Week 5 of the 2018 CFL season was a week of rematches as two games featured teams playing their Week 4 counterparts. Surprisingly there were only three games this week as three teams got byes. Not really sure why, but big ups to CFL scheduling I guess? The Stampeders would remain undefeated and looked dominant doing so. At least we can enjoy the good football by them now until November where they’ll inevitably choke again. The West would dominate the East once again this week as they’d win both West vs East matchups.

Here’s your CFL Recap for Week 5.

Week 5 Bye:   

Calgary Stampeders (3-0)– 27

Ottawa RedBlacks (2-1) – 3

The Ottawa RedBlacks looked for redemption after coming up short to their 104th Grey Cup opponents in Week 3. The RedBlacks looked like a powerful match-up after a dynamite offensive showing in Weeks 2 and 4 while being slowed down by the Stamps in Week 3.

Calgary, to no one’s surprise, started the year looking like the leagues best team. While the defence stood tall against Ottawa in Week 3 the offence looked nicely matched by Ottawa’s D. They hoped to get out to a quicker start and to be the high-powered O they’ve showcased over the last decade after the bye in Week 4.

This game also brought back Kyries Hebert who served a one-game suspension after a hit on DaVaris Daniels in Week 3.

Calgary dominated especially early on, not allowing Ottawa to make a first down until there was a little over two minutes left in the first half. It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for the Stamps in the first half, with all-star quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell taking a late shot down low from Danny Mason, buckling his knee. He stayed in for the rest of the drive but was replaced by Nick Arbuckle for the rest of the game after that.

Ottawa did not have a shot in this one at any point from start to finish. They did not eclipse 100 yards until the fourth quarter.

Both teams started a little slow, feeling each other out. On the Stampeders’ third drive of the game, they drove down the field on a 10-play drive ending in a 1-yard Romar Morris touchdown run. Mitchell would hit DaVaris Daniels in the end zone for the 2-point conversion and the 8-0 lead.

Mid-way through the second quarter, after both teams continued to trade punts, Trevor Harris threw one of the three picks for the RedBlacks. Harris was intercepted by Tre Roberson giving Calgary the ball at the Ottawa 31-yard line.

Bo Levi Mitchell took the Stamps the rest of the way capping it all off with a 10-yard Juwan Brescacin touchdown, the first of his career and a failed run for the 2-point convert leading to a 14-0 lead before Mitchell left the game.

On the ensuing RedBlack drive Harris was again intercepted, this time by Emmanuel Davis. The drive would result in a 17-yard Rene Paredes field goal, the 17-0 Calgary lead and the loss of their QB.

Rookie QB Nick Arbuckle took over on the following drive, which led to a Stampeder punt. However, on the punt, Diontae Spencer would fumble the kick and it would be recovered by Calgary at the Ottawa 25-yard line.

The Stamps would add another three points off the turnover with Paredes kicking a 25 yarder and the 20-0 lead.

The RedBlacks bounced around between not just two but three quarterbacks. With Trevor Harris struggling mightily (finished 14/22 93 yards 2 INTs) both Dominique Davis and Danny Collins saw action.

Lewis Ward would kick an 11-yard field goal to finally get Ottawa on the board halfway through the third quarter. That would be the only points Ottawa would score on the night.

Nick Arbuckle would go on to throw his first career touchdown at the 10:49 mark of the fourth quarter. Capping off a four-play drive lead by a 48-yard Don Jackson run, Arbuckle would hit Lamar Durant on a 12-yard pass for the touchdown and the 27-3 lead.

That would be the final with Dominique Davis being sacked by Ja’Gared Davis, causing a fumble and recovery by Calgary and another late turnover by Ottawa a few drives later with Danny Collins throwing an interception to Patrick Levels.

The Stampeders looked dominant from start to finish. The defence, especially the defensive line held Ottawa to 169 yards of total offence with only 35 of those being rushing yards, holding back a powerful runner in William Powell. With a total of 4 sacks and 5 turnovers the Stampeder defence and special teams did their jobs to a T. The offence looked like it was going to take off before Mitchell got hurt, and even after they played a solid game behind Nick Arbuckle who went 8/14 for 84 yards and 1 TD. Let’s all hope for the sake of the Stampeders and the entire CFL that Mitchell’s knee injury isn’t serious.

The Ottawa RedBlacks have laid eggs against the Stamps in two games this year. The other two games they’ve played they had some success in and looked like they could compete for the top spot in the East. Trevor Harris looked completely lost having no time in the pocket and when he did, was inaccurate. He threw two interceptions with backup Danny Collins throwing one. Any time a coach decides to use all three QBs in a game it isn’t a good sign. Ottawa couldn’t move the ball on the ground to save their lives and no receiver had more than 37-yards receiving. They’ll need to give themselves a serious shot in the arm in Week 6 against the Lions at home.

