July 17, 2023

Landry’s 5 takeaways from Week 6

Peter McCabe/CFL.ca

Hello, “Mission Impossible, Dead Reckoning.” Hello, “Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny.” Take a seat. You each had a short run as the summer’s blockbuster of blockbusters. But that’s over now, the throne taken over on Friday night by the second half of the Argos/Alouettes game, and THEN the fourth quarter and overtime of the Ottawa/Winnipeg game. And THEN AGAIN by pretty well the entirety of the Calgary/Saskatchewan game. If Tom Cruise happened to be watching on Friday night, he’d have jumped up on his chair when Cody Fajardo escaped a sure sack to throw a touchdown pass and then excitedly shouted “we need to re-shoot the ending!”

Here are this week’s takeaways.

» Crum’s resiliency helps to push REDBLACKS to OT win
» Play CFL Pick ‘Em presented by Old Dutch
» Steinberg’s MMQB: A wild West shootout
» Sign up and watch CFL games on CFL+ in the U.S. and Internationally


It’s amazing how the same game could have provided two so incredibly polarized emotions for a football team and its fans.

Completely and thoroughly outplayed were the Ottawa REDBLACKS, on Saturday, at least on offence. Rookie quarterback Dustin Crum had a paltry 20 yards passing at halftime, nine yards rushing and an interception. And even when the REDBLACKS started to move the ball a wee bit better in the second half, they got stymied deep in Winnipeg territory when forced to go on third down and the clock draining.

It was easy to see how this game would play out. Every one of us knew Winnipeg would win. No slight on Ottawa. They were in a tough, tough situation, trying to hang with CFL royalty even as they were faced with a QB crisis. Roll credits.

That’s when Crum jumped up on the bench (I’m imagining) and shouted “we need to re-shoot the ending!”

With his arm and with his legs, Crum led the REDBLACKS back to an incredible overtime victory, ripping open the shirt of R Nation, planting the paddles on its chest and shouting “clear!” The rest of the season looks a whole lot different, all of a sudden.

Those touchdown runs of his were *chef’s kiss* and have a look at who it was that he beat, one-on-one in open field, on the fourth quarter hike that put Ottawa in a position to tie; none other than Adam Bighill.

Dustin Crum totally possibled the mission. Mission Crum-possible. Maybe Ottawa’s got the guy they need.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: Just what the Edmonton Elks needed, right? The Winnipeg Blue Bombers – in a very bad mood – as their opponent in Week 7.


Toronto quarterback Chad Kelly had had a good start to his first season as a starting quarterback, being steady as she goes, Mr. Sulu, at the controls of the Argo attack.

And there were times when he showed flashes of being more than just steady, flashing a strong arm and making plays that made you go “hmmm.” But mostly he’d been just what the Argos felt they needed and that was a super-solid QB who would not cost them in a major way.

A few days prior to the Argos win in Montreal, head coach Ryan Dinwiddie admitted that was by design. “I’ve handcuffed him a bit,” Dinwiddie told TSN Radio. “You don’t have to be a super hero,” is what the coach said his message has been to Kelly. Then, he hinted that the shackles might one day be removed.

“You know, one day he might have to be one (a superhero) when we call on him to win a game and be that person.”

Friday was that day. Kelly’s performance in Montreal – 21/25, for 351 yards and 3 touchdowns (one interception) – saw his cape flapping in the summer breeze, as he led the Argos to a win on a night where they certainly could have been had by a game Alouettes team.

Been waiting to see the next level up from Kelly? We saw it on Friday night. However…

BONUS TAKEAWAY: There’s a fine line between a choice being “genius” and it being, ahem, “ill-advised.” Two weeks ago, Kelly rolled to his right and fired back into the middle of the field and it was hailed by many as “brilliant,” “athletic,” “superb.” Receiver DaVaris Daniels had elevated in the end zone to make it a touchdown catch against BC. Friday night, Kelly rolled to his right and fired back into the middle of the field where Montreal’s Marc-Antoine Dequoy picked it off. “That was just stupid,” said Kelly after the game. “Never throw across your body like that.”


Every once in a while, you see a football moment that begs for something more, even after you think you’ve touched on some suitable adjectives to describe it.

Toronto Argonauts’ receiver Damonte Coxie delivered one of those on Friday night, with his diving, one-handed catch in the Montreal end zone, giving Toronto a 26-20 lead with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

“No he didn’t,” you can hear TSN analyst Duane Forde say, reverentially, as Coxie landed on the turf.

The catch by which all others will now be measured this season. “Ridiculous,” I said under my breath, but the word didn’t seem to suffice. Neither did it’s level-up cousin, the well-worn “ridonkulous.”

So I’m landing on a hybrid of the two and labelling it ridonkudiculous. That catch was ridonkudiculous.

I’m told that when he saw that catch, Tom Cruise jumped up on his chair and shouted “We need to re-re-shoot the ending!”

BONUS TAKEAWAY: Marc-Antoine Dequoy trucked AJ Ouellette during his interception return against Toronto. Ouellette then hurdled over a diving Dequoy later in the game during a big run. It’s one-all, gentlemen, so I guess you’ll have to break the tie on September 9th.


What is left to say about Saskatchewan’s incomparable return man, Mario Alford?

“Give us a quick ten, the big plays will happen,” Saskatchewan coach Craig Dickenson said of his team’s philosophy around setting up Alford’s returns. Catch and take off, basically. With that blazing acceleration and breakaway speed of his, Mario Alford has me afraid of a frightening scenario playing out.

I fear that, one day, Alford will gather so much speed that he will disappear in a flash of blinding light as he approaches the end zone, suddenly reappearing at the “Enchantment Under The Sea” dance, in 1955.

The guy is absolutely – what’s the word I’m looking for? Ridonkudiculous.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: I hear that when Harrison Ford saw the end of the Stamps/Riders game, he remained seated, dismissively waved his hand at no one in particular, and mumbled “I ain’t re-shootin’ (expletive deleted). I’m 81.”



Last week, Calgary coach Dave Dickenson lamented the offensive performance of his team, pointing to every area as cause for concern.

“We’ve gotta make plays,” Dickenson said after Calgary’s loss to Winnipeg. “You can’t win with 122 yards passing.”

In Week 6, the Stampeders passing game finally found the range after an early season of mostly fumbling for the keys.

In that wild, wild win over the Roughriders, quarterback Jake Maier looked sharp, particularly with his downfield shots. In going 26-for-37 for 315 yards and a couple of beautiful touchdown strikes, one to Tommylee Lewis and another to Luther Hakunavanhu, Maier silenced his critics and warmed the hearts of his fans, at least for now.

The job now for Maier and the Stamps offence is to keep that going.

“We looked explosive,” said a more satisfied Dickenson after the game. He didn’t smile while he was saying it. The ol’ QB knows the real steps lay ahead; building off that performance. Cookie jars eventually empty, you know. Gotta keep baking.

AND FINALLY… Hey, football gods. Me again. Remember the message I quite clearly expressed to you in this space just one week ago? On the Jeremiah Masoli injury? Yeah, well, the same applies this week and Trevor Harris. All caps this time. Are you finally getting the message?

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