THIS WEEK IN THE CFL – WEEK 18
Thursday, October 20, 2016 — Week 18 opens in the nation’s capital where the REDBLACKS tangle with the Tiger-Cats once again on Friday night. The two teams will complete the home-and-home series (Ottawa won last week’s bout in Hamilton 30-29) with East Division playoff implications on the line. Henry Burris looks to build on his impressive performance as Hamilton goes with Jeremiah Masoli.
At 9pm ET on Friday, Toronto travels West to take on Calgary and their current 15-game unbeaten streak. Toronto will look to keep their playoff hopes alive and become the first team to defeat the Stampeders at McMahon Stadium this year.
Saturday also features two games – the action gets started in Regina where the Roughriders will play the second-last home game at Mosaic Stadium. The Riders enter the game riding a four-game winning streak while Vernon Adams Jr. will make his first-career start for the Alouettes.
The final game in Week 18 is a crucial battle in the West Division when the Edmonton Eskimos travel to Vancouver to take on the BC Lions. With Winnipeg, BC and Edmonton all vying to host the Western Semi-Final, this weekend can go a long way to increase each teams’ chances of hosting a playoff game.
2016’s CFL Pink campaign continues this week with the following games:
October 21th: HAM @ OTT
October 22nd: MTL @ SSK
SECOND HALF STANDINGS
- Below are the CFL standings since the midway point of the 2016 season with Saskatchewan having the third-best record over the last seven weeks based on their current four-game win streak:
|Ottawa||3||3||.500||Total: 29 games|
ABOUT LAST WEEK
- Following Saskatchewan’s victory over Toronto and Calgary’s victory over Montreal, the West Division has won 15 consecutive inter-divisional games and owns the overall record this season at 24-8.
- Teams continue to find success running the ball, particularly in the last five weeks. Last week’s games averaged 204 rushing yards per game, meaning the average has reached the 200+ yards mark in four of the last five weeks.
- Prior to Week 13, no weeks in 2016 averaged more than 200 yards per game.
- Last week’s games averaged a season-low 13 penalties per game.
- The Ottawa/Hamilton game lasted two hours and 36 minutes, making it the second fastest game of the season. The fastest game took place in Week 11 between BC and Toronto (2:30).
- Last week, Calgary’s Marquay McDaniel (1,074) and Ottawa’s Ernest Jackson (1,024) eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark for the season.
- McDaniel and Jackson grew the list of receivers with over 1000 yards to nine, joining: Adarius Bowman (1,609), Derel Walker (1,464), Chris Williams (1,246), Emmanuel Arceneaux (1,186), Bryan Burnham (1,151), Naaman Roosevelt (1,095) and Greg Ellingson (1,100).
- The next receivers looking to join the club this week include: Andy Fantuz (938), Brad Sinopoli (928) and Nik Lewis (901).
- Ottawa is looking to become only the second team in CFL history to have four receivers with 1,000+ receiving yards in back-to-back seasons. They could also become the first team with the same set of receivers (Chris Williams, Greg Ellingson, Ernest Jackson and Brad Sinopoli) to record 1,000+ yards for the same team in consecutive years.
- Toronto native Jerome Messam still leads the league in rushing yards (1,051) and is the only running back to rush for over 1,000 yards. Messam has added 470 receiving yards on top of his rushing total.
- Toronto’s Brandon Whitaker is second in the league with 855 rushing yards and Winnipeg’s Andrew Harris is third with 816 yards.
- However, Whitaker (1,352) and Harris (1,327) as well as Edmonton’s John White (1,105) have 1,000+ yards from scrimmage.
- Andy Fantuz has a career-high 93 catches this year (and is on pace for 112) and 623 for his career. He is only four back of Jock Climie’s 627 for #17 all-time, having recently moved into the all-time Top 20. He is currently the fifth all-time Canadian on the list, trailing Ben Cahoon’s 1,017 receptions.
- BC’s Solomon Elimimian starts Week 18 with 113 tackles while Montreal’s Bear Woods has received credit for one additional tackle (from a post-game stats review) and now sits at 110. Adam Bighill, with three games left to play, needs four tackles to reach 100 for the third time in his career.
- Over the first 49 games of the 2016 season, CFL clubs averaged only 160 rushing yards per game on 33.8 attempts. Over the last 20 games, those same numbers have risen to 204 yards on 37.3 rushes per game – a 28% increase in yardage and a 10% increase in attempts. The average gain in rushing was only 4.7 yards in the first 49 games, and has been 5.5 yards in the last 20 games.
- Both Bo Levi Mitchell (5,127) and Mike Reilly (5,054) have thrown for over 5,000 yards; Reilly still has a realistic chance at 6000+ in 2016. BC’s Jonathon Jennings (currently at 4,405) can make it three quarterbacks with 5000+ yards in 2016. The last time that the CFL had three passers go over 5,000 yards in the same season was 2008 and the record is four in one season.
- Mike Reilly will continue to try to keep his pace for a 6,000+ passing yard season. He is currently on pace to pass for 6,064 passing yards this season.
- Reilly’s teammate Adarius Bowman is on pace for 131 receptions this season, which would be the second-most in CFL history. He is also on pace for 1,930 yards.
- Bowman and Derel Walker have a combined 3,073 yards, on pace for a CFL tandem record of 3,688. The current CFL record is 3,318 yards by Jermaine Copeland and Ben Cahoon for Montreal in 2003.
- Bowman is three receptions short of his own Edmonton club record of 112, set in 2014.
- The Saskatchewan Roughriders have set new CFL records in 2016 with 91 different players with at least one game, and a record 99 individuals spending time on the Active Roster or Injured List. The old record was 88 with one game or more by Hamilton in 2013. BC is 30 back with the fewest at only 61 different players this season 15 games.
- The Saskatchewan Roughriders have staged one of the greatest in-season turnarounds in CFL history. They are only the second team ever to win four games in a row following a seven-game losing streak. The only other team to follow a losing streak of seven games or more with a winning streak of four games or more was Edmonton in 1971.
- This year there have been an all-time low number of interceptions made in the CFL (118 total, or a rate of just one in every 42.5 pass attempts – 2.35%). The previous record was 2.79% in 2014 or once every 35.3 passes.
- Total Kick Return Yards: Calgary’s Roy Finch leads the league with 2,122 total kick return yards. However the top four, which includes Chris Rainey (2,110), Stefan Logan (2,085) and Brandon Banks (2,023) are separated by only 99 yards.
- The record for most kick return yards in a single season is held by Winnipeg’s Eric Blount in 1998 where he tallied 2,878 return yards.
About the Canadian Football League
Today’s CFL is more than just our great game of football. It’s fans sharing their excitement for what they see on the field, and what they experience off it. Stay up to date on all the non-stop action at CFL.ca. And join all of Canada as we celebrate the 104th Grey Cup, presented by Shaw, next November in Toronto.