Wednesday, October 31, 2018

What Did You Miss Wednesday?

Image result for jason maas

--Changes appear to be coming in Edmonton. There are reports Eskimos GM Brock Sunderland is canvassing assistant coaches for other teams looking to see if they would be interested in being the team's next head coach even though Jason Maas is still there.  The Eskimos will finish the season at home against Winnipeg this weekend.

--Odell Willis has received the maximum fine from the CFL for his head-shot on Saskatchewan quarterback Zach Collaros last week.  There has still been no update from the Riders on the health of their starting quarterback.

--For the 3rd week in a row, the Prince Albert Raiders are the number one team in Canada. The Raiders are 15-1 on the season. Forward Brett Leason was named the WHL's player of the month while goalie Ian Scott was named the netminder of the month.

--A  potential Calgary bid for the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Games survived a city council vote Wednesday, when a motion leading to the cancellation of an upcoming plebiscite did not pass. Ten votes out of 15 on council were required to abandon the Nov. 13 plebiscite asking Calgarians if they want to host the games or not. It appeared a bid was headed for the ditch Tuesday when a councillor said there wasn't a financial agreement between the federal and provincial governments and the city to fund the games.But Calgary 2026 presented a revised financial plan, which the Canadian and Alberta governments agreed to in principle, to council Wednesday.The estimated cost of hosting the 2026 Games was reduced by $125 million to a total of $5.075 billion.

--Willie McCovey, the Hall of Fame first baseman who played 19 of his 22 seasons with the San Francisco Giants and slugged 521 career home runs, died Wednesday at age 80.The Giants said McCovey died "peacefully" after battling "ongoing health issues."

Rider Player Award Nominees

Image result for willie jefferson
Picture: Saskatchewan Roughriders 

The Saskatchewan Roughrider nominees for the CFL Awards were announced today.  

This year’s nominees are: Willie Jefferson (Most Outstanding Player & Most Outstanding Defensive Player), Brett Lauther (Most Outstanding Canadian & Most Outstanding Special-Teams Player), Brendon LaBatte (Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman), and Jordan Williams-Lambert (Most Outstanding Rookie).                                                         

First career nominations as Most Outstanding Player and Most Outstanding Defensive Player…started 18 regular-season games at defensive end…registered 34 defensive tackles, six tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries…had a career-high 10 quarterback sacks…added two interceptions, returning one 97 yards for a touchdown and one 49 yards for a touchdown…was named a CFL Top Performer for Week 17…last Roughrider to win CFL Most Outstanding Player was Kerry Joseph in 2007…last Roughrider to win CFL Most Outstanding Defensive Player was John Chick in 2009.  

First career team award nominations…unanimous selection as Most Outstanding Special-Teams Player…connected on 54 of 60 field-goal attempts (90%), with a 56-yard long…made 33 of 36 convert attempts…had 65 kickoffs for 4,155 yards…last Rider to win CFL Outstanding Canadian was Andy Fantuz in 2010…last Rider to win CFL Most Outstanding Special-Teams Player was Corey Holmes in 2005.

Unanimous selection…seventh career nomination as Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman…started all 18 regular-season contests…played the first 15 games at left guard before moving to centre for the final three games…previously nominated with the Riders in 2013, 2015 and 2017, and with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers from 2009-11…LaBatte is the last Rider to be named CFL Most Outstanding Offensive Lineman when he picked up the award in 2013.

Unanimous selection…started 17 regular-season games at receiver…picked up 764 yards on a team-leading 62 receptions and four touchdown catches … was named a CFL Top Performer for Week 10…last Rider to win CFL Most Outstanding Rookie was Weston Dressler in 2008.  

Other team nominees can be found here

(Ryan Pollock/Riders PR)

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

What Did You Miss Tuesday?

Image result for halifax skyline

--Halifax council has voted to take a closer look at a proposed 24,000-seat stadium, the pivotal component of a bid to land a Canadian Football League team for the East Coast's largest city.
In a unanimous decision, council has directed municipal staff to complete a thorough review of the business case put forward by Maritime Football Limited Partnership, which is in the final stages of securing a conditional CFL expansion franchise. City staff are also expected to seek changes to the city's charter that would potentially allow for a special tax arrangement and assist with debt financing of the massive project -- pending the outcome of the business case analysis.

The group has proposed Shannon Park, a 38-hectare swath of land on the east side of Halifax harbour, as the preferred location for the stadium, which comes with an estimated price tag of up to $190 million. Anthony LeBlanc, founding partner of Maritime Football, said he felt good about council's 15-0 vote to move the process along.

--Calgary's bid to host a second Olympic Wither Games could be over tomorrow. That's when Calgary city council will vote on motions to kill the bid and cancel a November plebiscite asking Calgarians if they want the games. Calgary's Olympic assessment committee brought forth the motions today at a meeting and those motions were referred to council. At issue is a disagreement on funding between the federal, provincial and municipal levels of government.

