Edmonton opens Week 17 by making its way to Tim Hortons Field for Friday Night Football. The Tiger-Cats are returning home following a month-long absence where they went 2-1 on the road. At a perfect 6-0, Hamilton is the only CFL club that has yet to fall when defending home field. With the victory, the team will earn the division crown, while equalling its franchise mark of 12 wins in a single season. The Eskimos enter the game fresh off a 21-16 victory in the nation’s capital. Edmonton will attempt to even the season series after a 30-27 defeat in Week 15 and a victory will send the team to the post-season via crossover. The 99’ Tiger-Cats Grey Cup team will be on-hand as the club’s continues to celebrate 150 years of professional football in Hamilton. The Ticats will also induct legendary safety Rob Hitchcock into the wall of honour at halftime. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. ET.
Saturday’s tripleheader begins with the Stampeders in Montreal. The visitors have won four straight, coinciding with the return of Bo Levi Mitchell, and have not lost since a Week 10 40-34 overtime setback at the hands of these same Alouettes. Calgary owns a 4-2 mark on the road, but three of the team’s four losses on the season have come against East Division foes. Montreal is hoping to rediscover its winning ways following a tough 25-23 loss in BC. With a win in the 4 p.m. ET matchup, the Alouettes would secure a home playoff date.
The primetime contest features Winnipeg taking on division rival Saskatchewan at Mosaic Stadium with a potential tie-breaker on the line. The two teams and Calgary are knotted atop the crowded West Division with 18 points (though the Stampeders and Roughriders both have a game in hand). The winner will take the season series following a 19-17 Saskatchewan victory as part of Mark’s Labour Day Weekend and Winnipeg’s 35-10 triumph in the Banjo Bowl. The Roughriders are 6-1 at home in 2019 and are looking for their third straight win, while the Blue Bombers will attempt to return to the win column after two consecutive defeats.
The week wraps up with the Argonauts heading west to Vancouver. Each team will be playing its final interdivision game of the season – Toronto is 1-8 when facing the West, while BC has claimed each of its four wins on the year against East opponents. The visitors are in the midst of a two-game slide and will be trying for a split of the season series following a narrow 18-17 loss to the Lions in Week 4. The home side has strung together three straight victories, including last week’s 25-23 win against the Alouettes, and is 2-4 at BC Place this year. The action gets underway at 10 p.m. ET.
This week’s Live Mic game will be Toronto at BC. Friday’s contest can be seen on ESPN2, while the Saturday tripleheader will be broadcast on ESPN+.
107th GREY CUP PLAYOFF SCENARIO
·Hamilton Win AND Montreal Loss = Hamilton clinches first-place in the East Division and earns the right to host the Eastern Final on November 17
·Montreal Win OR Tie = Montreal secures a home playoff date
·Edmonton Win = Edmonton earns a post-season berth via crossover
·Calgary clinched its 15th consecutive playoff appearance in Week 15.
·Winnipeg secured its fourth straight spot in the post-season in Week 15.
·Hamilton locked-up a home playoff date for a second year-in-a-row in Week 15.
·Saskatchewan claimed a post-season berth for the third consecutive year in Week 16.
TACKLING THE RECORD BOOK
·Last week, Simoni Lawrence set a new CFL record with 17 defensive tackles against Winnipeg.
·Breakdown by quarter:
oFirst: 3 (All on Winnipeg’s first drive)
oFourth: 9 (In the final nine minutes, Lawrence had nine tackles in a stretch of 14 plays in which a tackle was made.
·Reggie Hunt owns the record for TOTAL tackles in a game which includes special teams tackles on return plays. In 2003, Hunt had 16 defensive tackles and two special teams tackles.
·Four players have had 15-or-more defensive tackles in a game in CFL history: Solomon Elimimian, Calvin Tiggle, Hunt and Lawrence.
PENALTIES AND TD RATES
·This season, 16% of all possessions have resulted in TD drives.
·Of the 334 possessions where the offensive team is penalized, only 36 resulted in a TD (11%).
·When the defence is not penalized, the opponent scores on 12% of possessions. However, when the defence takes a penalty, the opponent scores TDs at a rate of 36%.
·On Friday in Hamilton, Calvin McCarty is slated to appear in his 200th CFL game. He will become the fourth running back to reach the milestone, joining George Reed, Chris Szarka and Jeff Johnson.
·Last week, three-of-the-four games were tied after the first quarter and Ottawa led the fourth by a score of 3-0. In all four cases, the team that won the second quarter went on to win the game. The Week 16 winners outscored their opponents 40-3 in the second period. In 2019, the team that has won the second quarter is 41-19.
·Shaw CFL Top Performer of the Month, Bralon Addison, has played in 17 career CFL games and has recorded 90 receptions for 1,183 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.
·Addison and teammate Brandon Banks are tied for the league-lead in 100+ receiving yard games this season (six).
·Banks has recorded 11-or-more TDs for three straight years. Dating back to 1936, only 16 other players have accomplished the feat with the most-recent being Jon Cornish from 2011-13.
·Vernon Adams and Cody Fajardo lead the league with three 4th quarter game-winning drives this season.
·Since 2014, Montreal has defeated Calgary five times, including this year’s victory in Calgary in Week 10 – more than any other East Division team. The Stampeders have one win in their past five visits to Montreal.
·1K Club: Five receivers are within 100 yards of reaching the 1,000 mark:
oDerel Walker needs five yards to hit the mark for a third time.
oWith 75 yards, Ricky Collins Jr. will reach the milestone for the first time.
oGreg Ellingson is 79 yards shy of his fifth consecutive season with 1,000+ yards.
oShaq Evans needs 97 yards for his first-career 1,000-yard season.
oDominique Rhymes is 50 yards away from reaching the benchmark for the first time. Ottawa is on the bye.
·CJ Gable needs 50 rushing yards to reach his second-straight 1,000-yard season and William Stanback needs 105 yards on the ground to reach the milestone of the first time.
·Stanback leads the league with 12 20+ yard rushes this season.
·Last week against Hamilton, Winnipeg’s Kenny Lawler was the league’s leading receiver, setting new single-game highs in receptions (10) and yards (144).
·Entering Week 17, Sean Whyte has a streak of 18 consecutive made fields goals.
·At 11-3, a Hamilton win this week would give the team a winning percentage of .800. The club record is .792 set in 1952.
·The Tiger-Cats are currently No. 1 in points-for and points-against – the last time they managed the feat in the same season was in 1964.
·Rushing touchdowns leaders this season:
oChris Streveler – 12
oVernon Adams – 11
oWilliam Powell and Cody Fajardo – 10
·Charleston Hughes needs three sacks in Saskatchewan’s remaining five games to tie his career-high of 18 set in 2013.
·With a victory against Toronto on Saturday, BC will have its first four-game winning streak since 2017.
·Edmonton has allowed 16 sacks this season in 13 matches – an average of 1.1 per game.