After waiting over 640 days we finally got some CFL football last week. Back to fast paced, 3 down, good old fashioned Canadian football. We started week 1 with 4 games beginning with The Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, B.C Lions vs the Saskatchewan Roughriders, The Toronto Argos vs the Calgary Stampeders and last but certainly not least the Ottawa Redblacks vs the Edmonton Elks. Now that the first week has come and gone, lets break down what we saw in each of the 4 games.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats vs the Winnipeg Blue Bombers
We finally got our rematch of the 2019 Grey Cup! This game started off fast with both teams getting touchdowns in the first 1st quarter. However after the first 1st, the game became a lot tighter. The Blue Bombers took over this game by putting pressure on Tiger-Cats quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, forcing him to throw 2 intersections. Winnipeg also used their running game to there advantage. Brady Oliveira, who was filling in for the injured Andrew Harris, played outstanding running for 126 yards on 22 carries. With the running game playing strong this opened up room for their quarterback Zach Collaros to move the ball down field and pass for over 200 yards resulting in 2 touchdowns. The Tiger-Cats were unable to make the adjustments during the game to put points on the broad and that cost them this game.
B.C Lions vs the Saskatchewan Roughriders
Buckle up, this game was one heck of a ride! After the 1st half, the Roughriders were up 32-9. Lions starting QB Micheal Reilly had to leave the game with an injury however he did return in the 2nd half and almost made an amazing comeback, outscoring the Roughriders 20-1 in the 2nd half. However, the Roughriders were able to hang-on winning this game 32-29. Both teams need to work on their defense going forward into week 2, the Roughriders also want to do a better job closing games out moving forward.
Toronto Argos vs Calgary Stampeders
Saturday nights double header kicked off with the Argos vs the Stampeders. This game was another close game with both teams shaking off some rust in the 1st half. Both teams were able to put some points on the board with Calgary taking a 2 point lead, 14-12 into the 2nd half.
The 2nd half was all about making adjustments.
The Argos made some key adjustments on the defensive side, while the Stampeders didn’t adjust accordingly on the offensive. The Argos took advantage of this and came back to win the game 23-20. Although the Argos did manage to get the win, they really need to improve upon getting the deep ball going. This was an issue they had last year and they are having the same again. The Stampeders on the other hand need to try and make better adjustments on the fly, reading the other teams defensive schemes and adjusting when needed to put up more points.
Ottawa Redblacks vs Edmonton Elks
The 2nd game of our double header was a slow burner. Both teams seemed to have a hard time getting their offense going. The Elks were up 9-6 after the 1st half. All points for both teams were field goals as neither teams could push the ball down the field. The 2nd half was still very low scoring however, the Redblacks started hunting the ball down and putting pressure on the Elks QB. This led to Trevor Harris throwing 3 interceptions, including one that led to the game winning touchdown. The Redblacks ended up winning this game 16-12.
- Both teams need to get more out of the offense and
- Both QB’s looked uneasy to throw the ball deep
- This needs to change for both teams.
Overall thoughts of week 1
All 4 games were close and exciting right up to the final minutes, with great comebacks keeping fans on the edge of their seats. Yes, the teams did have to shake off some rust but overall we saw some great football.
Week one averaged just over 23,000 fans per game and they were all loud and proud, a great way to welcome back the CFL and Canadian style football.