CFL Week 3 Recap: Week 3 of the CFL season and is upon us and with heavy hearts, the CFL honoured the Humbolt Broncos this week with every team sporting stickers on the back of their helmets. The Roughriders dedicated their game to the victims of the crash. For one of the first times in a long time, the East got the better of the West this week as they would walk away with two wins. Only one undefeated team remains in the CFL after Week 3 and that would be the Calgary Stampeders as they will, unfortunately, have to look ahead to Week 5 to defend that title as they pulled the Week 4 bye.

The Toronto Argonauts landed the Week 3 bye.

Week 3

Ottawa RedBlacks (1-0) – 14

Calgary Stampeders (2-0)– 24

Week 3 started off with two of the hottest teams so far this year. The Calgary Stampeders jumped out to an impromptu 2-0 start after putting up 69 points through two games, easily handling the Argos in Week 2 and a solid two-touchdown win over Hamilton in Week 1.

The RedBlacks looked very solid in their first game in Week 2. Ottawa put up 40 points on a Saskatchewan defence that looked unstoppable in Week 1. Add that to quarterback Trevor Harris putting up 345 yards through the air looking like an MVP leading the Nation’s Capital to an early 1-0 start.

Both offences, however, started out very slow. With Calgary putting up 136 yards and Ottawa just 129 in the entire first half. Trevor Harris went an abysmal 7/20 for 42 yards in the opening half and his counterpart, Bo Levi Mitchell 11/21 for 110 and 1 TD.

Ottawa opened the scoring after some big runs by William Powell. Lewis Ward kicked a 39-yard field goal in the first quarter for the 3-0 RedBlack lead. Later into the second quarter Ward again converted a field goal, this time from 28 yards out and the 6-0 lead.

Ottawa would take possession from their own 21-yard line with 9:22 left in the half. A pass from Trevor Harris was batted at the line and DT Micah Johnson came up with the interception. The pick would result in seven points for the Stamps.

On the ensuing drive, after a penalty or two, Bo Levi Mitchell completed a 5-yard pass to Eric Rogers in the end zone for the 7-6 Calgary lead. After a few traded two-and-outs the one-point lead made its way into the half.

The third quarter played out mostly the same as the first 30 minutes of play. Calgary started moving the ball down the field until Ottawa came up with a turnover. Derico Murray intercepted a Mitchell pass intended for Reggie Begelton resulting in the RedBlacks taking possession from their own 25-yard line.

The mistake would only cost the Stampeders one point as the RedBlacks would get be forced to punt on the ensuing drive and with Richie Leone booting the ball 63 yards through the end-zone tying the game at 7.

On Calgary’s next drive, Mitchell drove back down the field and hit DaVaris Daniels for a 23-yard gain. Daniels showed tremendous toughness taking a monster hit to head from Kyries Hebert. An unnecessary roughness penalty was called on Hebert moving the ball up another 15 yards. Hebert was consequently suspended one game for the hit.

A few plays later Calgary failed to convert on a third down, but Dave Dickenson challenged for roughing the passer with Andrew Marshall clearly making contact with Mitchell’s head as well as arriving late. The review converted the penalty into a first down for the Stamps.

The salt in the wound for Ottawa was that Marshall was in the game with three of their starting defensive ends going down with injuries as A.C. Leonard, Avery Ellis and Jonathan Newsome all went down in this game.

After the penalty, Mitchell threw two incompletions pushing the Stamps to have to settle for a 22-yard Rene Paredes field goal and a 10-7 lead.

Ottawa would then drive down the field on their own into the red zone, but Calgary would make three incredible stops to start the fourth quarter. On first down, Trevor Harris threw an incompletion to Brad Sinopoli in the end zone. On second down Harris completed a pass to Deontae Spencer who was tackled at the 1-yard line. Then on third down, backup quarterback Dominique Davis came into the game and was stood up at the 1-yard line for a turnover on downs.

After each team punted the ball once, the Stamps took the ball back after a 35-yard Terry Williams punt return started the drive at the Ottawa 37-yard line. Mitchell threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Kamar Jorden who went up brought the ball down with force for the 17-7 Calgary lead.

On the ensuing Ottawa drive, Harris would complete a pass to Brad Sinopoli for a 14-yard gain but Alex Singleton would force a fumble on the tackle and Patrick Levels would recover for the Stamps.

Calgary would add another touchdown, a 6-yard Don Jackson run extending the lead to 24-7 with 6:44 left in the game.

Ottawa would opt to put backup QB Dominique Davis in on the next drive. Davis would take the RedBlacks down the field ending the drive in a 9-yard Greg Ellingson TD cutting the lead to 24-14. Ottawa attempted the onside kick but did not convert and the Stamps went on to win by 10 points.

Both defences looked stout bending but not breaking through three-quarters of play. Bo Levi Mitchell and the Stampeders do what they always do and found a way to win. When it mattered most they put together big drives and got into the end zone and the defence created turnovers to keep Ottawa out of it.

The defence for Ottawa showed up much like in their Week 2 win, but eventually, Calgary found a way to beat them. The offence did manage to put up 299 yards but only 176 of those were passing yards. William Powell had another monster game running for 123 yards, but no receiver had more than 40 yards outside of Ellingson and Trevor Harris only completed 44% of his passes.

