July 9, 2024

Costabile: 4 storylines to watch in Week 6


Week 6 is on the horizon and there are plenty of interesting things to keep an eye on this week in all four matchups.

Things start off in Montreal as the undefeated Alouettes welcome the Toronto Argonauts to town as they meet for the second time in three weeks.

Friday Night Football features the Calgary Stampeders heading to Princess Auto Stadium to take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

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Then on Saturday night, the Lions host the undefeated Saskatchewan Roughriders for what could be the game of the week.

The week caps off in Edmonton on Sunday night as the Elks and Ottawa REDBLACKS battle it out at Commonwealth Stadium.

With Thursday night’s kickoff just around the corner, I have a storyline to watch in every game this week.


Toronto at Montreal | Thursday, July 11 | 7:30 p.m. ET

The Montreal Alouettes are 5-0 this season and have increased their winning streak to 13-0 dating back to last September.

It’s an impressive feat as they welcome the Toronto Argonauts, the team they beat just two weeks ago, to Percival Molson Stadium on Thursday night. Can they keep their undefeated streak alive?

After a few impressive outings from Toronto quarterback Cameron Dukes to start the season, teams have film on the quarterback to study now and he’s had back-to-back performances that I’m sure he’d love to have gone differently.

He’s thrown five interceptions in his last two games, including four against the Riders last weekend. Against a tough Alouettes defence that has forced opponents to turn the ball over 13 times this season, taking care of the football will be priority No. 1 for the Argonauts and the young pivot behind centre.

On the other side, everything seems to be going right for the defending champs this season as they boast an offence that leads the league offensive points (31.4 per game) and offensive touchdowns (17) and a defence that leads the league in points allowed (19.8) and offensive touchdowns allowed (eight).

Something’s gotta give eventually and Cody Fajardo and co. will lose a game at some point (right..?) but will it be this week?


Calgary at Winnipeg | Friday, July 12 | 8:30 p.m. ET

Willie Jefferson, the QB disrupter, sackmaster, and knocks-the-ball-out-of-the-airer (this is a real word, look it up), had his best game of the season in Week 5.

It’s not that he had bad games prior to that, definitely not. It’s just that he was a bit quieter than we’ve grown accustomed to over his illustrious CFL career. He made some noise last week, though. Almost as much noise as the air horns at Percival Molson (sorry, had to).

To go along with the two tackles he had on the night, Jefferson tallied a sack on Dustin Crum and knocked the ball out of the REDBLACKS QB’s hands. Jefferson recovered himself on the play as well for a good ‘ol strip sack and recovery, one of my favourite defensive plays.

With just two sacks so far this year, keep an eye on Jefferson to help kick-start the Winnipeg pass rush, which has just six sacks total through five games. They’ll have a tough task this week, with the Stampeders O-line giving up just five QB takedowns, tied for the least in the CFL with Montreal.


Saskatchewan at BC | Saturday, July 13 | 7:00 p.m. ET

If this isn’t the game of the week then I don’t know what is. The BC Lions are welcoming the Saskatchewan Roughriders to BC Place as the pair battle for first place in the West. The Riders are 4-0 while BC sits 4-1.

While it was the BC Lions offence that roared in Week 5 against the Tiger-Cats, it was the Roughriders defence that stole the show against the Toronto Argonauts. Sounds like the makings of a great matchup to me.

Vernon Adams Jr. has thrown for 300+ yards in all but one game so far this season and has only thrown one interception. Two of his pass-catchers, Alexander Hollins and Justin McInnis, sit in first and third in receiving with 573 and 482 yards, respectively. Plus, their running back William Stanback has emerged over the last few weeks with 239 combined yards and three touchdowns (one rushing and two receiving) in his last two games.

Saskatchewan’s defence had four interceptions last week (they sit in the league-lead with nine) including two that sealed the win for the team late in the fourth quarter. Marcus Sayles returned an interception for six points and on the next series, Rolan Milligan Jr. got his second pick of the night. They’re also the best team at stopping the run in the CFL, allowing just 46.0 yards per game on the ground.

One final note, Sayles returns to the team that cut him after training camp earlier this year for the first time this weekend. Watch for him to try to get his second pick of the season on his former teammate, Adams Jr.

Get your popcorn ready, you aren’t going to want to miss this one.


Ottawa at Edmonton | Sunday, July 14 | 7:00 p.m. ET

I know geographically where Eugene Lewis is, he’s in Edmonton, settling in on his second season in the Alberta city. But in football terms, where is Geno?

He’s been quiet to start the 2024 campaign, with his quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson tossing most of his passes to Dillon Mitchell and Kurleigh Gittens Jr. Last week Lewis was targeted just three times and registered only a single catch for six yards.

It’s only a matter of time before Lewis really starts getting involved in the offence this year. I truly believe that. Lewis has two 1,000-yard seasons under his belt and is explosive with big-play ability (last year he averaged 17.6 yards a catch). He’s not going to be quiet for much longer.

This week could be the week for the six-foot-one, 208-pound receiver to have his breakout game of the season. Keep an eye on him as the Elks look to get their first win of 2024 against the Ottawa REDBLACKS.

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