--Former Moose Jaw Warrior Brayden Point had a career high 5 points as the Lightning dumped New Jersey 8-3. Tampa captain Steven Stamkos scored his 350th career goal for the winners.

--The Ottawa Redblacks will reportedly sit several regulars this week as they finish the CFL regular season against Toronto.  Trevor Harris, William Powell and Brad Sinopoli are amongst those who won't play.  The Redblacks will play either BC or Hamilton in the East final on November 18.

--The NFL trade deadline saw a couple of receivers change teams.  Detroit sent Golden Tate to Philadelphia while Houston got Demariyus Thomas from Denver.

Monday, October 29, 2018

What Did You Miss Monday?

Image result for auston matthews

--The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without Auston Matthews for at least the next four weeks due to a shoulder injury. Matthews was injured early in the second period of Saturday's victory over Winnipeg when Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba delivered a clean shoulder-to-shoulder check as Matthews tried to cut in front of the net. In their first game without him, Toronto was beaten 3-1 by Calgary

--The N-H-L is following the N-B-A's lead by partnering with M-G-M Resorts International and providing the company with data for use in sports betting. M-G-M executive Scott Butera and N-H-L chief revenue officer Keith Wachtel tell The Associated Press the aim is to provide unique gambling opportunities, including free games to those in states where sports gambling isn't yet legal.

--The Calgary Herald is reporting Calgary city council will be asked to withdraw from cost-sharing negotiations and kill a bid for the 2026 Olympic Winter games. The report states that despite a weekend of intense negotiations between the city, province and federal governments, a solution does not appear to be close.Council is expected to vote Wednesday on a recommendation to pull out of negotiations with the provincial and federal governments over how the three levels of government would split funding for the $3-billion price tag required for the bid. The remaining costs of the $5.2 billion bid were expected to be covered by revenue from the Games.

--Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors set an NBA record with 14 three-pointers in a win over Chicago. Thompson ended the game with 52 points in just 27 minutes in a 149-124 win.

--The Patriots beat Buffalo 25-6 in the NFL Monday niter. Tom Brady threw for 324 yards in the win which improves New England's record to 6-2

--The Arizona Diamondbacks have picked up the $14.5 million option on Paul Goldschmidt 's contract for the 2019 season. Considered one of the best first basemen in the game on both sides of the ball, Goldschmidt hit .290 with 33 HR's for the D-Backs last season.

CFL Apologizes For Lack of Response to Collaros Hit

Image result for randy ambrosie

CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie has made the following statement on the play where Zach Collaros was injured after a hit by Odell Willis.


I want to acknowledge that our response to the Odell Willis hit on Zach Collaros this past weekend was clearly inadequate.

First of all, the play should have been flagged and a roughing the passer penalty should have been imposed by the on-field officiating crew without Saskatchewan having to use its’ challenge.

Secondly, the Injury Spotter, who has access to several camera angles in the Command Centre, including the view from the “all 24 (players)” camera, should have immediately stopped the game and had Collaros removed from the field for examination upon the first signs of distress.

Finally, we should have publicly acknowledged these errors  and communicated with the media and fans promptly instead of waiting until last evening to share a statement.

I am committed to removing reckless and dangerous play from our game. (Willis’ hit on Collaros is being reviewed today for discipline.) The fact that we did not respond adequately is not acceptable to me. I have made that very clear to our personnel today. We are reviewing our processes, protocols and rules to ensure this chain of events is not repeated.

NHL Three Stars Of Week

Stars of the Week, Crosby, Scheifele, Rantanen

NEW YORK (Oct. 29, 2018) – Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby, Winnipeg Jets center Mark Scheifele and Colorado Avalanche right wing Mikko Rantanen have been named the NHL’s “Three Stars” for the week ending Oct. 28.


Crosby recorded three straight multi-point performances, sharing the League lead in goals (5) and points (7) to power the Penguins (6-1-2, 14 points) to a 3-0-0 week and into first place in the Metropolitan Division. He scored twice, including his 14th career overtime goal, in a 6-5 victory against the Edmonton Oilers Oct. 23. Crosby then collected 1-2—3 in a 9-1 triumph over the Calgary Flames Oct. 25. He closed the week with two goals, the 82nd multi-goal effort of his career, in a 5-0 win against the Vancouver Canucks Oct. 27. The 31-year-old Cole Harbour, N.S., native – who has 5‑7—12 in nine appearances this season – leads the NHL with 1.29 points per game (416-712—1,128 in 873 GP) since making his League debut in 2005-06.


