Nine thoughts on nine teams after a week that saw Ottawa stay unbeaten and Saskatchewan unable to register win No. 1 under Chris Jones.
B.C. Lions: Mic’hael Brooks’ low shot on Darian Durant should see him take a hit in the pocketbook. In total, the second-year defensive lineman had three major penalties against Saskatchewan, two of the roughing the passer variety. The CFL has made a concerted effort to protect quarterbacks more in 2016 and fines so far have reflected that.
Edmonton Eskimos: Mike Reilly, Adarius Bowman and Derel Walker combined for 339 yards from scrimmage – the 2015 CFL all-star had 185 and reigning rookie of the year 154. The triplets are fantasy gold each and every week it seems and Jason Maas’ up-tempo offence means lots of passing attempts for the trio to rack up monster numbers.
Calgary Stampeders: It was a quiet week in Cowtown with regards to the Stampeders. There was much more action at the Calgary Stampede. Although, the time off should allow Dave Dickenson to field the first-team offensive line Calgary had pencilled in leading into the season for the first time in 2016.
Saskatchewan Roughriders: While everyone in Saskatchewan focuses on Darian Durant’s ankle, Chris Jones and his defence continue to go through growing pains. The Riders are last in points allowed (109), opponent touchdowns (13), yards per play (7.7) and opponent red zone percentage (77.8). That Jones-led unit is green in his defensive system, but if the Riders are going to get in the win column the defence needs to improve.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers: Drew Willy heard boos from Bomber fans as the team fell to 1-3 with another lacklustre outing from Winnipeg’s supposed franchise pivot. There were even chants for Matt Nichols from the blue and gold faithful. Willy’s ineptitude is wearing thin in The Peg. If No. 5 continues to struggle against Calgary, it’s time to consider giving Nichols, who played well despite jumping into a new situation down the stretch last year, a chance.
Hamilton Tiger-Cats: Adrian Tracy put up quite a stat line in Montreal: 11 tackles, two sacks and two forced fumbles. The shredded six-foot-three, 245-pounder ranks second on the Ticats and top 10 league-wide with 20 stops. Defensive coordinator Orlondo Steinauer has been very creative with the 29-year-old and moves him all over Hamilton’s front.
Toronto Argonauts: Everyone was bashing the Argos poor attendance number in Week 4 – announced at 12,373 but clearly less than 10,000 people were actually at BMO Field. Anyone who thought a new venue would instantly change Toronto’s CFL football team’s fortunes was delusional. The Argonauts are a damaged brand after many seasons of being run on a skeleton budget by former owner David Braley, and it will take time to bring the double blue back to respectability off of the field in the 6ix.
— Chris O'Leary (@olearychris) July 13, 2016
Ottawa Redblacks: When too much focus gets placed on Chris Williams the Redblacks proved other receivers can step up and produce – yet again – in a big way. Greg Ellingson made nine receptions for a career-high 218 yards. 77- and 69-yard long-gainers setup crucial Ottawa touchdowns as the team from the nation’s capital continued their undefeated run.
Montreal Alouettes: It’s far from beautiful for the Als in La Belle Province. After an ugly 31-7 loss at home, many intriguing quotes came out of the Als locker room. Veteran receiver Nik Lewis dropped some impassioned f-bombs while Duron Carter said, “My girlfriend tells me our offence looks too bland – and she knows nothing about football.” That’s quite a statement for an Als offence being called by the greatest quarterback in CFL history, Anthony Calvillo. Venerable Alouettes beat writer Herb Zurkowsky collected all the gems.