TORONTO — After the excitement of Week 1, CFL fans have much more to be excited about in Week 2 as the #Canada150 celebrations will be front and centre of a week full of head-to-head matchups.
The action begins with the second half of a home-and-home series between Ottawa and Calgary, a rematch of the 104th Grey Cup presented by Shaw. Last week’s opener ended with a rare tie in overtime, and this week’s contest in Calgary is the final opportunity of the regular season to settle the score. Trevor Harris and his REDBLACKS will be looking to silence Bo Levi Mitchell and his Stampeders in the first game of Week 1.
The long weekend kicks off at BMO Field on Friday when the west coast comes to town as the Lions take on the Toronto Argonauts. The Argos had a successful home opener last weekend; BC, who just barely missed out on a win, will be looking to make an emphatic entrance. Ricky Ray will hope his connection with S.J. Green continues as he takes on a tough BC defence.
Friday night football continues in a quarterback battle as the Montreal Alouettes and Darian Durant make the trip to Edmonton to visit Mike Reilly. Both teams sport a 1-0 record, so barring a tie – not out of the realm of possibility given Week 1’s score lines – this will bring one team their first loss of the season. Reilly and the Eskimos’ offence flexed their muscles in Week 1 in their win over BC and will look to carry that back home against Montreal.
The week wraps up on Canada Day and at the grand opening of the new Mosaic Stadium in Saskatchewan as the Roughriders take on their rivals the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who play their first game of 2017 after a bye in Week 1. The game marks a new era for Saskatchewan football fans, with state-of-the-art facilities and an electrifying atmosphere in what will surely be a game to remember.
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THIS WEEK IN THE CFL
- Argonauts quarterback Ricky Ray had an astounding Week 1, completing 32 passes for 506 yards in the second 500-yard game of his career.
- Ray became the first Argonaut to pass for multiple 500 yard games.
- In his 12th 400+-yard game, Ray passed 55,000 career yards, becoming just the fourth quarterback in CFL history to do so, joining Anthony Calvillo (79,816), Damon Allen (72,381), Henry Burris (63,639).
- Ray is just three touchdowns away from becoming the sixth QB in CFL history to throw for 300 career touchdowns. The 300 TD club currently includes Anthony Calvillo (455), Damon Allen (394), Henry Burris (373), Ron Lancaster (333) and Matt Dunigan (303).
- In his 15th year in the CFL, Ray completed five passes for 30+ yards and completed 78% of his passes, including a 79-yard major to teammate DeVier Posey.
- With his five receptions in Week 1, Montreal Alouette Nik Lewis now has 982 career receptions, just 47 short of tying Canadian Football Hall of Famer Geroy Simon for the all-time CFL lead in receptions (1,029).
- Only three receivers all-time have reached the 1,000-reception club: Geroy Simon (1,029), Ben Cahoon (1,017) and Terry Vaughn (1,006).
- After securing 60 receiving yards in the opening game, Lewis now has 13,189 career yards. He only needs 10 yards to surpass Ray Elgaard (13,198) for 7th all-time and is 113 yards away from surpassing Ben Cahoon (13,301) for sixth all-time.
- Lewis, who is entering his 14th season in the CFL, recorded 102 receptions, 1,136 yards and three touchdowns in 2016.
EYE TO EYE FOR A TIE
- The Ottawa REDBLACKS and Calgary Stampeders’ highly-anticipated Grey Cup rematch in Week 1 ended in a 31-31 stalemate after overtime.
- This was the 101st tie in Canadian Football history, dating back over 110 years to 1907.
- The Stampeders and the REDBLACKS have historically been tightly-matched: they also tied each other in Week 3 of the 2016 season, 26-26.
- Before the tie in 2016, the most recent tie in the CFL was in 2009 when Calgary and Saskatchewan finished at 44-all on October 17th at McMahon Stadium.
- There have now been just three ties since 2008 in over 600 games.
- The 104th Grey Cup presented by Shaw – containing the Stampeders and REDBLACKS – was also tied at the end of the fourth quarter, 33-33. The REDBLACKS won in overtime, winning 39-33 on an Ernest Jackson touchdown.
- The Toronto Argonauts have the most ties in CFL history with 26.
- Friday’s tie was the 21st in Stampeders history and the 19th for all Ottawa clubs.
» PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: THE BEST PHOTOS FROM WEEK 1
WEEK 2 GAME NOTES
Close finishes: The first three games in Week 1 had a cumulative margin of victory of four points, one of the most competitive starts ever to a CFL season.
The closest first three games of each season by combined margin of victory and point differential (plus the three individual game margins):
- 2017: 4 (1, 0, 3)
- 1990: 8 (5, 3, 0)
- 2007: 11 (2, 0 , 9)
- 1998: 12 (3, 1, 8)
- 1997: 12 (1. 1, 10)
Week of the kicker: Kickers were more important than ever in Week 1, with the first three games coming down to a final play by the kicker. The fourth game, Toronto vs Hamilton, also featured crucial plays by the kicker, with Lirim Hajrullahu making five successful field goals and earning 17 total points.
Low penalties: Penalties in Week 1 were down 6.2% from 2016 and 25% from 2015.
Blocked: In his first game in the CFL, Hamilton’s Will Hill became the first CFL player with two blocks in a single game since Donnovan Carter on October 26th, 2002. This feat has now been achieved 10 times in CFL history.
Closing in on history: Stampeder Charleston Hughes, in his 10th season in the CFL, could break Will Johnson’s Stampeders franchise record of 99 career sacks. Hughes currently has 88, and notched 16 sacks in 2016.
100, 100, 100: The Argos had three receivers eclipse the 100-receiving yard mark in the game versus Hamilton: DeVier Posey (147), SJ Green (124) and Jeff Fuller (104).
Most yards: Edmonton’s Brandon Zylstra recorded the most receiving yards in Week 1 with 152 yards on seven receptions.
Welcome to the new Mosaic Stadium: The Roughriders open their new home on Canada Day. At their old field, the Riders played in 611 games and had a home record of 329-269-13.