5 thoughts on Edmonton moving to 7-0

1) Fourth quarter finish: Edmonton’s dominance in the last 15 minutes was on display yet again in Ottawa. Mike Reilly took advantage of a short field – courtesy of a poor Brett Maher punt – by hitting Chris Getzlaf for a touchdown and running in the two-point convert aroud the 10-minute mark, which gave the Esks a seven-point lead. A late, three-plus minute, clock-eating drive chewed valuable time. Those two possessions were important for the offence while Mike Benevides ‘D’ pitched a shutout in the final frame. Jason Maas’ group has outscored opponents 47-16 in the fourth quarter over the last four weeks, that’s how Edmonton has kept the undefeated run alive – the 13th team in CFL history to start a season 7-0.

2) Mitchell making the most: Since stepping in for Adarius Bowman at the boundary slotback position, Bryant Mitchell has been putting up numbers. Week 5 was the first time the 24-year-old suited up in a game with Mike Reilly and since then four starts have yielded 23 receptions for 317 yards and two touchdowns. He’s put together back-to-back 100-yard receiving games. Trust and rapport seem to have come quickly for Reilly with the budding young receiver, which has helped the offence produce. Mitchell brings a physical element to the position too.

3) Relentless pressure: Trevor Harris dealt with constant defenders messing up his pocket for most of the 60 minutes. Edmonton came in leading the league with 53 pressures and led by Odell Willis the Eskimos defensive front cranked up the stress on the quarterback. Willis, Da’Quan Bowers and Euclid Cummings notched sacks and besides the actual takedowns the pass rush was relentless in harassing Harris. Almondo Sewell (upper body) and Marcus Howard (knee) both left the game and Jason Maas described their injuries as “devastating”. If indeed the setbacks cause them to miss time, Bowers could possibly move into a starting role inside and based on performance rookie Canadian Kwaku Boateng deserves a chance to start at end.

4) O’Neill on point: When Sean Whyte was put on the six-game injured list, there was cause for concern surrounding how Edmonton could fill the role. Hugh O’Neill, a second round pick by B.C. in 2011, signed and he’s performed all three duties since. The 27-year-old has made six of seven field goals and punted the football well. O’Neill’s four three-pointers were important in the win against Ottawa, even though he missed a 49-yarder that could have put the game away.

5) MOP Mike: Mike Reilly’s campaign is gaining momentum each week. Derel Walker earned a contract from the Buccaneers and he’s impressing in Tampa Bay, Adarius Bowman – the league’s leading receiver last season – remains on the injured list where Brandon Zylstra joined him (one game) for Week 8, but Reilly put up another 300-yard game. Those were Edmonton’s top three receivers in 2016, and the fourth, John White is out for the season with a torn ACL. D’haquille Williams, an emerging playmaker, has been sidelined two games with injuries too. Yet, Reilly has made it work with whoever lines up across the board at receiver. Nine different players caught passes from Reilly in Ottawa – consider that while remembering all the targets list above injured and it’s remarkable. When Bowman was in the lineup for three games Reilly averaged more than 288 yards in the air and during the four games without Bowman over 365 yards – that’s oustanding.

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk

Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.
Justin Dunk
Justin Dunk
About Justin Dunk (795 Articles)
Justin Dunk was a five-year starter at quarterback for the University of Guelph. He covers the league for Sportsnet and 3DownNation.

29 Comments on 5 thoughts on Edmonton moving to 7-0

  1. CFL’s Tom Brady/Aaron Rodgers Mash up!

  2. Bryant Mitchell may be surprising outsiders, but those that have watched him in the past three training camps and practices had a good idea what he had. Big guy, skilled, great character and showed patience beyond what is common. So pleased to see him make the most of his opportunity that is years in the making!

  3. Eddiefelson // August 11, 2017 at 11:32 am //

    Looks like edmonton is feeling the 2015 ticat injury bug.
    I am sure they will have the same results.

  4. IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 11, 2017 at 11:34 am //

    When you consider the nature of Edmonton’s wins and average it out they are virtually a 4-3 team.
    Not taking anything away from them. Reilly is MOP at this point no question!
    I’m so confident Calgary is the best team in this league .. next week with BC at bat I’m calling the outfield in so to speak.

    • Virtually 4-3…. you mean they are 7-0. And are the best team in the league right now. Finding ways to continue winning with as many injuries as they got/continue to get. Virtually means absolutely nothing. On that account, we could be virtually 4-2 this year too.

      • IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 11, 2017 at 12:23 pm //

        mmmmm that’s debatable, Don’t make this about Saskatchewan

        • The same could be said about Calgary. This story isn’t about them.

          • IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 11, 2017 at 1:35 pm //

            When you’re the top dog everything is about you one way or another

          • Eddiefelson // August 11, 2017 at 1:42 pm //

            Hate to break it to you- the top dog is ottawa- unfortunantely- until they are dethroned.

