June 13, 2024

Costabile: 4 storylines to watch in Week 2

Walter Tychnowicz/CFL.ca

Week 1 saw the defending champs, Montreal, notch a statement win over the Blue Bombers, a pair of QBs impress in Cow Town, an exciting ending between the Riders and Elks and a back-and-forth affair at BMO Field in Toronto.

If Week 1 was the preview, the movie in Week 2 is sure to be epic.

The week kicks off in Ottawa as the REDBLACKS welcome the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to town on Thursday night. Then things move to Edmonton as the Elks play host to the Montreal Alouettes on Friday night. Saturday features a rematch of last year’s Western Semi-Final between the Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions and the week finishes on Sunday in Hamilton as the Tiger-Cats battle the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

With kickoff on the horizon, here is one storyline to watch in every game in Week 2.

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HEY, I KNOW YOU

Winnipeg at Ottawa | Thursday, June 13 | 7:30 p.m. ET

Dru Brown will make his first start as a REDBLACKS this week against Winnipeg (OttawaREDBLACKS.com)

What more could you ask for than Dru Brown making his Ottawa REDBLACKS debut against his old team?

When the REDBLACKS’ season gets under way on Thursday night (they had a bye in Week 1) the Dru Brown era will begin. It’s just so fitting that his first start will be against his old team.

The 27-year-old pivot spent three seasons in Winnipeg as a backup to Zach Collaros. He played in 18 games in 2023, including two starts and had two big performances; 307-yard, four-touchdown performance against the Edmonton Elks in Week 10 and a 278-yard, two-major day against Calgary in Week 21. Brown also did not throw a single interception in any game he saw action in last season.

Now he’ll hit the field for the first time this year going head-to-head with his old team, looking to hand his former teammates their second loss of the season. Absolute cinema.

DEFENCE CONTINUING TO DOMINATE

Montreal at Edmonton | Friday, June 14 | 9:00 p.m. ET

 

If you love defence, you should be watching the Montreal Alouettes play this week.

Montreal’s defensive unit picked up right where they left off last season in their opening game of 2024. They forced three turnovers and held Winnipeg from scoring a major until late in the contest when the Als pretty much had the game wrapped up. Thanks to the defence (and to a pair of Tyson Philpot touchdowns) the Alouettes picked up their first win of the season in Winnipeg against Collaros and co.

They’ll have another opportunity for a big performance against the Elks this weekend as they head to Edmonton to battle with McLeod Bethel-Thompson and the rest of the Elks offence.

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM

Calgary at BC | Saturday, June 15 | 7:00 p.m. ET

Demerio Houston notched his first interception of the season in Week 1 against Hamilton (CFL.ca)

Last year’s interception leader, Demerio Houston, wasted no time to get his first pick of the 2024 season last week against Hamilton. He told Stampeders.com that he wants to get an interception in every game so Vernon Adams Jr. will need to be aware when throwing to the cornerback’s side of the field.

VA threw one interception last week against Toronto, tossing a pass over the middle that tipped off of a Lions’ receiver’s finger tips and into DaShaun Amos‘ waiting hands.

Not only did Houston get an interception, but he racked up seven defensive tackles, tied for second-most in the CFL through one week of play. Will he add to that total this weekend against Adams Jr. and co? Tune in Saturday to find out.

YOU LIKE RUNNING BACKS?

Saskatchewan at Hamilton | Sunday, June 16 | 7:00 p.m. ET

James Butler had an impressive opening game of the season against Calgary and will look to carry that into his Week 2 contest against the Riders (CFL.ca)

If you answered yes to that question, then you’re in for a real treat on Sunday night since the Riders and Ticats contest features two premier running backs: James Butler and AJ Ouellette.

Butler was a workhorse in his first game of the season, rushing for 119 yards on 13 carries with a league-leading 9.2 yards per carry. His longest of the game was a 29-yard pick up with a total of six going for more than 10 yards.

Ouellette scored a touchdown in last week’s game against Edmonton but we didn’t really get to see the kinds of run we’re used to from the 28-year-old, as he only tallied 40 yards on the ground averaging 2.2 yards a carry. Don’t think for a second that he won’t bounce back this weekend. Oh, and remember his touchdown pass last season? That was at Tim Hortons Field. Maybe offensive coordinator Marc Mueller can add that to the playbook this week (come on, please Marc!).

Watching two of the best backs in the CFL on one field is a real treat for everyone to watch, regardless if you’re a fan of the Riders or Ticats.

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