Scheifele notched 4-3—7 in four contests to propel the Jets (7-4-1, 15 points) to a pair of wins in advance of the 2018 NHL Global Series in Helsinki, Finland. He matched a personal best with 2-2—4, his third career four-point performance, in a 5-4 overtime victory against the St. Louis Blues Oct. 22. Scheifele then scored once in a 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 24 and picked up one assist in a 2-1 triumph over the Detroit Red Wings Oct. 26. He finished the week with one goal in a 3-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs Oct. 27. The 25-year-old Kitchener, Ont., native – who paces the Jets with 6-6—12 through 12 games this season – sits one point shy of 300 in his NHL career (119-180—299 in 378 GP).


Rantanen collected 3-4—7 in four games to guide the Avalanche (7-3-2, 16 points) to two victories. He scored twice, extending his season-opening point streak to nine contests (4-12—16), in a 4-1 win over the Philadelphia Flyers Oct. 22. After being held off the scoresheet in a 1-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning Oct. 24, Rantanen bounced back with 1-3—4, his fifth career four-point performance and second of the season (also Oct. 18 at NJD: 1-3—4), in a 6-3 triumph against the Ottawa Senators Oct. 26. He added one assist in a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild Oct. 27. The Nousiainen, Finland, native – who turns 22 today – paces the NHL with 5-16—21 in 12 games this season.

Something to "Mitch" About

--Under Chris Jones, the Saskatchewan Roughriders have won 12 games.  No Rider team has more wins than 14.  What has been accomplished by this team considering all it has gone through has been simply amazing.

--A star receiver plays defensive back and then is released.  Touchdown after touchdown after touchdown was scored by the defence and special teams, an outside receiver only scored one touchdown this season (Carter in Edmonton).  It was a regular season unlike any other and it is not over yet. In fact, this rag-tag bunch could be hosting the Western Final November 18 after a solid win over BC on Saturday.   The question to the BC Lions is now "Do you want to play your regulars and try to make Wally's last regular-season game a winning one or do you dress your backups knowing where your playoff fate lies?".  Rider fans are hoping the first option is the way BC goes, but could you blame them if they play backups thus making it easier for Calgary.  In fact, it's rather odd to see the only team with something to play for in the final week of the season being the team right now that has the best record in the CFL.  It's another only in the CFL moment.

--With the Riders having the bye week, I wouldn't expect a lot of information to come from Mosaic Stadium for a week, especially when it comes to the health of Zach Collaros.   The CFL made themselves look very bad and if the truth be told, so did the Riders by allowing their marquee player to stay in the football game after taking a hellacious hit from Odell Willis.  What was the concussion spotter doing when all this was going on? Was he watching the World Series or had he gone to see if the halftime pizza had arrived?  There is no excuse for not having Collaros pulled to go under the concussion protocol.  There is also no excuse for the call not being made forcing Chris Jones to throw his challenge flag.

While Collaros was not yanked immediately, the Riders should have done so for safety's sake.  It isn't like this is Zach's first go-round with a concussion.   At the end of the game, Jones said Collaros was taken out for precautionary measures and that he appeared to be fine.  Whether or not that was coachspeak will be determined when we get an update on his health.

--If there was any debate as to who the Riders MOP nominee should be this year, it ended on Saturday.  Willie Jefferson created two huge turnovers that led to Rider scores.  Charleston Hughes may have had his 15 sacks, but Jefferson keeps making play after play after play after play to put the Riders where they are.  I don't know if Willie is the West nominee as it will be tough to vote against Andrew Harris or Bo Levi Mitchell, but his efforts can't be ignored.

--If the Riders host the Western final, it will happen November 18  Agribition starts the next day at Evraz Place.  What a nightmare that will be.  Its a nightmare the Riders are more than willing to live with I'm guess.

--I asked the question last week and I'll ask it again this week.  Did anyone watch the Toronto-Montreal game and if so, why?

--The CFL's best quarterback is Mike Reilly and his team won't be in the playoffs.  There is something wrong with that statement.

--Do you think Jason Maas was as calm as could be as he watched Winnipeg beat Calgary Friday night.  I am guessing things were thrown at the Maas household.

--The Leafs appear to have hit their first major bout of adversity with Auston Matthews getting hurt.  If he is out for a while, does it stop what they have been doing?  One would think no, but we will see.

--Even the most optimistic Habs fan must be giddy over the team's 6-2-2 start.  How many Habs fans saw that 10 game stretch to start the season coming?

--I said we would find out if the Oilers were improved or not after playing six straight games against teams that had 100 plus points last season.  I think they did rather well taking 9 of 12 from teams like the Jets, Predators, Penguns and Capitals.  Make it 11 of 14 after an overtime win in Chicago.  The roughest part of their schedule is over.  Can Connor take the Oilers back to the playoffs?

--The Philadelphia Flyers have no goaltending.  They have a very good goaltender in Carter Hart playing in the American Hockey League.  Give the kid a shot! What could it hurt?

--The LA Kings have scored 22 goals in 11 games.  How is that Ilya Kovalchuk signing working out?