            I hate that as a cat fan…but i have to deal with it- and so do you haha

          • Except this article…(and many others)
            You guys aren’t first place… plain and simple. That’s Edmonton’s spot. Considering they beat Ottawa better than Calgary(with a second and third sting team basically). They earned that spot.

    • Sorry horse 7-0 is not the same as 5-1-1. It all adds up to 7 but you see – Edmonton is undefeated.

    • But they’re not 4-3. They’re 7-0. Why? Because good teams find a way to win.

  5. Don Keyes // August 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm //

    Well still a lot of football to be played and this is the CFL and stranger things have happened.

    It will be nice to see Saskatchewan knock of the Stumpeders in the west final and Ottawa kick the Argos out of the East final, to have a Ottawa and Saskatchewan Grey cup final.

    • IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 11, 2017 at 12:08 pm //

      lol that would be something else!

    • Not possible. Riders best chance of making the playoffs is through the East. Edmonton has basically clinched at this point and Calgary, B.C and Winnipeg are all much better at football than the lowly drama filled Riders. Only CFL fans who can’t see that are the Rider fans in their ugly green (Esks green looks way better) rider glasses.

      • Says the guy who’s team wears Dollar Store colours!
        Sorry had to get that in! I enjoyed the game last night, Reilly and company are on a pretty good course despite what some might say.
        (Not mentioning any names). I still have to keep hoping for the Riders!

        • What are dollar stores? Is that where you buy groceries / clothing in Saskatchewan??

        • IMAN ICE HORSIE // August 11, 2017 at 2:26 pm //

          Hey I’m not taking anything away from the Eskimos. They are a great team and Reilly is head and shoulders above BLM right now. I’m just saying July and August success does not always mean post labor day success. Everyone seems to think Calgary is going to roll over against the Lions and Esks and I don’t know what indications there are to think that.
          Calgary does control their fate when it comes to BC but we will have to take 2 of 3 from Edmonton now to have shot at catching them. I expect a big response form the stamps next Friday and a big labor day performance. The return game in Edmonton and the October game there are the most worrisome for me.

    • White Horse // August 11, 2017 at 5:53 pm //

      Keyes..you are smoking and dreaming all at the same time..take your meds with your slurpee and have a cold shower.

  6. ,,Patience // August 11, 2017 at 12:24 pm //

    Rider fans continue to dream. I really don’t know what year you think that the Riders will be in the west final.

  7. Congrats to the Esks. They certainly have been a fine example of “next man up” football. Sewell looked like he was in an awful lot of pain, hope it’s not too serious.

  8. Sure the Stamps smoked Hamilton but the Stamps have looked very unsteady for much of the season thus far. B.C. Aooears ri be the best rival for he Esks but Edmonton handled them decisively at Commonwealth. The amount of injuries tonkey players in Edmonton has been mind blowing – more than I can remember ever. For that reason, I don’t know why some posters take shots at Edmonton not being dominant. It means they are a great TEAM. The coaching staff has l,ayers well prepared and this is by far the deepest team in the CFL. They have 5 or 6 Americans who can all start at receiver, every RB they play produces, Linemen ate plug and play, Jones is filling in nicely for JC, Ladler is a beast, the secondary is better than advertised with a couple good young nationals contributing and the D Line has played as well or better than anyone else. Boateng can fill in for Howard which then frees up roster for an American unless Hunt comes off IR to start. Sewell is the man but Bowers looks great in there and more than capable of being a productive starter. Reilly is arguably the best QB in the league and Franklin could start for Sask or any Eadtern team.

    • White Horse // August 13, 2017 at 5:24 pm //

      Big Gus….stop the whining about injuries. Every team has many injuries. Stamps have 16 on 6 game IL. Most are starters and some starters still from last season. Stamps had the worst season for starters going down last season in CFL and went 15-2-1 and to the Grey Cup. Dont talk about Eskimos best depth.
      Edmonton and Stamps best two teams in the league this year is best two QB’s in CFL despite their depth.

  9. pantsonfire // August 12, 2017 at 12:16 am //

    What is it Icie you don’t understand about who’s #1 at the 7 game mark? You are much like your Stamps – counting wins without actually playing for them first. That was the Stamp problem last year. Went to the Grey Cup & counted the win &, to quote Derek Dennis this year, sh**t the bed. You need to to play 2 games & win just to catch up. Next week BC & Calgary. You get BC on a short week & are well rested. Battle for 2nd. First is taken. All you have to do is look up – look WAY up. If you weren’t so busy donating points to the East you might have a point. What Stamps have shown so far is inconsistency. Win by 59 to 1 Eastern team, lose by 7 & fold in the 4th to another. Not quite the same as a team opponents by 47-16 without a “virtual” cast of all-stars missing.

  10. pantsonfire // August 12, 2017 at 12:17 am //

    The 47-16 last line refers to the margin of victory in 4th Qtrs as pointed out by Dunk.

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