Hello, quarterbacks of the CFL. Any of you got an extra one of those cool wristband thingys I can have? I want one and I will wear it all the time. Except mine will have all my various internet account passwords on it.
Here are the Week 8 Takeaways.
» Argos row to 6-0 with TDA win over Riders
» Bo Levi Mitchell avoids season-ending injury, moves to 6-game
» Defensive core key to Als success over Stamps
» Play CFL Pick ‘Em presented by Old Dutch
» Sign up and watch CFL games on CFL+ in the U.S. and Internationally
THE NUMBERS DON’T ALWAYS ADD UP. EXCEPT THAT THEY ALWAYS DO
So here we are again, in a position where math cannot be disputed, except that, in football, math can be a big, fat liar.
The Argos beat the Roughriders on Saturday, leading by a score of 31-6 before Saskatchewan got a late-game major to make the final a bit closer, but still a comfortable victory for Toronto.
Toronto’s offence was held to 200 net yards, Saskatchewan rolled up 426. The Riders picked up 22 first downs, the Argos 13.
Your eyes did not deceive you, Saskatchewan’s offence moved the ball more freely than did Toronto’s for most of the game.
But the Argos’ defence is one of those units that let’s you mosey on up to the entrance of their shop, when they then quickly hang up a ‘CLOSED’ sign. The math changes when you factor in things like turnovers. Five forced by the Toronto defence, one by Saskatchewan.
The math changes again when it is tilted by a 71-yard punt return touchdown like the one Toronto got from Javon Leake.
So there’s math, and then there’s math. The Argos had a bad day on offence but got good stuff from defence and special teams.
Like Meatloaf said: Two outta three ain’t bad. Again, that’s math.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: How deep are the Argos in defensive line talent? We may never know unless James Cameron finances an expedition and then produces a documentary on it.
THE BUTTERFLY EFFECT IS REAL
You’ve heard of the butterfly effect? The theory that a single butterfly flapping its wings at an opportune moment, in one hemisphere, can lead to a hurricane in another?
The difference between the Ottawa REDBLACKS winning a third straight game and dropping a close one to Hamilton came on a terrific play by Hamilton’s Casey Sayles, who knocked down what might well have been a touchdown strike from REDBLACKS’ quarterback Dustin Crum to Nate Behar on third and goal from the Ticats’ four-yard line, with seconds to go.
But that moment probably would never have come if not for the butterfly that flapped its wings as the third quarter was ending. When Bo Levi Mitchell was picked off by Ottawa’s Brandon Dandridge, in a nine-all game, the REDBLACKS would have had instant field goal possession. Heck, if Dandridge had even merely knocked the ball down, the Ticats would have been punting from deep in their own end. But Dandridge’s pick, followed by his fumble – forced by receiver Terry Godwin and recovered by offensive lineman Coulter Woodmansey – gave the Ticats a fresh set of downs.
On the next play, Mitchell hit Kai Locksley on a swing pass behind the line of scrimmage, and eighty yards later, Hamilton had a touchdown and the lead.
Woodmansey’s recovery of the Dandridge fumble could be called a turning point, but I prefer the term butterfly effect. And, yes, Coulter Woodmansey would be the butterfly in this scenario. A six-foot-five, 310 pound butterfly.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: Persistence is not futile, I guess. The Ticats’ insistence that Locksley continue to be a target on a night when throwing to him was not paying off at all became something that worked out just great, didn’t it?
BONUS BONUS TAKEAWAY: You know what it is. Gonna make me say it? But you know, already. Alright, here goes: Maybe someone NOT named Bo Levi Mitchell should take a snap and plunge headfirst into a roiling, angry sea of 290 pound humans.
HE SOMETIMES PUTS SUGAR IN THEIR COFFEE NOT VINEGAR
Calgary coach Dave Dickenson has never been shy about pointedly criticizing certain units or even players on his team in the past. It was just a couple or three weeks ago when he hinted, broadly, that if assignments were not being carried out properly, the Stamps might have to look at perhaps bringing in some players.
Execution was the problem for the Stamps, the coach figured. That tune has changed.
After Calgary’s hard-fought loss to the Montreal Alouettes on Sunday, Dickenson showed us a different side. An empathetic one.
“We are playing extremely hard,” Dickenson said in his post-game media conference. “You wish the guys’d get rewarded.”
“I’d like to win some of these,” he continued, referring to another game he feels was there for the taking. “I just feel like the players need it.”
He sees you, Stampeder players. He feels you.
“I do believe that the group believes that this group will win a lot of football games,” added Dickenson, who knows, however, that time is of the essence.
“The longer you wait on that, it gets tougher,” he said.
With undefeated Toronto visiting Calgary in Week 9, you might be inclined to think the Stampeders are headed for 2 and 6. We’ll see, though. There’d be no better time to get a season-altering win and the reward that Dickenson wants for his players.
OH MASON, YOU’RE SO FINE, YOU’RE SO FINE YOU BLOW MY MIND, HEY MASON (CLAP, CLAP-CLAP) HEY MASON
I don’t understand why anyone would be calling for Mason Fine to be relegated to back-up for the Saskatchewan Roughriders ‘ Week 9 game against Ottawa.
Yup, the Riders have failed to score an offensive touchdown in their last two games with Fine at quarterback. Those two games just happened to come against the two best defences in the CFL, for one thing.
For two things, Mason showed, well, fine form against Toronto, passing for 302 yards, with much of that yardage coming while under ungodly, physically-draining hectoring by the Toronto pass rush that, at times, made a drop-back look like a fight scene from Everything Everywhere All At Once.
Fine showed toughness and resilience and a good arm against the Argos, completing one pass to Samuel Emilus for 14 yards while being absolutely blasted by linebacker Wynton McManis, who was a regular in the Saskatchewan backfield most of the game.
For three things, I can’t recall who fumbled at the Toronto goal line on one red zone foray, nor who failed to pull in a catchable end zone ball on another but I’m pretty sure they weren’t named Mason Fine.
Want to get closer to clicking the tumblers on the offence, Saskatchewan?
Play Mason (clap, clap-clap) Play Mason.
MAYBE TIME FOR SOME CREATIVE THINKING
What to say about the Edmonton Elks? The easy takeaway from the Elks’ 27-0 loss to the BC Lions is that they need to stop making life so much more difficult for themselves, for starters. Thirteen penalties for 177 yards? What in the name of Hugh Campbell is that?
The offensive problems seem to have a lot of people contemplating a chicken and egg kind of thing. Does having Taylor Cornelius at QB1 create more problems for the rest of the offence or is it that the rest of the offence is creating more problems for Cornelius?
May I suggest something kinda out there, Chris Jones?
A quarterback known as Tre-lor Fordnelius.
CFL rules allow for two quarterbacks on the field at once, we all know, but it is a rule that is not often exploited. I propose a healthy dose of Cornelius and Tre Ford in the backfield at the same time. And lots of weirdo, exotic plays that include each of those quarterbacks running routes when the other has the ball. And maybe with big Tay laying licks on defenders when Ford is running. You gotta know that Cornelius, by this time, is eager to dish out a little of the punishment he has been receiving.
Is that being a bit too thirsty? Well, these are desperate times in Edmonton. Do what you have to in order to find some water, any water at all.
AND FINALLY… Kinda funny that a team nicknamed “The Boatmen” would do whatever they can to spring a Leake during their games.