August 2, 2023

CFL.ca Game Notes: A look at Week 9

Kevin Sousa/CFL.ca

TORONTO — It’s Week 9 in the CFL and there are four thrilling matchups on the horizon.

The week starts in Winnipeg as the Lions visit the Blue Bombers in a battle for the top spot in the West Division. Winnipeg is returning from a bye and are 11-1 when they get back from a week of rest. BC is hoping to make it 11-2 with another win over the Blue Bombers this season (the first was a 30-6 Lions victory in Week 3).

Next we move to Calgary on Friday night as the Stampeders host the undefeated Toronto Argonauts. Toronto is coming back from their Touchdown Atlantic victory that saw defence and special teams propel them to the franchise’s best start since 1935 (6-0). Calgary has dropped four of their last five contests and will want to be the first team to hand the Argos a loss in 2023.

Saturday night is an East Division battle between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and Montreal Alouettes. Hamilton will once again be without Bo Levi Mitchell, who suffered a leg injury at the end of last week’s game against the REDBLACKS and will undergo surgery. Montreal currently sits in second in the division and will be hoping to keep Hamilton behind them with a win on the road.

And finally, the week ends in Regina as the Roughriders play host to the Ottawa REDBLACKS. Ottawa, led by Dustin Crum, has won two of their last three and sit tied with Hamilton and Montreal in points in the division with a 3-4 record. The Roughriders, also 3-4, will hope to bounce back from last week’s TDA loss with a win at home, where they are 1-2 so far this year.

Buy Week 9 Tickets
» Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET: BC at Winnipeg
» Friday, 9:00 p.m. ET: Toronto at Calgary
» Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET: Montreal at Hamilton
» Sunday, 7:00 p.m. ET: Ottawa at Saskatchewan

EAST IS BEAST

  • The East Division holds an 8-4 (.667) advantage over the West.
  • East teams have won the last five interdivisional games and eight of the last ten.
  • Toronto and Ottawa are a combined 6-1 versus the West this season.
  • The East has won the divisional rivalry once in the past 17 years (22-18 in 2015).
  • Wins by Hamilton and Ottawa this week would put the East in a position to crossover in the playoffs.

WEST SIDE STORY

  • The top two teams in the West will meet Thursday night when BC visits Winnipeg for the second time this season.
  • In Week 3, BC became the first West opponent to beat the Bombers at IG Field since 2018 (Saskatchewan on September 8).
  • With a victory, Winnipeg will match BC at 6-2. A BC win will give the Lions a two-game lead and the season series for the first time since 2017.
  • BC has not won twice in Winnipeg in the same season since 1988.
  • The Blue Bombers have not lost twice in a single season to a West team since 2018 (Saskatchewan).
  • Both teams rank first and second in key defensive categories:
  • Opponents’ net offence | 253.9 (BC) and 316.1 (WPG)
  • Offensive points allowed | 11.6 (BC) and 18.4 (WPG)
  • Sacks for | 25 (BC and WPG)

SAIL THE SEVEN SEAS

  • Toronto Argonauts is 6-0 for the first time since 1935.
  • The only Toronto team to reach 7-0 was in 1921, winning all six regular season games, two in the postseason and the 9th Grey Cup championship.
  • Chad Kelly is the first Argo to win six consecutive starts since Michael Bishop in 2007.
  • Toronto’s single season record for wins is 15 set in 1996 and matched in 1997. Those teams went on to win the Grey Cup.
  • The last five teams to start 6-0:
    ​(Season | Team | Record | Result)

    • 2022 | WPG | 15-3 | Division Champion
    • 2018 | CGY | 13-5 | Grey Cup Champion
    • 2017 | EDM | 12-6 | Division Finalist
    • 2008 | SSK | 12-6 | Division Semi-Finalist
    • 2006 | MTL | 10-8 | Division Champion

QUICK SLANTS

  • Last week, there were three return touchdowns (two interceptions and one punt), bringing this year’s total to 20. Last year at this time, there were 15.
  • BC has not allowed an offensive touchdown in its opponent’s last 44 possessions. They have allowed five offensive touchdowns this season.
  • Dane Evans will make his second straight start for the Lions. Since coming in for the injured Vernon Adams Jr. in Week 7, he has passed for 549 yards and three touchdowns.
  • BC’s Taquan Mizzell registered 147 yards from scrimmage last week (117 rushing and 30 receiving).
  • The Blue Bombers have won five straight games coming off a bye. Teams this year are 8-1 following a week’s rest.
  • Zach Collaros is a career 9-3 against the Lions.
  • Five different Argonauts registered a sack last week (Brandon Barlow, Wynton McManis, Shawn Oakman, Folarin Orimolade and Robbie Smith). Toronto leads the league in players with at least one sack (10).
  • Calgary has hosted Toronto 50 times in CFL history with a record of 33-17, including wins in 14 of the past 15.
  • Jake Maier leads the league with 1,928 passing yards.
  • René Paredes made all six of his field goal attempts last week, including two from 50+ yards. This season, he is a perfect 6-for-6 from 50+ yards, and 16-of-18 from 40+.
  • Calgary’s Cody Grace leads the league with 10 punts inside the 10-yard line.
  • Montreal has won four of its last five games against Hamilton. With a win, the Alouettes will clinch the season series.
  • In their Week 3 matchup, the Ticats had two receivers surpass 100+ yards against the Alouettes: Tim White (143) and Duke Williams (102).
  • Hamilton return man Tyreik McAllister tops the league in kickoff return average (30.8 yards) and is tied for the lead in 40+ yard kickoff returns (three).
  • Ottawa leads the league with 131.1 rushing yards per game. Toronto (123) and Winnipeg (111.9) have also averaged more than the century mark.
  • Dustin Crum leads the league with 12 runs of 10+ yards.
  • Frankie Griffin leads the REDBLACKS with 46 defensive plays made. Last week, he registered his second game with 10+ defensive tackles, while also adding an interception.
  • The Roughriders have not trailed in their previous three games against the REDBLACKS.
  • Saskatchewan receivers Tevin Jones (548) and Shawn Bane Jr. (527) each totaled 200+ yards over the past two games, and sit first and second in receiving yards.
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