THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 17

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Thursday, October 13, 2016 — Week 17 marks the beginning of 2016’s CFL Pink campaign, bringing together teams and fans across the league together to tackle cancer by raising money and awareness for cancer charities and engaging their communities.

Three CFL Pink games will take place in Week 17:

  • October 14th: OTT @ HAM
  • October 15th: SSK @ TOR
  • October 15th: MTL @ CGY

Entering Week 17, only Calgary owns a solidified position in the playoff standings and the entire East Division up for grabs. This week’s games will help clear up the playoff picture little more for CFL fans.

Friday night features a double-header that begins when Hamilton plays host to East Division foes the Ottawa REDBLACKS with first place on the line. In the first game of a home-and-home series, a win paired with losses by Montreal and Toronto would confirm a home playoff date for either Hamilton and Ottawa.

Following the battle for first in the East Division, Winnipeg visits BC where sole possession for second place in the West is on the line. Following Winnipeg’s 37-35 win over BC last week, BC will be looking to return the favour as both teams eye hosting the Western Semi-Final game.

Moving into Saturday, another double-header rounds out the weekend. The surging Saskatchewan Roughriders enter the game riding a three-game winning streak as the Toronto Argonauts look to keep their playoff lives in play. Toronto won the first game between the two teams back in Week 2 in Regina, 30-17.

Week 17 ends in Calgary where the Stampeders take on the Alouettes. The Stampeders are a win away from extending their unbeaten streak to 15 games which would be tied for the second-longest in CFL history. Jacques Chapdelaine and the Alouettes will be looking to play spoiler to keep their playoff hopes alive and become the first team to defeat the Stampeders at home this season.

Week 17 Playoff Scenarios

OTTAWA REDBLACKS 4×1000

  • Last season the Ottawa REDBLACKS became the second team in CFL history to feature four receivers that reached 1,000+ receiving yards in back-to-back seasons. The only other team to have done so was Montreal in 2004 (Ben Cahoon 1,183; Jermaine Copeland, 1,154; Thyron Anderson, 1,147; and Kwame Cavil, 1,090) and in 2005 (Kerry Watkins, 1,364; Terry Vaughn, 1,113; Ben Cahoon, 1,067; and Dave Stala, 1,037).
  • The four REDBLACK receivers to reach the mark last season were: Chris Williams (1,214 yards, five TDs), Greg Ellingson (1,061 yards, nine TDS), Ernest Jackson (1,036 yards, three TDs) and Brad Sinopoli (1,035 yards, three TDs).
  • The “Big Four” amassed a collective 4,346 receiving yards and 22 TDS last season. That equated to 74.9% of Ottawa’s receiving yards and 84.6% of their touchdown receptions.
  • The Big Four are on pace to become the first set of receivers to record 1,000+ yards for the same team in consecutive years.
  • This season Chris Williams (1,246) and Greg Ellingson (1,042) have already eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark. Ernest Jackson is 82 yards away and Brad Sinopoli is 135 yards away from the mark and both are on pace to reach it with four games left to play.
  • This season the Big Four have accounted for 83.6% of Ottawa’s receiving yards and 25-of-26 touchdown receptions.

FIRST-YEAR HEAD COACHING RECORDS

  • Following Calgary’s 48-20 victory over the Argonauts last week, Dave Dickenson improved his record to 13-1-1 (.900) in his first year as a head coach.
  • The current CFL record for highest winning percentage over a full season by a first-year head coach is .750 (12-4) held by Darrell Royal (EDM 1954), Bud Grant (WPG 1957) and Jerry Williams (CGY 1965).
  • Dickenson has tied the record for most wins set by a first-year head coach (13) with Adam Rita (TOR 1991), John Hufnagel (CGY 2008) and Mike Benevides (BC 2012). Each of them went 13-5 (.722) in their first season.
  • Rita and Hufnagel each went on to win the Grey Cup in their first season after compiling 13 regular season victories.