Player of the Game: Calgary D-Line. They played one of the most dominant games you’ll see from a D-line. Totalling 4 sacks and tonnes of pressure on all three QBs forcing and creating turnovers all night. Holding any professional team to no first downs until almost halftime and under 100 yards through three quarters is a massive feat for any defence and the front 4 was a major contributor for them in this one.

Toronto Argonauts (1-2)  – 15

Edmonton Eskimos (2-2) – 16

After the Eskimos failed to comeback late in the fourth quarter last week against the Argonauts, they would play each other again in Week 5. However, this time the game was in Edmonton. It ended up being another close game that came right down to the end. The Eskimos came into the game 2-2 looking to go over .500, while the Argonauts look to put their season back on track after a lousy 0-2 start.

The Eskimos would win the coin toss and elect to receive in a wet game in Edmonton as it poured pretty much the entire game making it hard for teams to control the ball.

After a quick 43 yard strike to Duke Williams on the first play of the game, Reilly would cough up the ball to TJ Heath.

It was a pretty uneventful first quarter as previously stated, both teams were having some problems handling the elements and couldn’t sustain any drives.

The first quarter would actually end 3-0 in favour of the Argonauts.

It would remain pretty uneventful until around 4 minutes left in the first half when an Argos roughness major penalty would give Edmonton good field position.

Mike Reilly would connect with Jordan Robinson on a screen pass that would find the house for a 30-yard touchdown.

The Eskimos would get the ball back with less than three minutes to play and punter Hugh O’Neill would put a rouge up on the board for the Eskimos as we’d go into halftime with the Eskies leading 8-3.

Rouges were plentiful in this game as the Argonauts would open the second half with one bringing them within 4 points.

On the first possession of the second half for the Eskimos, they’d find paydirt once again. Mike Reilly would connect with Duke Williams on an 11-yard pass, Whyte would kick the convert through and the Eskimos would take a 15-4 lead.

It wouldn’t long for the Argonauts to respond as it seemed both teams finally started to settle into the game. The Argos would close out the third quarter with a James Wilder JR 3-yard rushing TD. James Franklin would find S.J. Green on the two-point conversion and the Argos would pull within 3.

The fourth quarter in this game proved to be uneventful as the Eskimos would put up another rouge, while the Argos would kick a field goal bringing the score to 16-15 which is what the game would eventually end up being.

While it wasn’t eventful on the scoreboard it was on the field as Argos DL Dylan Wynn would eventually get suspended one game for his spearing helmet to helmet hit on Eskimos RB C.J Gable.

Thankfully Gable was able to walk off the field under his own power after collecting himself.

The Eskimos look like a team that can be a Grey Cup contender if they can start finishing in the red zone, lately, they’ve been settling for too many field goals and leaving too many points on the board. Their defence is playing better, but they aren’t good enough to win them games yet. Mike Reilly has proven time and time again to be one of the best quarterbacks in this league, as well as one of the better leaders. It was a live mic game for this one and if you have the time to go back and look at some of the soundbites you’ll understand why he’s one of the most respected players in this league.

The Argonauts simply didn’t have enough in the tank to bring this game home and they fall to 1-3 in the East. Which in the grand scheme of things isn’t that big of a deal with how much season is left, but they’ll probably have to defend against a western cross-over this year and will need to start putting up wins if they want to make the playoffs.

One thing of note for the Argonauts out of this game? S.J Green looked amazing. 10 receptions for 131 yards. He’ll be a big part of their success going forward.

Player of the Game: Duke Williams. 9 receptions for 123 yards and a TD. He’s been Edmonton’s best receiver to start the year.

Winnipeg BlueBombers (2-2) – 17

B.C. Lions (1-2) – 20

The Winnipeg BlueBombers embarrassed the B.C. Lions in Week 4 defeating them 41-19. It hasn’t seemed to matter who is in at quarterback for the Bombers with Chris Steveler looking like a capable starter through the first two weeks only to have Matt Nichols take back the team in Week 4. Winnipeg looked to keep rolling and come out above .500 after five weeks of play.

The Lions, on the other hand, have seemed lost through the majority of their three games so far. They’ve given up 41 points in both losses to Winnipeg and Edmonton with their only win coming in a 22-10 victory over the Montreal Alouettes who have looked like the league’s worst team. The Lions would start Travis Lulay over Jonathan Jennings in Week 5.

The first half seemed to be more of the same with Winnipeg taking a commanding 17-0 lead into the half. Winnipeg took the opening drive down the field and turned it into a major. Matt Nichols led a 5-play drive hitting Andrew Harris for 10 yards then Darvin Adams for 21, before capping it all off with a massive 37-yard touchdown run by Harris, who now has over 600 yards rushing on over 66 carries against his former team. The Bombers took the early 7-0 lead.