--The Canada West football regular season is over.  In the end, the team gets screwed the most by the stupidity of USports with the Rams having to forfeit three games are the team that clobbered Regina to finish the season.   The U of S Huskies should be preparing for a rematch this week at home against the Rams in a conference semi-final.  Instead, the Huskies will make their way to Vancouver to take on a UBC team that should be playing Calgary at McMahon.   The decision by USports to punish the Rams for something they didn't do is being widely criticized and it is for reasons like this.  UBC doesn't deserve a home game.  The Huskies do.  You don't decide football games in the boardroom with people that don't know what's going on. You decide it on the field!  If Calgary doesn't win the conference title, the year will be tainted.

--If you are a baseball fan, how far did you get Saturday morning?  The Red Sox and Dodgers went 18 innings.  I eventually tapped out after 15. Had it been the Cubs playing, there would have been a few trips outside to get some fresh air and keep the blood pumping! I love the fact they don't change the rules in extra innings much like I love the fact they keep playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs until a goal is scored even if it takes all night. That is the way to do it!  None of this start the inning with a runner on second crap.   Congrats to Boston.  They were the best team without a doubt in the regular season and they just showed everyone why that was in the playoffs.  There wasn't one major weakness on that squad.

--Joe Carter's homerun to give the Jays a World Series title over Philadelphia happened 25 years ago. They held a reunion this past weekend.  Did anyone know about it?  The Jays didn't even acknowledge it on their website.  Why?  That would be like the Riders ignoring the 2007 Grey Cup win.  Dumb!

--That's all I got.  Have a great week!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

What Did You Miss Sunday?

--The Boston Red Sox are World Series champions.  The Bosox beat L-A 5-1 to take the Fall Classic in five games. Former Blue Jay Steve Pearce hit two homers in the deciding game and was named MVP.

--Johnny Manziel has a CFL win.  He threw a TD pass in Montreal's 40-10 win over Toronto. Both teams are 4-13 on the season. 

--Adam Vinatieri is the NFL's all-time points leader. The Colts kicker now has 2,550 points after kicking two field goals and adding four extra points in a win over Oakland. Other highlights on another busy Sunday in the NFL saw the Rams improve to 8-0 as they beat Green Bay 29-27. Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes in the Seahawks 28-14 win at Detroit and Alvin Kamara had two TD's as New Orleans beat Minnesota 30-20.

--Austin Pratt and Sergei Alkhimov each had a pair as the Pats beat Swift Current 7-1.  It is their first win on home ice this season. 

--Jonathan Marchessault scored on a penalty shot in overtime to give Vegas a 4-3 win over Ottawa in Sunday night NHL play.  Another game had Connor McDavid score in overtime as Edmonton beat Chicago 2-1. It's Edmonton's 3rd straight win. 

Saturday, October 27, 2018

What Did You Miss Saturday?

--Brett Lauther kicked four field goals and the Riders got defensive touchdowns from Zach Evans and Ed Gainey as they secured a home playoff game with a 35-16 win over BC. The Riders will host Winnipeg in the Western Semi-Final on November 11 if Calgary beats the Lions next Saturday night in Vancouver.  A Lions win means the Riders would finish first in the West and host the Western Final on November 18. They finish the regular season with a record of 12-6. 

--After losing the longest World Series game in history Friday, the Boston Red Sox exploded in the late innings getting 9 runs off the Dodgers bullpen in a 9-6 win. Boston leads the Fall Classic 3-1 and will look to end it at Dodger Stadium Sunday with David Price on the mound. Clayton Kershaw has the task of sending the series back to Boston for the Dodgers. 

--The Prince Albert Raiders moved to 15-1 on the season as they beat the Pats 6-3.  Regina is now 3-3 on the road this season.  The 3-11 Pats are home to Swift Current Sunday afternoon at 4 in a game you can hear on 620 CKRM.

--Leon Draisaitl and Drake Caggiula each had a pair as Edmonton beat Nashville 5-3 in NHL play.  The Oilers had lost their last 13 against the Predators.  In some other games,  the Canadiens beat Boston 3-0 as Carey Price won his 290th career game to move him into second all-time amongst wins by a Habs goalie and Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin each had a pair in Pittsburgh's 5-0 win at Vancouver.

--The Canada West Football regular season ended with UBC beating Manitoba in overtime and Calgary clobbering Alberta.  On Friday, the Huskies ended the Rams season with a 57-14 beating. The Hardy Cup semi-finals will see the Dinos home to Manitoba and the T-Birds welcoming the U of S. 

--Four Jacksonville Jaguars players were detained early Saturday after an incident in London, where the team is to play the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. In a statement, the Jaguars said the players were detained "over restitution of a bill." "The matter is being resolved, and the players are with the team," the Jaguars said. "Any discipline will be handled internally."The team did not say which players were detained. According to London-based news outlet The Sun, the players were accused of trying to leave the London Reign Showclub, which features burlesque and circus performers, without paying their tab.

