3DownNation CFL awards: the best and worst of Week 2

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

Week 2 of the 2024 CFL regular season has come to a close, which means it’s time to look back at the best and worst performances the week had to offer.

Overall, it was another exciting week of action, featuring four close games, a walk-off field goal, a handful of multi-touchdown performances, a sellout on the west coast, and relatively strong quarterback play.

These awards are selected by 3DownNation’s contributors and will be presented weekly throughout the 2024 season on Tuesday mornings. Enjoy.

Offensive player of the week: QB Bo Levi Mitchell, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The two-time CFL Most Outstanding Player had his best outing in years against Saskatchewan on Sunday, completing 71.5 percent of his passes for 380 yards and three touchdowns. Mitchell was also charged was a last-minute interception, though it wasn’t his fault as the pass hit his receiver in the hands. For the first time in a long time, fans in Hamilton have reasons to be optimistic about what Mitchell can do leading the offence.

Honourable mention: RB Walter Fletcher, Montreal Alouettes

Defensive player of the week: DB Damon Webb, Ottawa Redblacks

The 28-year-old boundary halfback was tasked with helping shut down two-time CFL all-star slotback Dalton Schoen and did an admirable job, recording three tackles, one sack, and one pass knockdown (which we’ll address in greater detail in a moment). Ottawa was without reigning East Division all-star cornerback Brandin Dandridge this past week but the team’s secondary didn’t skip a beat, holding Zach Collaros to only 15 completions.

Honourable mention: LB Ben Hladik, B.C. Lions

Special teams player of the week: K Brett Lauther, Saskatchewan Roughriders

The native of Truro, N.S. went a perfect four-for-four on his field goal attempts, two of which came from over 45 yards out. Though not his longest kick, Lauther’s best boot came on the final play of the game as it secured a 33-30 victory for his team from 43 yards out following an interception from rookie defensive back C.J. Avery. The nine-year veteran also averaged 70.3 yards on four kickoffs.

Honourable mention: LB Maxime Rouyer, B.C. Lions

Photo courtesy: Scott Grant/CFLPhotoArchive.com

Breakout player of the week: RB Ryquell Armstead, Ottawa Redblacks

The former NFL draft pick made his first career CFL start this past week and helped power the Redblacks to a win over Winnipeg, recording 18 touches for 96 yards from scrimmage. Ottawa lost incumbent 1,000-yard rusher Devonte Williams to a torn Achilles this off-season but the running back position appears to be in good hands with Armstead, who brings a nice combination of size and speed at five-foot-eleven and 220 pounds.

Honourable mention: REC Keric Wheatfall, Winnipeg Blue Bombers

Offensive line of the week: Ottawa Redblacks

The unit of Dino Boyd, Drew Desjarlais, Cyrille Hogan-Saindon, Dariusz Bladek, and Dontae Bull allowed two early sacks but tightened up the rest of the way, giving Dru Brown plenty of time to operate in his first start with the Redblacks. Zach Pelehos, the second overall pick in the 2022 CFL Draft out of the University of Ottawa, also took turns at right tackle, though it’s unclear if that was injury-related. Regardless, Ottawa’s offensive line played well, allowing Ryquell Armstead and Bralon Addison to combine for 106 rushing yards.

Honourable mention: B.C. Lions

Photo courtesy: Bob Butrym/RFB Sport Photography

Coach of the week: HC/OC Scott Milanovich, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The veteran head coach has spoken consistently in support of Bo Levi Mitchell since he was hired by Hamilton last season, a trend that continued after he was promoted to the role of head coach and offensive coordinator. So far, Mitchell appears to be having the Anthony Calvillo-type renaissance the Tiger-Cats were hoping to see, though his receivers will have to do a better job securing the football if the team is going to start winning games.

Honourable mention: OC Tommy Condell, Ottawa Redblacks

Best play of the week: DB Damon Webb, Ottawa Redblacks

The veteran halfback made a possible game-saving play in the final minute of action against Winnipeg when he broke on an out route from Dalton Schoen. The two-time CFL all-star receiver appeared to be in man coverage against weak-side linebacker Frankie Griffin — a mismatch — when Webb darted to the sideline at full speed and dove to knock the ball away. Had he not got a hand on the ball, the Blue Bombers would almost certainly have taken the lead with under a minute remaining in the fourth quarter.

Honourable mention: REC Reggie Begelton, Calgary Stampeders

Worst play of the week: REC Tim White, Hamilton Tiger-Cats

The two-time reigning CFL all-star had an awful drop on a would-be touchdown on Hamilton’s opening drive against the Riders, which turned into a field goal. If that weren’t bad enough, the 29-year-old failed to reel in a last-minute pass from Bo Levi Mitchell, allowing the ball to bounce cleanly into the arms of defensive back C.J. Avery. This marks the second straight week White has earned this dubious distinction.

Honourable mention: REC Alexander Hollins, B.C. Lions

Photo courtesy: CFL

Best game of the week: Saskatchewan Roughriders at Hamilton Tiger-Cats

When opposing quarterbacks combine for 770 passing yards and five touchdowns, you know it was a good game. When there’s a shocking last-minute turnover and a walk-off game-winning field goal, you know it was a great game. This was easily the most entertaining game of the week — here’s hoping the rematch slated for Sunday evening at Mosaic Stadium is just as good.

Honourable mention: Calgary Stampeders at B.C. Lions

Worst game of the week: Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Ottawa Redblacks

Winnipeg is simply a boring team to watch right now as they’ve struggled to produce anything on offence, while the rainy conditions at TD Place Stadium made it extra tough for teams to score points. The last two minutes were exciting as the game hung in the balance, though they were preceded by a weather delay that lasted almost an hour. It’s great that the game finished, but there’s no denying that weather delays suck.

Honourable mention: Montreal Alouettes at Edmonton Elks