There were no major surprises in Week seven of the Canadian Football League season, but the results do pose some interesting questions to ponder about how this season will eventually pan out.
Hamilton’s win against Calgary wasn’t unexpected and showed that the Ticats are currently striving to be the top team in the East Division. Conversely, another loss for the Stampeders continued their topsy turvy 2021 while cementing their spot at the bottom of the West Division.
In much the same vein, Saskatchewan’s victory over Toronto went the way one would have expected it to go. It positioned the Roughriders as arguably the second-best team in the league, while at the same time consigned the Argonauts to the also-ran category.
The Lions’ defeat of the Alouettes continued the string of expected outcomes, and Winnipeg downing Edmonton was always on the cards.
The first game of the round was highlighted by Tiger-Cats kicker Taylor Bertolet, who was on the money booting five-from-five field goals to set up the 23-17 win for Hamilton (3-3) at home. Simoni Lawrence’s second pick-six of the season was the other highlight of the matchup in which third-string quarterback David Watford made his CFL debut.
“Any time you get in the end zone, it’s just one of those things that you think it’s always going to happen every time you step on the field,” Lawrence said.
Late in the game, Calgary (2-5) replaced starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell with rookie QB Jake Maier, but by then the damage had been done. Again, maybe it’s time coach Dickenson gave Canadian quarterback Michael O’Connor a crack to see what he can do.
The second game of Friday’s doubleheader saw Saskatchewan (4-2) end their two-game skid with a 30-16 triumph over Toronto (3-3). Riders quarterback Cody Fajardo was back on song and connected with rookie Canadian receiver Kian Schaffer-Baker for his first CFL touchdown reception. He had a big night with 99 receiving yards all up.
There were some turnovers during the game, but the Roughriders were able to do more with their turnover possessions to keep the Argos in check.
The early game on Saturday pitted the B.C. Lions (4-2) against the sliding Montreal Alouettes (2-3). It was a combination of a solid passing game by quarterback Michael Reilly and a stellar defensive effort that led the Lions to the win.
Kicker David Côté did all the scoring for the Als, slotting six-from-six field goals, in what in many respects was a lacklustre performance at home.
In the final game of the week, Winnipeg (6-1) did what everyone expected they would do by beating Edmonton (2-4) 37-22, although there were some bumps along the way. The Blue Bombers got off to a quick start to build an early lead, but then a turnover gave the ball to the Elks, who played their way back into contention, albeit temporarily.
The Bombers got back on track in the second half and put the game away.
“It was a weird game for sure,” said Winnipeg quarterback Zach Collaros. “Everything was going right at first and then we faced a little bit of adversity there.”
Seven weeks into the season and there’s really only one thing that can be categorized as yup, no question about that, which is Winnipeg’s performances. For just about every other team there are unanswered questions.
Notably is the on-again, off-again form of Toronto, as well as Calgary, either with or without quarterback Mitchell. Montreal shows glimpses of knowing what to do, but there’s no consistency. And likewise for Edmonton, it’s a bit of comme ci, comme ça.