LAST WEEK

  • Last week a total of 262 points were scored, averaging 65.5 points per game. That’s the highest-scoring single week since Week 1 of 2013 (69.3).
  • Week 16 saw the second-most rushing yards in a single week (217 rushing yards per game) of 2016. Week 13 saw an average of 219 yards per game.
  • In the three of the past four weeks, teams have averaged over 200 combined rushing yards per game. In the prior 12 weeks there were zero games that averaged 200 rushing yards or more.
  • In the past four weeks, the average amount of penalties is 16.9 per game.
  • The game between Edmonton and Montreal last week was the first challenge-free game of the season.

3 MINUTE DRILL

  • Winnipeg leads the league with a +27 turnover ratio (21 giveaways, 48 takeaways). The next best team is the West-leading Stampeders who have a +14 turnover ratio (20 giveaways, 34 takeaways).
  • In total, only three teams have a positive turnover ratio: Winnipeg +27, Calgary +14 and Montreal +2.
  • In Week 16, Ottawa’s Greg Ellingson and BC’s Ryan Burnham joined the 1,000-yard receiving list on the season.
  • The list now includes seven players: Adarius Bowman (1,609), Derel Walker (1,464), Chris Williams (1,246), Emmanuel Arceneaux (1,170), Bryan Burnham (1,103), Naaman Roosevelt (1,095) and Greg Ellingson (1,042).
  • Marquay McDaniel (993), Duron Carter (938), Andy Fantuz (926) and Ernest Jackson (918) are each under 100 yards away from reaching the feat.
  • Last year, a total of 12 receivers cracked the 1,000-yard mark.
  • After rushing for 133 yards against the Argonauts, Jerome Messam became the league’s first 1000-yard rusher on the season. Messam also leads the league in touchdowns with 12 this year – two more than Chris Williams.
  • The Saskatchewan Roughriders have set a new CFL record in 2016 with 90 different players recording at least one game played. The previous record was 88 by Hamilton in 2013.
  • Adarius Bowman is on pace for 131 receptions this season, which would be the second-most in CFL history. He is on pace for 1,930 yards.
  • Mike Reilly is on pace to pass for 6,064 passing yards this season.
  • The record for most consecutive games won by a CFL starting QB was set by Winnipeg’s Ken Ploen in 1961 at 12.  Bo Levi Mitchell became the second player to reach 12 wins as a starting QB.
  • In so doing also, Bo Levi Mitchell also surpassed the record 13-game unbeaten streak set by Warren Moon in 1981-82.
  • There were only eight total overtime games from 2011 to 2015 across the CFL but in 2016 there have already been seven. This is one OT game short of the CFL record of eight in a single season, reached in 1992 and 2002.
  • Home teams are 3-3-1 in overtime games this season.
  • Since 1993, there has been only one season where CFL games have averaged above the 746 yards of net offence per game, which is the current 2016 average. Only in 2008 (769 net yards) was there a higher per-game average.
  • Richie Leone leads the CFL in punting at 49.9 yards per kick and is trying to repeat his #1 ranking from 2015. The last punter to lead the CFL in punting two years in a row was Burke Dales from 2009 to 2011.
  • Reilly leads the league with 12 300+ yard passing games. With three games remaining, he could break the record of 14 games set by Doug Flutie in 1991.
  • Bo Levi Mitchell is right behind Reilly with 11 300+ yard passing games this season.
  • There are two players on pace for 200-point seasons in 2016: leading scorer Justin Medlock (185) and Rene Paredes (182). Edmonton’s Sean Whyte (on pace for 199) and Ottawa’s Chris Milo (on pace for 198) are also close to hitting 200 points.
  • Justin Medlock is now 48-of-56 for the year on field goals, breaking Troy Westwood’s team record of 47 set initially in 1992.
  • In 15 games this season Calgary has allowed only 14 sacks (0.93 per game).
  • Maurice Leggett has seven interceptions to lead the CFL, the most by a Winnipeg player since Jovon Johnson had eight in 2011. Leggett is riding a four-game streak where he has created a turnover. In those four games he also has three fumble recoveries and an interception.
  • Jonathon Jennings is 12-8 in his first 20 career starts but 0-2 against Winnipeg despite a 422-yard game last week wherein he did not throw a single touchdown pass.
  • A QB has thrown for 400+ yards a total of 356 times in CFL history. Of those 356 games of 400+ yards, there have been only ten games where the QB did NOT throw at least one TD pass. Jennings threw for 422 yards, two interceptions and no touchdowns in the 37-35 defeat.

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