--A win is a win, and beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The truth of the matter is the Saskatchewan Roughriders are 9-5 and are four points up on both Winnipeg and Edmonton in the battle for second place and a home playoff game. They did beat the Montreal Alouettes 32-27 to get that 9th win. However, as we saw it was a game where Montreal could have stolen one. Yes, they could have.
On an afternoon where Zach Collaros threw for almost 400 yards and on an afternoon where the Riders had an aggression that we haven't seen this year, the Riders offence was humming. Collaros was throwing some medium-range passes that were connecting---especially on second down to keep the sticks moving, but little things allowed Montreal to stay in the game.
Give them credit for reaching into their bag of tricks and pulling off a flea-flicker for Johnny Manziel's first CFL touchdown pass, but a punt return TD by Stefan Logan and an interception off a tipped ball by Henoc Muamba kept giving Montreal life. The Alouettes didn't do everything they had to to pull off an upset, but they were close.
At the end of the day, there were a lot more positives than negatives in this one. With the season series already being won over Winnipeg, one has to think the game one week from today at home against the Eskimos could basically insure that home playoff game. One that many thought was a pipedream after the first month. By looking at the Eskimos, it would appear as if they have some problems on their hands so let's see what transpires.
--Congrats to Noah Picton! The Rams quarterback looked like he might have to wait to break the Canadian University all-time passing yardage until October 12 when Alberta came to town. However, a 4th quarter meltdown meant Picton had a chance to break a record and break it he did in overtime on a touchdown pass to Kyle Borsa. Would you expect anything different? The narrative doesn't change when it comes to Picton. The kid deserves a shot at the next level. Whether or not he gets it is up to the CFL. I think he goes back to Toronto next season, but who knows. The world has been against him from his first year with the Rams when some thought the only reason he was on the team was because of his Dad as he told me on Saturday in Winnipeg when it was over. All he has done is do his thing and show everyone what he has. If he gets a chance to be on a CFL team, he will make the most of it. How could you bet against him?
As for the game itself, you have to be lucky to be good and good to be lucky and the last two wins the Rams have had have seen them get a very fortunate break at a very opportune time. I was shocked to see Manitoba coach Brian Dobie elect to go for the win after tying it in overtime and when Cole Benkic swatted the pass down at the line of scrimmage---one that likely would have been caught, the questions came. Manitoba did a lot of strange things in that game, but a lot of it worked----until the final play. As their coach Brian Dobie said, you live by the sword and you die by the sword. Everyone would be talking differently if it weren't for Benkic's big play. He rolled the dice and lost. He's not the first coach to do that and he won't be the last.
--The Seattle Seahawks have done to their own quarterback what other defences couldn't do. They have found a way to neutralize Russell Wilson.. Wilson isn't even close to being the threat he is when the team seemingly won't allow him to run. He is much more dangerous when he gets out of the pocket and potentially takes off. As it stands now, he is rolling out and dumping it off when he could be gaining some yards himself. Lift the restraining order and let him be the Russell Wilson of old. By the way, while Seattle won on Sunday beating Arizona 20-17 on a last-play field goal, what is it about the Cardinals fancy new stadium when it comes to the Seahawks. They lost the Super Bowl to New England in there and they lost three members of the famed "Legion of Boom" defence in there as both Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor were lost last year and Earl Thomas this. I wonder what Leveon Bell was thinking as he saw Thomas get carted off with a broken leg.
--Are the Pittsburgh Steelers the worst team in their division. After witnessing that performance against Baltimore, one could say yes!
--Who had Mitch Trubisky throwing six touchdown passes? Who?
--Not one, but two games are needed in Major League Baseball to determine a division winner. The Cubs and Milwaukee will meet at Wrigley Field to determine not only the NL Central winner but the NL's best record while the Dodgers will play Colorado in LA to determine the West winner. All four teams will be in the playoffs with the winner moving on and the losers playing in the one-game wildcard game. It will be a great Monday (and an even better one should the Cubbies win).
--Call it whatever you want, but Russell Martin managing the Jays on Sunday was a joke. What was the purpose of that other than to give John Gibbons his farewell on Saturday. That wasn't the right way to go out if you ask me. When it comes to who Gibbons' replacement should be, the conversation should start and end with Canadian Stubby Clapp. That truly is one of the great names in sports. By the way, did anyone notice Jays president Mark Shapiro was nowhere to be seen or heard from on the day the Gibbons announcement was made. You're the one making the decision so show your face. Anyone thinking the Jays will be relevant in a couple of years with this guy pulling the strings is simply fooling themselves. Oh well! Where is Alex Anthopoulos these days? Oh yeah, he is taking the Atlanta Braves to the playoffs.
--Are we ready for the NHL season. It will be on us Wednesday. So many questions one could ask at this time of year. Will the Senators be the worst team? Is this the year for the Leafs? What do the Knights do in year 2? Does McDavid get the Oilers back to the playoffs? Will the Flyers turf Gritty before the all-star game. At the end of the day if I was making a Cup prediction, I might say Nashville vs Tampa, but predictions in October mean very little when it comes time for the playoffs to start.
-- The Pats are still searching for that first "W" of the year after losing to the Warriors. It was Moose Jaw's first win of the season. Swift Current still hasn't won. If that isn't an indication as to how those three teams did what they could to win a league title and Memorial Cup in Regina last year, I don't know what is. It is up to fans to remember what those days were like and have confidence they will be back soon. In the meantime, the wins which came with frequent regularity may be few and far between. Remember, the season is a long one and all three will be better.
--Its October 1 already?
--That's all I got. Have a great week!