Sunday 24 October 2010

Morning-After Thoughts (Week 17)

Seventeen down, two to go. I am likely to lead this post every week with something along the lines of, "I can't believe we only have 'X' amount of weeks left in the season." I still cannot believe that we are a little over a month away from crowning a Grey Cup champion for 2010. The one thing I have really enjoyed about this season is that with so little time left, I don't think anyone can predict who will win it all. Fans from Montreal to Vancouver (with the exception of perhaps Winnipeg) think their team can win the whole thing. The 2010 CFL season might just be the best season the league has ever witnessed.
  1. Like I said in my introduction, you have to love how this late in the season, the competition for who will win the Grey Cup is as wide open as it has ever been.
  2. That said, only one game this week was decided by a touchdown or less. Three of the games were absolute sh*t kickings. The Tiger-Cats, Argonauts and Eskimos beat the tar out of their opponents.
  3. The one negative to emerge from the Tiger-Cats' win over the Als was the injury to Arland Bruce. Bruce has been one of the three best Receivers in the CFL this season, and losing him at this point in time would be detrimental to the Tiger-Cats' chances of hoisting the Grey Cup in November.
  4. As anyone who has read this site knows, I am not a fan of Bo Smith. I thought he was by far the worst DB the Tiger-Cats have on their roster, and I was none too pleased when he came back following his release from the NFL's New York Jets. Well, his time spent in East Rutherford did some good, as it is abundantly clear that he has vastly improved his tackling. He's far from the perfect player, but he has improved exponentially from last year to this year.
  5. I know that just three weeks ago, the Als were manhandled by Calgary, but the loss this week was as thorough a beating as I have seen the Als take in some time. I know there are going to be the cries of, "Well, they had nothing to play for." Bunk. They played their starters and the Cats whooped 'em, plain and simple.
  6. As great as Henry Burris is, I have noticed he has a tendency to call for a flag almost every time he is even remotely contacted. It really is aggravating to watch, as a fan, a great player like Burris whine and complain. He needs to cut it out; it makes him look like a baby.
  7. I have seen a lot of bad drops in my 20+ years of watching football, but Arjei Franklin's ranks right up there as 1 or 1a. Wide open, in the end zone, game on the line. As a Receiver, Franklin has to catch that pass. It is a must. Terrible, terrible drop.
  8. I guess the John Hufnagel hex is broken for Wally Buono. Entering this season a Buono-led team had never beaten a Hufnagel-led team. Not only did Buono finally beat Hufnagel, but he did so twice, and both times were in Calgary.
  9. Is there a WR on the planet who hits as hard as Nik Lewis? I hate the guy, like most non-Stamps fans do, but the guy hits like a truck. It's nice to see a Receiver embrace contact as opposed to shying away from it like most do.
  10. I know Joffrey Reynolds has over 1,100 yards rushing, but it just feels like he's on his last legs. He's a great player, and has been for a very long time, but he just doesn't look like the same player he was even last season. With Jon Cornish and Jesse Lumsden in Cowtown, perhaps Reynolds is on his way out? Probably not, but I see his role diminishing over the next couple of years as the Stamps work both Cornish and Lumsden more.
  11. The Argo-Bomber game was a microcosm of Winnipeg's season. The best 4-12 team in CFL history will be watching the playoffs from home. Injuries to QBs killed the Bombers all year, starting with Buck Pierce back in July and August, then Steven Jyles and Alex Brink on Saturday. If the Bombers had stayed healthy at the most important position in football, they may not have lost 12 games.
  12. There is no way that anyone but Chad Owens takes home the Most Outstanding Special Teams Player award. I hate the Argos as much as the next guy, but Owens has been, by far, the best Special Teams player in 2010.
  13. Terrence Jeffers-Harris was completely robbed when he was ruled down. His knee, shin, elbow, or whatever other body part is needed to be down to constitute down, was not down. Jeffers-Harris's great play was stolen from him by the zebras.
  14. It looks like Justin Palardy was miscast in Hamilton as a Punter. He has been pretty good for the Bombers as a Kicker, missing only four of twenty field goal attempts since taking over for Alex Serna back in mid-August.
  15. How is it possible that the Blue Bombers lead the CFL in sacks, yet also lead the CFL in losses? What does this say about Winnipeg? Willis and Hunt have been great all year, for sure. If the Bombers had a winning record, one of them would win Most Outstanding Defensive Player. They are the 2010 version of John Chick and Stevie Baggs.
  16. The Achilles heel for the Riders is going to be Special Teams. They just can't do anything to stop returns or get returns of their own. Just like in 2009 (remember the 13th man was on a field goal attempt), Special Teams will be the Riders' undoing.
  17. I don't know if it's about how well Edmonton run the ball (they rolled over the Lions last week) or how poorly Saskatchewan defend the run (they were gashed by Joffrey Reynolds last week), but Daniel Porter looked phenomenal for the Eskimos.
  18. Whatever the Tiger-Cats are doing right now (be it peaking at the right time or bringing it all together or what have you), the Saskatchewan Roughriders are doing the exact opposite. Three straight losses have to make the Rider faithful very uneasy. Right now, this is not a good football team.
  19. Is Andy Fantuz quickly having his grip loosened on the Most Outstanding Canadian award? Sure looks like it to me. No elite Receiver should be held without a catch for seven quarters.
  20. Well, that was a bad week. The only game I predicted correctly was the first one: Cats over Als. After that, the Stamps, Bombers and Riders let me down. In fairness to myself, I did say I thought that the Rider-Eskimo game felt like an upset, but I was too gutless to take the Eskies. I should have listened to my gut. With two weeks to go I now sit at 34-30.
Bonus Five (since I only had 10 last week)
    1. Does anyone else hate how Rod Black says Blue Bombers?
    2. Jared Zabransky played like a guy making his first career CFL start. He made some great plays (the TD pass to Armstrong was a beaut) and not-so-great plays (the fumbles, oh so many fumbles). I have liked Zabransky since he was at Boise State, and I think he can develop into a really good CFL Quarterback if given the chance.
    3. What the hell is Jock Climie talking about? Did he seriously say that because the Argos play terribly on offense that teams have started to emulate them? I don't think any team is trying to replicate the way the Argos play. Not even the Argos want to play the way the Argos play. What a ludicrous statement to make.
    4. Brutal call on Mike McCollough. Like Chris Cuthbert said, "It wasn't high, it wasn't low and it wasn't late." That means it wasn't a penalty.
    5. Only one playoff spot left now; who gets it? I don't know why, but I'm putting my money on the Eskimos. They've been written off all year, but something tells me these guys will pull it off in the end. And I'd be worried if I was the Riders. Just saying.

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