What Did You Miss Friday

--The Red Sox and Dodgers were in the midst of the longest World Series game in history.  The teams were tied at 2 going into the 15th inning as of the writing of this entry. Boston has a 2-0 lead in the best of 7.
--The Riders can still finish first in the West.  Winnipeg eliminated Edmonton from the playoffs with a 29-21 win over Calgary as Matt Nichols went over the 300 yard mark for the first time this season.  The Eskimos are the 4th Grey Cup host this decade not to make the playoffs. A win over B.C on Saturday will give the Riders at least 2nd and possibly first if the Stamps lose to the Lions next weekend. 
--The company hoping to bring a CFL team to Halifax has proposed Shannon Park, along the east side of the city's harbour, as the site for a 24,000-seat stadium.The proposal from Maritime Football Ltd. estimates construction costs between $170 million and $190 million, with the municipal and provincial governments expected to pitch in. The company is in talks with Canada Lands Company CLC Ltd. to purchase eight hectares for a stadium that could play host to football games, concerts and other public events. On Tuesday, council is expected to decide whether the region's chief administrative officer should prepare a business case analysis, which would help determine if the region should provide funding.
--The Pats were beaten on home ice by Medicine Hat 8-5.  They are in Prince Albert tomorrow. 
--The Jets won for the 4th time in the last 5 starts as they edged Detroit 2-1. Dustin Byfuglien got the winner with 6:45 to play.  It was his 500th career point. 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Week 8 NFL Preview

Image result for patrick mahomes

As the season approaches the halfway point, the standings remain tight throughout the league as teams close out the month of October. Entering Week 8, there are 18 teams with a .500 or better winning percentage and 14 clubs with a winning record. Since 1990, 297 of the league’s 336 playoff teams (88 percent) had a winning record through seven games.

Through the first seven weeks of the season, 25 teams have at least three wins. Five teams –KANSAS CITY (6-1), the LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (5-2), the LOS ANGELES RAMS (7-0),NEW ENGLAND (5-2) and NEW ORLEANS (5-1) – have at least five wins this season. Since 1990, when the current 12-team playoff format was adopted, 80 percent (205 of 256) of the previous teams to start 5-2 or better advanced to the postseason, including eight of the nine teams to begin the season 5-2 or better in 2017.

A slow start, however, does not mean that hope is gone. There have been 39 teams since 1990 with a .500 or lower record after seven games to advance to the postseason.

The Rams, who are 7-0 for the first time since 1985, lead the league in point differential (+107), rank third averaging 33.6 points per game and fourth in points allowed per game (18.3). Los Angeles running back TODD GURLEY, who scored three touchdowns (two rushing, one receiving) in Week 7, leads the NFL with 14 touchdowns this season and is the third different player in NFL history with at least 14 touchdowns in his team's first seven games to start a season, joining Pro Football Hall of Famer JIM BROWN (15 in 1958) and PRIEST HOLMES (14 in 2002 and 14 in 2004). Defensively, Rams defensive tackle AARON DONALD leads the league with eight sacks and is one of three players in the NFL with at least 10 tackles for loss in 2018 (10).

The NFL enters Week 8 following another exciting weekend of action. Through the first seven weeks of the season, 61 games have been decided by one score, the second-most in NFL history through Week 7 (62 games in 2012), including seven such games last week. Thirty-three of those games have been decided by three or fewer points, the second-most in NFL history through Week 7 (39 games in 1999), including five such games last week. At least one game has gone to overtime in each of the first seven weeks of the 2018 season, marking the first time since the regular-season overtime rule was instituted in 1974 that there has been an overtime game in each of a season’s first seven weeks.

Below are highlights of the Week 8 schedule:

Week 8 kicks off on Thursday night (8:20 PM ET, FOX/NFL Network/Amazon Prime) as the MIAMI DOLPHINS travel to NRG Stadium to take on the HOUSTON TEXANS in a battle of 4-3 teams in the AFC. Dolphins running back FRANK GORE has 18,087 career scrimmage yards in his 14-year NFL career and needs 104 scrimmage yards to surpass Pro Football Hall of Famer BARRY SANDERS(18,190) for the sixth-most in league history. Texans defensive end J.J. WATT has seven sacks in his past five games and is one of two NFL players (VON MILLER) with at least seven sacks (seven) and four forced fumbles (four) this season.

