Hello, Duane Ford. I do so enjoy your sense of humour, sir. When you asked Marshall Ferguson “did you say school of mimes?” I had a legitimate, LOL moment. Those come sparingly while I’m watching football but when they do, it’s usually because of your dry wit. Or the times a frustrated Andre Proulx rolls his eyes and turns his mic off, mid-announcement, after being interrupted by someone in the command centre. School of Mimes. You couldn’t run against them, what with everyone on their defence being in the box and all. That team would run a pretty great silent count offence, I’d have to think.
Here are the Week 21 takeaways.
» Matchups Set: Semi-Final Saturday heads to BC and Montreal
» Argos claim 16th win in downing REDBLACKS
» Alouettes defeat Tiger-Cats in regular season final
» Bombers wrap up regular season with win over Stamps
HE’S STILL GOT IT
Toronto head coach Ryan Dinwiddie might have turned in the most eye-popping play of any quarterback in the CFL this year, and he hasn’t even taken a snap in twelve years.
His dodging and weaving abilities – and his escape acceleration – were all on display as the Argos were salting away a franchise record 16th win of the season. A number of Argos attempted – on two occasions – to soak their coach with some icy electrolyte-replacement beverages, but Dinwiddie dazzled in avoiding the douse.
“I said ‘I’m not havin’ that,’” Dinwiddie told TSN after the game. “I’m glad I didn’t get it ‘cause it’s not deserved ’til you win the championship.”
Dinwiddie showed some superb smarts in that moment, sensing just when he needed to vacate the pocket and then showcasing escape abilities that I don’t think he even had when he was a younger man.
Somewhere, Tre Ford leaned forward in his chair and exclaimed “damn, dude!”
BONUS TAKE-BERET: You have our attention, Mason Pierce. By the way, what was your major at the Colorado School of Mimes?
NOT GOOD. BUT AIN’T NECESSARILY THE END OF THE WORLD NEITHER
There’s a reason why the Hamilton Ticats shouldn’t be overly concerned with their offensive showing against the Montreal Alouettes. Two, really.
The Ticats played the Alouettes pretty tight in a 22-20 loss on Saturday, despite missing their two main propulsion engines on offence. They rested running back James Butler and they rested receiver Tim White, two rather important ingredients in an offence that had looked better and better over the last few weeks. They can think of that as they practice and prepare for the Eastern Final. However.
The Ticats didn’t appear to get what they wanted from starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, even when you consider they were without Butler and White. Nor did they get what they were hoping for from relief quarterback Taylor Powell.
They have some uncertainty at the position as the playoffs dawn.
Or is it that head coach Orlondo Steinauer has been planning, all along, to start Matthew Shiltz in the post-season?
BONUS TAKEAWAY: The above takeaway comes with an asterisk. To see why, consult the next takeaway.
SO IT AIN’T THE END OF THE WORLD. HOWEVER…
All hail the Montreal Alouettes’ defence. Can’t dock them points merely because the Ticats rested a couple of key offensive starters, stars though they may be. All you can do is confront who’s in front of you, right?
Montreal’s defence has been pretty good all year long, but over the last half dozen weeks or so, that unit has been getting healthier, getting more confident and getting faster.
Saturday’s win over Hamilton showed them at perhaps their bruising, prickly best in 2023.
Two forced fumbles, three tackles for loss and a couple of sacks. Two fumble recoveries and two interceptions. Meanwhile, the Alouettes D took just one, measly penalty, for offside.
It’s a unit filled with players who’ve opened the throttles to full and are just givin’ ‘er. What’s the word for ‘formidable’ in French? Oh, right.
Is the Montreal defence this playoff season’s X factor?
THEY DID NOT GET WHAT THEY WANTED
I don’t even think they got what they need.
After a couple of solid wins to pluck a playoff spot out of the air, the Calgary Stampeders were not really a big conundrum for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers on Friday night.
“Yeah, we got out-played,” said Stamps’ head coach Dave Dickenson. “And out-coached.
“You want to show up and you wanna get better as a team,” Dickenson said of his team’s performance. “We probably didn’t do that tonight. We didn’t get better.”
The Stampeders need to do just that – again – as they prep this week for the Western Semi-Final. A none-too-happy BC Lions team lays in wait, eager to make good on the Week 20 smackdown inflicted on them by these same Stampeders. Well, not the *same* Stampeders, exactly. Same but different, at least on that night.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: Peyton Logan continues to run angry. I wonder if it might serve the Stampeders well to feature him even more in the playoffs.
WELL, THAT’S ONE WAY TO GET THE BAD TASTE OUT OF YOUR MOUTH
Hamilton’s Tyreik McAllister was having a devil of a time, on Saturday, trying to get traction against the Montreal Alouettes. He gave up the ball on a fumble on the game’s opening kick off. He dropped an easy catch on a drive deep in Montreal territory. Then, he fumbled the ball as he attempted to field a punt. All in the first quarter.
Ah, well. Some days are like that. You just have to ride it out, put it behind you. Or return a missed field goal 122 yards for a touchdown. Do that and no one even remembers the other stuff.
Except me, I guess.
BONUS TAKEAWAY: You add James Letcher Jr.‘s 99-yard punt return TD for Montreal to the mix and you get a couple of teams that will spend a good amount of time preparing for the re-match by working on special teams coverage this week.
AND FINALLY… Do the Toronto Argonauts send Adarius Pickett on a blitz on every play or does it just seem like it?