October 2, 2023

Landry’s 5 takeaways from Week 17

Jason Halstead/CFL.ca

Hello, Mathieu Betts. FYI, I easily matched that stare of yours when you looked into the camera on Friday night, not blinking for a full 23 seconds. Zero intimidation is what I felt.

Who am I kidding, I bolted from the room and then peeked around the corner several times to see if it was over yet.

Here are the Week 17 takeaways.


» Adams throws for CFL season high as Lions win
» ‘Better second half’ propels Bombers to win over Argos
» Play CFL Pick ‘Em presented by Old Dutch


The Winnipeg Blue Bombers did a very nice job of hogging time of possession in their win over the Toronto Argonauts on Friday night.

With 34 rushes for 199 yards (5.9 per carry), the Winnipeg running game impressed with a thorough exhibition of will imposition, among the best that we’ve seen all season. That was key in a comeback win and in clocking a time of possession of 39:21, or almost double that of Toronto’s.

Running back Brady Oliveira was juuuuusssst a li’l bit feisty on his way to 169 yards on 25 lugs, four of which were rips of over ten yards. Some of that’s him. Some of that’s the heavy equipment up front.

That’s one takeaway, that the Blue Bombers’ battalion of barger-inners is warmed up and grooving as September gives way to October, and with playoffs on the horizon.

Another takeaway? For the Argonauts, it’s that when you want to stop the bulldozers, it’s handy to have Shawn Oakman and Wynton McManis in the way.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: Confirmed. The Argos have a capable back-up behind Chad Kelly. Those who expected Cameron Dukes to take his first snap and immediately curl up in the fetal position can move along.


The air show looks to be fully active in BC.

It’s a healthy squadron, again, with the return of Dominique Rhymes in Friday night’s game against Saskatchewan. Rhymes gathered in five receptions for 92 yards to add to the blessings that the Lions have when it comes to route runners. And they all had a little something to say against the Roughriders.

While Alexander Hollins and Keon Hatcher seemed to have a real hard time in deciding who was tops, repeating “you da man” to each other over and over, you’d have to give the nod to Hatcher and his 10 catches for 172 yards and a touchdown. Not that Hollins wasn’t manly, himself, with three for 83 and two majors.

At any rate, right now the Lions have plenty of ‘da men’ in that receiving corps and a quarterback who got dialled in to make sure each of them had some fun. (A little more on that particular quarterback in the next takeaway)

BONUS TAKEAWAY: I wouldn’t sneer at you in the least if you wanted to make a case for the Lions being atop the Power Rankings this week.

BONUS BONUS TAKEAWAY: Rick Campbell’s beard is now 4-and-oh.


Most of the Outstanding Player comments I have heard, so far this season, have been dominated by Team Zach Collaros and Team Chad Kelly opinions, as though this was really the only question to be answered in the MOP debate.

I understand how so many can think Kelly will be the likely nominee in the East in 2023, but I dare say that the Week 17 results have made hardened concrete of one possible alternative to Collaros in the West.

Two, even.

BC quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. should already have had his name mentioned more often as this season has progressed but that is water under the proverbial bridge. What stands to reason right now – and after Adams’ 27/36 for 458 yards and three touchdown pass performance against Saskatchewan – is that his terrific season should have him being given equal consideration. Maybe he should even be favoured right now.


And here’s something else. You could make a strong case for Brady Oliveira to be Winnipeg’s MOP nominee, what with him now reaching 1,359 rushing yards and adding 380 yards in receptions. Collaros? Oliveira?

Who gets the team nod? That, for me, is the most compelling of the MOP chatter these days. I feel for Blue Bomber voters on this one.


I guess there’s not much to add to that headline. Congratulations, Matthew Shiltz.

BONUS TAKEAWAY: Snapping the ball the moment the official whistles the play in is genius.

BONUS BONUS TAKEAWAY: The CFL doesn’t keep official stats on such things, but there’s no way Hamilton coach Orlondo Steinauer did not obliterate the single-game record for high-fives on Saturday night.


Joseph Zema could have lied. He could have just let the hero narrative sprout roots and grow.

The Montreal punter caused a forced fumble with his foot. A ‘foot-forced-fumble,’ or as it is more commonly known, the old ‘FFF.’

Zema could have claimed that as he was falling to the turf, he made a split-second decision to kick at the ball that was in the arms of Ottawa returner Brandin Dandridge. That he was indeed attempting the ol’ FFF.

Could have said he practiced it daily in the hopes of someday using it in a game. If I were him, I’d have claimed that I sang out “everybody was kung fu fumbling” as I kicked that ball out.

“It wasn’t planned,” Zema told TSN during a halftime interview. “It was lucky. Sometimes you need luck.”

So, Joseph Zema is an honest young man and can be trusted completely.

Same thing for Winnipeg’s Oliveira, and I’m not just saying that because of all those puppies he’s rescued over the years. Though that ought to be enough.

“Nah, to be honest, I wasn’t down,” Oliveira said to a reporter who wondered if his knee had touched prior to him fumbling against Toronto.

Role models, the two of them. Their honesty is a credit to themselves, their profession and the teams they play for. And a couple of guys I’d trust to hang on to my wallet.

Though I’m not sure why I’d need them to do that.

AND FINALLY… Mathieu Betts has been staring at you the entire time you were reading this column.

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