The 2018 London Series concludes on Sunday morning (9:30 AM ET, NFL Network) as thePHILADELPHIA EAGLES meet the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS at Wembley Stadium. The Eagles are making their first appearance in London, while the Jaguars will play in the UK for the sixth consecutive season. Jacksonville quarterback BLAKE BORTLES threw four touchdown passes in the Jaguars’ last game in London (September 24, 2017 vs. Baltimore) and is one of three NFL quarterbacks since 2014 with at least 15,000 passing yards (16,663) and 1,500 rushing yards (1,628), joining Carolina’s CAM NEWTON and Seattle’s RUSSELL WILSON. Eagles quarterbackCARSON WENTZ completed 30 of 37 passes (81.1 percent) for 310 yards with two touchdowns and zero interceptions for a 119.6 passer rating in Philadelphia’s Week 7 loss to Carolina.

The DENVER BRONCOS and KANSAS CITY CHIEFS square off at Arrowhead Stadium in an AFC West battle (1:00 PM ET, CBS). In Week 4, Chiefs quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES passed for 304 yards with two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing) and running back KAREEM HUNT rushed for 121 yards, including a go-ahead four-yard touchdown with 1:39 remaining in the fourth quarter in Kansas City’s 27-23 victory at Denver. Mahomes, who has played eight career games, leads the NFL with 22 touchdown passes and surpassed Pro Football Hall of Famer KURT WARNER (21) for the most touchdown passes by a player in his first eight career games in league history last week. In Denver’s Week 7 win at Arizona, Broncos wide receiver EMMANUEL SANDERS (102 receiving yards, TD catch and TD pass) became the eighth player in league history with at least 100 receiving yards, a touchdown catch and a touchdown pass in a single game and the second player to accomplish the feat this season (ODELL BECKHAM, JR. in Week 5).

On Sunday Night Football, a rematch of the 2017 NFC Divisional Playoff game between the NEW ORLEANS SAINTS and MINNESOTA VIKINGS takes center stage at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis (8:20 PM ET, NBC). In that contest, former Vikings quarterback CASE KEENUM  connected on a 61-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver STEFON DIGGS as time expired in the fourth quarter, giving Minnesota a 29-24 victory and punching a ticket to the NFC Championship Game. Saints quarterback DREW BREES leads the NFL with a 77.3 completion percentage (170 completions in 220 attempts) and a 121.6 passer rating, and has 13 touchdown passes without an interception this season. Vikings quarterback KIRK COUSINS ranks third in the NFL with 2,162 passing yards and fifth with a 70.0 completion percentage (210 of 300), joining Atlanta’s MATT RYAN as the only quarterbacks with at least 2,000 passing yards and a 70+ completion percentage this season.

(All times eastern)
Bye: Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee
​Thursday, October 25
Sunday, October 28 (cont’d)
Miami at Houston, 8:20 PM (FOX/NFLN/Amazon)
Washington at New York Giants, 1:00 PM
Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 1:00 PM
Sunday, October 28
Indianapolis at Oakland, 4:05 PM
Philadelphia vs. Jacksonville (London), 9:30 AM (NFLN)
San Francisco at Arizona, 4:25 PM
Baltimore at Carolina, 1:00 PM
Green Bay at Los Angeles Rams, 4:25 PM
New York Jets at Chicago, 1:00 PM
New Orleans at Minnesota, 8:20 PM (NBC)
Tampa Bay at Cincinnati, 1:00 PM

Seattle at Detroit, 1:00 PM
Monday, October 29
Denver at Kansas City, 1:00 PM
New England at Buffalo, 8:15 PM (ESPN)

(NFL Media)  

This Week in Cougar Athletics

Friday (all times MDT)
Women's Soccer – vs. MacEwan, 12:00 PM (Edmonton, Alta.)
Women's Basketball – at Calgary, 6:00 PM (Calgary, Alta.)
Rams Football – vs. Saskatchewan, 7:00 PM (Mosaic Stadium)
Women's Volleyball – vs. Winnipeg, 7:00 PM (CKHS)
Women's Hockey – vs. Saskatchewan, 7:00 PM (The Co-operators Centre)
Men's Hockey – at Saskatchewan, 7:00 PM (Saskatoon, Sask.)
Men's Basketball – at Calgary, 8:00 PM (Calgary, Alta.)

Saturday (all times MDT)
Cross Country – at Stewart Cup, 12:00 PM (Calgary, Alta.)
Women's Basketball – at Calgary, 5:00 PM (Calgary, Alta.)
Men's Hockey – vs. Saskatchewan, 7:00 PM (The Co-operators Centre)
Women's Volleyball – vs. Winnipeg, 7:00 PM (CKHS)
Men's Basketball – at Calgary, 7:00 PM (Calgary, Alta.)
Women's Hockey – at Saskatchewan, 7:00 PM (Saskatoon, Sask.)

Sunday (all times MDT)
Women's Soccer – at Alberta, 2:00 PM (Edmonton, Alta.)

Women's Soccer – The Cougars (3-9-2) finished the conference schedule on a strong note, defeating Winnipeg 2-0 on Friday and following that up with a 0-0 draw with Manitoba on Saturday to lock up the sixth and final playoff berth in Canada West's Prairie Division. The Cougars will now prepare for a Canada West play-in match this Friday afternoon against MacEwan in Edmonton, with the winner to advance to a Sunday quarterfinal against Alberta.

