winnipeg team, the Alouettes had their moments. However, when the final report card came out after a 17-3 loss, most of the grades would have been C’s and maybe some C-plusses. The Bombers got the better of the Als in pretty much every facet of the game and it was Montreal’s bad fortune, really, to have to play a superb Winnipeg team that had much to prove to themselves.

 

The bright side of the loss? It’s super-early in the season and that’s probably the best of times to get a little constructive criticism.

And despite the loss, the Als were good enough for the words “shows promise” to be written on their report card.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: If Cody Fajardo ever wants to unleash the element of surprise, he could instead choose to spin counter-clockwise on one of his pocket escape attempts.

HE GOES BIRLING DOWN AND DOWN WHITE WATER

Big man has got some deft digits on those feet of his.

Ottawa’s Marco Dubois displayed some tremendous tightrope work along the sideline during his 54-yard touchdown reception against Edmonton. Rumbling to the outside and then tip-toeing for a few yards down the line as he flirted with the stripe, the six-foot-five, 227-pound fullback brought to mind lyrics from Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s beloved “Log Driver’s Waltz.”

“For he goes birling down and down white water, that’s where the log driver learns to step lightly.”

Marco Dubois’ sideline footwork pleases fans completely. You can ask any girl from the parish around.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: A Log Driver’s Waltz sing-along seems like a natural for REDBLACKS home games.

AND FINALLY… If Google really is the premium search engine its owners say it is, then typing in the words “perfect spiral” should bring you first to video of those two Zach Collaros’ touchdown passes against the Als.

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