July 28, 2023

CFL Pick ‘Em Marquee Matchup: Will Argos win back-to-back TDAs?

Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca

TORONTO — The Saskatchewan Roughriders and Toronto Argonauts head East to the Maritimes for the second year in a row.

After playing in Wolfville, Nova Scotia last year, Argos and Riders matchup in Halifax for this year’s Touchdown Atlantic on Saturday, July 29.

Toronto won last year’s game and is looking like the team to beat in the East Division. The Double Blue has yet to lose this year, winning all of its five matchups behind a strong offence led by pivot Chad Kelly and a defence that picked up right where it left off last year. The Argos have scored 186 points so far in 2023, second-best mark overall and best in points per game.

Saskatchewan meanwhile has showed a lot of resiliency early in the season, winning three of six games despite having to navigate injuries to key players. None more important than starting quarterback Trevor Harris, who suffered an injury in Week 6 against the Calgary Stampeders and had to undergo knee surgery. The Riders will have the return of wide receivers Jake Wieneke and Brayden Lenius for the game on Saturday, which should provide a boost to quarterback Mason Fine.

Who gets the win this week? Tune in to Touchdown Atlantic on Saturday to find out.

» Learn More about Touchdown Atlantic 2023
TDA Look Back: McManis turned the tide for Argos
» Preview: Argos, Riders battle in Touchdown Atlantic
» Sign up to watch games for free on CFL+
» O’Leary: Enjoy Argos Qwan’tez Stiggers while you can
» Lenius calm, ready to make season debut at TDA

Game Notes:


  • The Argonauts and Roughriders meet in the second regular season contest to ever be held in Nova Scotia. The game takes place in Halifax and will be the sixth edition of Touchdown Atlantic. The first four were held in Moncton, New Brunswick and the most recent in Wolfville, Nova Scotia last year.
Year Date Won by PF Opponent PF Attendance Site
2010 Sep. 26 Edmonton 24 Toronto 6 20,725 Moncton, NB
2011 Sep. 25 Hamilton 55 Calgary 36 20,153 Moncton, NB
2013 Sep. 21 Hamilton 28 Montréal 26 15,123 Moncton, NB
2019 Aug. 25 Montréal 28 Toronto 22 10,126 Moncton, NB
2022 July 16 Toronto 30 Saskatchewan 24 10,886 Wolfville, NS (Acadia U)
  • In 2019: Montréal scored the only points of the 4th Quarter on a 12-play drive extended by a Roughing the Kicker call to defeat Toronto 28-22. Vernon Adams Jr. passed for 335 yards while McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw for 464. That is the record passing in a Touchdown Atlantic game.
  • In 2022: Toronto broke a 14-14 tie with a Boris Bede field goal on the last play of the 1st half and led 20-14 entering the 4th Quarter. That 15:00 span saw two lead changes and a Riders’ 24-22 lead entering the final 3:00. The game was won on a dramatic 50-yard interception return by Wynton McManis with 2:06 left. Turnovers and Sacks were the keys to winning as Cody Fajardo was dropped five times and McLeod Bethel-Thompson none. Toronto held a 3-1 edge in Takeaways including the winner by McManis.



  • Starting at 5-0 & 6-0?: The Argos have a 5-0 record for the first time since 1960 and have now replicated their modern day club record from that year in which they finished first at 10-4 (their only first place finish between 1938 & 1970). Looking back over their LONG history, they started 6-0 only once – in 1935.
  • 12 Rushing TDs: The Argos already more rushing TDs than they had all last year – 12 so far vs nine in 2022. They are on pace to shatter the club record of 26 run TDs set in 1996.
  • Chad Kelly five in a row: Has won five consecutive starts at QB for Toronto – the last QB to do that? Michael Bishop in 2007 (seven wins in a row). Kelly threw for career-highs of 351 yards and three TDs two weeks ago and a second straight 300+ effort last week. He has been sacked just six times in 2023 and over his last two games he has seven completions of 30+ yards.
  • Major Field Position Edge: The Argonauts lead the CFL in the quality of their average drive starting point. On average they have started from their own 42 yard line – three yards per drive better than the second ranked club (Calgary).
  • Saskatchewan Defence +: The Riders allowed eight TD drives in their first three games – in their last three cut that to just five opponent TDs in 44 total possessions (11%). They held BC to just 231 net yards last week, the best SSK effort in 2023.
  • Sacks Allowed: Across 2019-2022 Toronto allowed 129 sacks in 50 games, 2.6 per game. 2023? Just six in total, 1.2 per game.
  • Two Major Toronto Trends: The Argos have held better field position than their Opponents in ALL five games, also … they have maintained a + T/O Ratio in all five games. Against Hamilton last week they created six ‘big plays’ on Offence to none by Hamilton.
  • No SSK Offensive TDs: The Riders were held out of the end zone by BC last week – that was the first game without an Offensive TD for the Riders in their last 24 games. They converted just four of 23 second down conversion chances at BC.
  • Mason Fine Accuracy over three games: In his third career start, Fine completed 31-of-40 passes for a 77.5% mark. Under 20 yards depth he went 30-of-35 for 86% and was 1-of-5 on deep throws. He has made three career starts and is 0-3, all coming vs BC and Calgary.
  • Jamal Morrow: Averaged 5.2 yards per rush over the first five games but was limited by BC to just 11 yards on 12 runs last week.
  • Andrew Harris 10,246: Harris needs 40 rushing yards to pass Charles Roberts (10,285) for fifth all-time.
  • Larry Dean & Adarius Pickett: Rank second and third in the CFL in defensive plays made – Dean is now up to 508 career defensive tackles.
  • Multiple Threats: Six different Argonauts have caught passes for gains of 30+ yards this season. All six have at least 174 yards.
  • Bane & Jones: Through six games the two Riders’ receivers have entered the CFL’s Top 10. Bane is one off the CFL lead with 31 catches and they have a combined 82 targets thus far.
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