Rams Football – The Rams saw their postseason hopes slip away with a 58-6 road loss to No. 3-ranked Calgary on Friday. The team will close out its 2018 season this coming Friday at Mosaic Stadium, as the Rams will honour their graduating fifth-year players as part of Senior Night. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 (SaskTel maxTV 48/348).

Women's Volleyball – The Cougars (0-2) lost two four-set matches last weekend to Trinity Western, a team that's ranked No. 4 in the nation in the first poll of the year. Both of those matches followed similar scripts, with the teams splitting the opening two sets and Trinity Western taking the third and the fourth to come away with the win. The Cougars will host their home openers this weekend against the University of Winnipeg at the Centre for Kinesiology, Health & Sport. Start times are set for 7:00 on both Friday night and Saturday night.

Women's Hockey – The Cougars (3-2-0-1) battled the No. 2-ranked Manitoba Bisons tough at home last weekend, losing 4-2 on Friday and 4-3 in a shootout on Saturday. Currently in fifth place in the Canada West standings with 10 points, the Cougars will face second-place and No. 8-ranked Saskatchewan (3-1-2-0) this weekend. The U of R and the Huskies will play on Friday night (7:00) at The Co-operators Centre with the return game scheduled for Saturday night in Saskatoon.

Men's Hockey – The Cougars (2-3-1) put together a four-point road weekend, winning 3-1 on Friday and getting a natural hat trick from Zak Zborosky in a 6-3 win on Saturday. The U of R is back in action with a home-and-home against No. 3-ranked Saskatchewan (5-1-0) which will see the two provincial rivals meet on Friday in Saskatoon and on Saturday night (7:00) in Regina at The Co-operators Centre.

Women's Basketball – The Cougars closed out the non-conference schedule at the Darcel Wright Memorial Classic in Toronto, starting out the tournament with a loss to host Ryerson but recording wins over York and Western the next two days. The U of R finishes non-conference play with a 5-3 record and will start the Canada West slate this weekend with road games at Calgary on both Friday and Saturday.

Men's Basketball – The Cougars had last weekend off after completing a non-conference schedule that saw them go 6-1 in seven games against U SPORTS opposition. They start Canada West play this weekend, and the Cougars will have a stern test right off the hop as they'll head to Calgary to square off with a Dinos team that won the U SPORTS championship last season. The U of R and Calgary will play on Friday and Saturday following the conclusion of the women's games on both nights.

Cross Country – The Cougars will travel to Calgary this Saturday for the Stewart Cup, the teams' last meet before Queen's hosts the U SPORTS Championships on Nov. 10. The Cougars will field a full team on the men's side and will also field a full team on the women's side for the first time since the season-opening Cougar Trot back in mid-September. The races begin at noon on Saturday at Canmore Park in northwest Calgary.

This and That

--Welcome to Friday and the usual thoughts running through my muddled mind. As always, they are in no particular order.

--GET OFF THE FIELD WALLY!!!  It is potentially the last time Rider fans will be able to yell that at Wally Buono as he makes his final regular-season appearance in Regina tomorrow night.  Love him or hate him, Wally is someone who has made the CFL great.  His record with the Stamps and Lions can't be discounted.  I don't know if you could classify him as a "character", but he is someone who understands the CFL and is good for the league. I would love to see him move up into a position with the league, but I don't see that happening because when he walks into the sunset, I don't think he will return.

--Former Lion and Regina native Jason Clermont joined us to talk about Wally on the Sportscage Thursday.  You could tell how much respect JC had for Wally by listening to the conversation. Clermont said you might not have liked what Wally was saying, but he was being honest and respectful with you. When I asked him if you could compare Wally to his old Rams coach Frank McCrystal, Clermont said you could throw Ken Miller into that mix as well.  Clermont said "These are three guys that as far as in-game management, they didn't do it a lot.  What they did was assemble the right group of coaches and people around them to build a culture that would develop strong men and a strong locker room which all three did."

--Mosaic Stadium has not hosted a playoff game in its infancy, but I think it is safe to say it will get its first "unofficial" playoff game tomorrow night.   I am expecting a ring-a-ding-dong dandy.  The Lions have made some big moves in the second half of the season by picking up guys like Tyrell Sutton, Devier Posey and Shawn Lemon.  Many have them as the top team in the CFL in the latest power rankings.  I can't disagree with that.  The Riders will have to bring the game they had in Calgary if they are to beat BC.  I can see this one going down to the final gun.

