Every CFL week includes enough highlights for fans to talk about until football returns a week later, and a few lowlights that keep fans shaking their heads. The LWOS CFL team takes a look with CFL Week 16 Three and Out at the highlights and lowlights of the week that was in the CFL.
CFL Week 16 Three and Out
Game of the Week: Winnipeg Blue Bombers vs. B.C. Lions
Major playoff implications were on the line last Saturday as the B.C. Lions entered Investors Group Field to take on the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. The Bombers were trying to clinch a playoff spot for the first time since 2011, and the Lions were trying to hold down second spot in the West Division. Both teams were clearly fired up as the game kicked off before over 24,000 cheering fans.
The Bombers wasted no time getting started. Quarterback Matt Nichols guided his team downfield and pitched a touchdown to running back Andrew Harris. The Lions would answer back with a Richie Leone field goal on the following drive. Those would be the only points B.C. score until mid-way through the second quarter.
The Bombers put up two more touchdowns, including a trick play pass to Nichols by Rory Kohlert, and a Justin Medlock field goal before the Lions responded. Facing 3rd and 1 the Lions would give special teams ace Chris Rainey the ball and watch him break a 56-yard touchdown run. The play ignited B.C.’s offence as the Lions would put up 10 more points in the final six minutes of the quarter to enter halftime down 20-24.
The second half started slower as both teams traded field goals before back-up quarterback Travis Lulay punched in a one-yard touchdown to get the Lions up 30-27 entering the fourth quarter. The lead would be short lived as the Bombers opened the final frame with a field goal to tie the game at 30 points. Both teams would score again as the Lions kicked a field goal while the Bombers put up a touchdown to take the lead right until the final minute when the CFL’s latest controversy struck.
Attempting to milk the clock, Harris fumbled the ball in the Bombers redzone, giving B.C. a shot at stealing the game. However the officials determine that the Bombers running back had been ruled down before the fumble and that Winnipeg maintained possession. With shaky visual evidence at best to support the officials claim, Lions fans could only look on as the Bombers surrendered a safety to run the clock out and take the win 37-35. With the two teams set to rematch this week there is sure to be no shortage of fireworks or storylines.
Player of the Week: DaVaris Daniels
Calgary Stampeders wide receiver DaVaris Daniels has been on the Player of the Week shortlist for a few weeks. So this nomination isn’t so much for a one-week performance, but an all-season performance.
His stats in the Stamps win against the Toronto Argonauts was impressive. On only five receptions, he caught for a season-high 126 yards and a touchdown. But what’s even more impressive is his stats the past two weeks: 10 receptions, 249 yards and 3 touchdowns. Absolutely ridiculous.
At 6’1″ 207 LBS, Daniels is a force to be reckoned with on the field. On his 61-yard touchdown against the Argos, he just completely outbattled the defender physically and easily came up with the ball in a tight situation. He also picked up major Yards After Reception, but not many Argos were around.
Daniels has been doing that all season, big catches for big plays. He’s fifth on the Stamps for receptions with 38 on 53 attempts, even behind Jerome Messam, but he’s second on the team with 690 yards. He’s an efficient receiver, as he’s second in the league for average yards per catch for receivers with over 15 catches with an average of 18.2. Bryan Burnham has an average of 18.7 but he has 1103 yards on 59 receptions.
Daniels, a Notre Dame Fighting Irish product, leads the Stamps with 7 touchdowns. Oh also, he’s only played 8 games.
Stamps fans could expect a lot more from the young receiver moving forward. He has the potential to be one of the better receivers in this league.
Unnecessary Participation: Stamps vs. Argos Fight
Little pushes here and there and a bit of trash-talk happens all the time in football. In fact, sometimes those pushes escalate and almost provides entertainment to spectators. On Monday afternoon in Toronto, that’s exactly what happened between the Calgary Stampeders Kamar Jorden and Toronto Argonauts Devin Smith.
Upon replay, it looked like Jorden and Smith got tangled up in the endzone. Add a push here and an insult there and things got out of hand quickly. Toronto’s Josh Mitchell and Calgary’s Marquay McDaniel quickly jumped in, and Mitchell threw two punches to McDaniel’s helmet, and McDaniel didn’t retaliate. Most expected Mitchell to be ejected from the game but it ended up McDaniel and Smith who had to leave the field.
Mitchell got to play the remainder of the game. Fair? Well, not from Calgary’s point of view. McDaniel stayed very quiet post-game and on social media, which was smart. McDaniel being ejected didn’t hurt Calgary’s win and there seemed to be no further incidents later in the game. In two weeks when the two teams meet again, will there be bad blood?