B.C. moved the ball well early with Lulay showing flashes of his old all-star self, helped by some big runs by Jeremiah Johnson before he was hurt and did not return. Chris Rainey took the bulk of the snaps after the injury.

The opening drive for the Lions resulted in a turnover after Lulay and Johnson lead the team down to the Winnipeg 22-yard line, Lulay threw an interception in the end zone to Kevin Fogg, his second of the year.

A little over halfway through the second quarter the Bombers would add to their lead. After a hand-off to Nic Demski who ran 30 yards down the field, Andrew Harris would score his second touchdown of the game, a 4-yard run leading to the 14-0 lead.

On the ensuing kickoff, Mike O’Shea pulled out some of his special teams genius, or madness deciding to go for the onside kick. The ball was recovered by Winnipeg. The play would result in Justin Medlock kicking a 50-yard field goal to make it 17-0.

The Lions looked to finally right their ways in the dying minute of the half, driving down the field to the Winnipeg 5-yard line. With no time left on the clock, Lulay hit Bryan Burnham in the end zone but Burnham dropped the ball while being hit, sealing the 17-0 Bomber half-time lead.

For as much as the first half belonged to the Bombers, the second half was in the Lion’s den.

B.C. did turn the ball over on downs at their own 51-yard line to start the third quarter, but after the Bombers drove down to the Lions’ 10-yard line they would suffer the same fate. After a 7-yard Harris run, backup QB Chris Streveler would be stuffed on two consecutive sneak attempts giving the ball back to B.C. They would take momentum from there.

After both teams traded punts the Lions would go on a 6-play 98-yard drive. Lulay was hitting receivers on 10+ yard passes including a 33-yard gain on a screen pass to Chris Rainey. The drive would result in a 1-yard Cody Fajardo sneak for the touchdown cutting the lead to 17-7.

On the ensuing drive, Winnipeg would march down to their own 53-yard line. Nichols would throw an interception to Winston Rose giving the Lions possession from their own 32-yard line.

The turnover would result in a 46-yard Ty Long field goal bringing the Lions to within 7 points, 17-10.

The Lions would get another huge stop after Winnipeg went on a 7-play drive down to the Lions’ 7-yard line. On 3rd and 1, the Lions would again stuff Streveler for another turnover on downs. The turnover did not result in points, however.

The Lions would complete the comeback with just under two minutes left in the game. On a 2nd and 12, they got a huge 16-yard run from Rainey to move the chains. The conversion would lead to another huge play, a 29-yard pass from Lulay to Burnham. Two plays later Lulay would hit Shaq Johnson on the sideline, who ran it 7 yards for the TD tying the game at 17.

On the next Winnipeg drive, Matt Nichols would be sacked and looked like he fumbled the ball which was then recovered by B.C. After reviewing the play, it would stand as just a sack. On the next play on 2nd and 18 Nichols forced the ball into coverage and it was intercepted by Anthony Orange with a little over a minute left.

Lulay would then hit Burnham on a deep ball to the Winnipeg 14-yard line after the 38-yard pass. Mike O’Shea would challenge for offensive pass interference, but it was deemed there was none and the play would stand.

The drive would end in the 16-yard Ty Long field goal and the remarkable 20-17 Lions win.

The Lions looked like they had no chance once again in the Week 4 rematch but they took total control in the second half. The goal-line stand to force the turnover on downs was the turning point leading to Lulay leading the explosive comeback. The defence forced another turnover on downs and two interceptions to give life to the rest of the team. They had a total 399 yards with 326 of those being on the arm of Travis Lulay. The Lions D forced 5 turnovers and 2 sacks on the game. Chris Rainey was also a force with 114 total offensive yard and 122 special-teams yards. Has Travis Lulay sparked some life in the Lions? We will see if they can bring back this kind of magic in Week 6 against Ottawa.

Winnipeg was dominant early but let it slip away. Their offence was dominated in the second half unable to score a single point. Matt Nichols had a solid first half and threw a total of 214 yards but 3 picks. Andrew Harris was dominant in the first half and had 139 yards on the ground and 29 through the air with 2 TDs but disappeared in the second half. The Bombers chose to run QB sneaks on the goal line and on short situations where Harris would thrive but instead had their backup quarterback stuffed for a turnover on downs. For a team that has looked explosive all year Winnipeg looked rattled late in this one, and the one thing that set them apart from the elite last year, consistency and the ability to play a full 60-minutes, again haunted them in this one.

Player of the Game: Travis Lulay. I was originally going to take Andrew Harris, but the Bombers opted to pull away from him in the second half. In Lulay’s first start in almost a full calendar year, he went 28/41 for 326 yards 1 TD 1INT. He brought the team back late and gave them life and maybe some confidence moving forward.

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CFL Recap Week 5

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