--Zach Collaros silenced some of his detractors last week with what was his best game in a Riders uniform.  For whatever reason, some have not warmed up to the quarterback.  Then again, there haven't been many starting quarterbacks that the Rider Nation has warmed up to.  Would I be right with that Darian Durant? How about you  Kevin Glenn? The list goes on and on and on.  Zach Collaros doesn't have to apologize to anyone as far as I'm concerned.  Yes, he is the highest paid player on the team so perhaps he is put under the microscope more than any other, but I haven't had a problem with him unlike others.  Collaros didn't do himself any favours after the Winnipeg loss, but I don't think I would have said too much after seeing my team get spanked 31-0.

Maybe Collaros hasn't put up the numbers expected this year, but dropped passes and rookie receivers who have slowly acclimated themselves into the game can take some of the blame.  As Collaros told me after practice this week, when he goes in the huddle, he doesn't see raised eyebrows as much anymore as he used to.  That is a huge help for a quarterback who maybe didn't have the confidence in the group he was throwing to at the start of the year.

--A home playoff game for the Riders will be healthy for the old chequebook.  It will mean more than a million dollars.  Ticket sales, merchandise, food and beverage sales, etc, etc. It will add up and be a nice little injection of cash into an account that isn't suffering. You don't think the bean-counters are pulling for a "W" for selfish reasons do you?

--The Edmonton Eskimos likely won't make the playoffs.   Come Grey Cup week, they will likely see A) the hated Calgary Stampeders in their dressing room  B) Chris Jones and the Saskatchewan Roughriders in their dressing room or C) Ed Hervey and the BC Lions in their dressing room.  Len Rhodes just might take a flight out of town and miss Grey Cup festivities---especially if its C. 

--Was Ed Gainey wrong with his tweet last week when he said Regina was "boring"?  A little yes, a little no.  Six days of the week Gainey is wrong.  There is a lot to do in this town once the sun goes down.  Sundays (which is when he made the tweet) are a little different.  Regina isn't the only place that closes its doors early, but it does limit what one can do.  Pats captain Jake Leschyshyn went to Twitter to tell Gainey he obviously hasn't seen a Pats game and that perhaps a trade in tickets could be worked out.   While such a trade should be arranged, Jake should know that A) the Pats are in Prince Albert Saturday night and B) Sunday Pats game starts at 4 meaning the "what-to-do" options will be limited once he leaves.

--Sidney Crosby reminded everyone not to forget about him in this McDavid vs Matthews debate that is going on with his overtime marker in Edmonton Tuesday night. What a goal it was!  It might have been one of his best and he has scored a lot of highlight-reel goals.  The goal capped off a great game between the two teams with the difference being the play in goal.  Matt Murray made saves when needed while Cam Talbot didn't---especially in the 2nd period. The Oilers are an improved team except between the pipes.  It shows constantly.  If Talbot gets a new contract from the team this year, I will be shocked.   When you look at free agency, guys like Sergei Bobrovsky and Pekka Rinne are available at this date, but they will be too rich for Edmonton's taking.  A trade to upgrade will have to be the way to go.

--One innocuous comment on the Sportscage Thursday mushroomed.  The question was in their prime who would win a fight between current Moose Jaw Warriors coach Tim Hunter and former Warriors coach Al Tuer.  What a scrap it would be!!! I would give the nod to Tuer.  What would a Tuer-Stu Grimson bout look like!  GAHHHHH!!!  While the days of the Pats and Warriors in their heyday will never be revived which is too bad for today's generation that doesn't even know what they missed, those of us who remember those days can do so with a smile.  At some point, I hope someone writes a book on the Pats-Warriors rivalry.  I think former mayor Pat Fiacco would still like to deck Sean O'Connor for winning the ceremonial faceoff during that one playoff series.  Memories!!!

--Who exactly is this new Blue Jays manager?  I'm not a fan of the club, but what an uninspiring hire. Considering other candidates took other jobs, it does make me wonder if the Jays took the best option left.  It will be Charlie Montoyo's job to try and guide a young group of players who Toronto fans hope will make an impression quite soon and make the team a playoff squad again.  A more seasoned manager would have been better in my opinion, but we will see if Montoyo grows with his team.

--The one thing that is  great watching the Boston Red Sox in these playoffs is the fact they are playing baseball the way it should be played.  They aren't swinging for the fences with each batter, they are simply trying to put the ball in play. It's not small-ball, but its working.  Other teams should take note.

--Week 8 NFL Lock of The Week ---  Redskins over Giants
   Week 8 NFL Upset of The Week --- Seahawks over Lions

-- Noah Picton wants to play in what will be his last football game with the U of R Rams, but septic arthritis in his foot may prevent him from doing so.  I'm not a doctor, but I am told what Picton is suffering from is something that can be very serious.  If he can play, he will.  If not, we have seen the last of what is arguably the greatest quarterback (sorry Dean) that the Rams have ever seen and we have seen many go through.  If he does suit up, I don't see the Rams losing and I see Noah going out with a high.  Game time is 7 o'clock tonight.

--That's all I got. Have a great weekend!