The Calgary defence totalled three sacks to Ottawa’s 0. That number, even more, glaring with the sack clinic Ottawa put up on Saskatchewan a week prior.

Player of the Game: I really want to say Bo Levi Mitchell but I’m going with DaVaris Daniels. Daniels had 5 catches for 91 yards-the most on the team in this one. But it wasn’t just the stats. Daniels made huge conversions for Calgary especially early keeping the offence on the field, most notably the hit he took from Hebert, which added 15 yards on the penalty and gave the team some energy with his toughness.

Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1-1)– 17

Hamilton Tiger-Cats (1-1) – 31

A week 3 match-up between the Tiger-Cats and the Blue Bombers who were both 1-1.

The Tiger-Cats hosted the Bombers in their home opener after going 1-1 on an Alberta road trip that saw them drop the first game to Calgary but take the second against the Eskimos. The Tiger-Cats came into the game 4th in points scored and 4th in points allowed.

The Bombers have a high-octane offence coming into the game with the most points scored in the CFL, however, they are also allowing the 6th most. Hoping their defence will get better, the Bombers need to string wins together to stay competitive in the West.

After some back and forth in the first quarter the Blue Bombers would be the first team to put up points in this game. 8:25 remaining in the 1st, Andrew Harris would punch it in from the 1-yard line putting Winnipeg up 7-0.

Mercer Timmis would respond for the Tiger-Cats with roughly two minutes left in the first quarter tying the game up at 7s after a 1-yard run.

 

Winnipeg would take the ball into the second quarter, while they looked to be stalled on a third down. They would fake a punt and get the first down. That’s the third fake punt this year in the CFL, all of them being successful.

The two teams would trade field goals for the remainder of the half, we’d go into the halftime with Hamilton winning 16-10.

With about 10 minutes left in the third quarter. Hamilton running back Mercer Timmis would find pay dirt for the second time in the game off a 4-yard run. The Tiger-Cats would fail the convert however and go up 22-10.

Roughly 5 minutes later Jeremiah Masoli would complete a 25-yard pass to Terrence Toliver pushing the Tiger-Cats lead to 28-10 as they’d take a stranglehold on the game.

After another field goal made by the Tiger-Cats increasing their lead to 31-10. Winnipeg QB Chris Streveler would call his own number from 15-yards out to bring the Bombers as close as they’d get in this one.

The last 10 minutes of the game had no scoring plays as the Tiger-Cats would defeat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers 31-17.

Johnny Manziel watch continues as he did not play in this game either. To be honest, why should he? Jeremiah Masoli is playing lights out when it comes to moving the ball down the field, he’s not exactly getting the TD’s to go with it as Hamilton has been focused on pounding the ball into the end zone. Hamilton looks like the team to beat in the East currently, will they be able to hold that momentum throughout the rest of the season? Only time will tell.

For the Blue Bombers, you probably don’t deserve to win a game only putting up 17 points in the CFL, but you don’t deserve to win a game when you allow 31 points in the CFL either. Something has got to give when it comes to the defensive side of the ball for the Blue Bombers. Chris Streveler looked pretty pedestrian in this game only going 11-19 for 83 yards. I have no doubt in my mind the Blue Bombers can be a contender with Matt Nichols under centre, but they still must tread water and be able to make a run at the playoffs by the time he gets healthy and returns.

Player of The Game: It’s easy to give it to QB’s, but we’re going to do it again. Jeremiah Masoli. 31-41 for 369 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. I’d like to see the Tiger-Cats trust him closer to the goal line on passing plays, but when their RB’s are pounding it in, there’s no reason to.

B.C. Lions (1-0)– 22

Edmonton Eskimos (1-1)– 41

The Lions came into Week 3 as one of the only undefeated teams in the CFL (albeit they’ve played one game), while the Eskimos come into Week 3 with a 1-1 record, having one good game under their belt and one terrible game. One of the big storylines in this game was Odell Willis’s return to Edmonton and he’d get his run at Reilly later in the game.

 

The Lions would start off the scoring with a missed field goal single, followed by a Jeremiah Johnson 1-yard TD run, putting the Lions up 8-0.

The Eskimos would fumble the kickoff and the Lions would add a field goal to quickly go up 11-0.

After an Eskimos safety and a Lions field goal. Mike Reilly would find Natey Adjei in the end-zone for a beautiful 14-yard TD. Bringing the score to 14-9 BC.

As mentioned earlier, Odell Willis would get his run at Mike Reilly. Somehow, someway Reilly got the ball off in time before getting crushed.

The Eskimos would finish the first half with Mike Reilly finding Kenny Stafford in the end-zone for a 14-yard TD. The Eskimos would convert the two-point conversion and go up 17-14 into the half.

The two teams would go back and forth accomplishing nothing for most of the third quarter until finally, CJ Gable finds an opening and scores a 3-yard TD, bringing the Eskimos to lead 23-14.

Just three minutes later Mike Reilly would connect with Duke Williams on a 64-yard TD, then convert the 2-point conversion to each other and the Eskimos would start pulling away. 31-14.

The two teams would trade QB sneak TD’s and eventually, the game would end 41-22 in favour of the Eskimos.

Edmonton’s defence looked much better in this game, perhaps due to Edmonton’s ability to dominate the run game, which led them to have a 10-minute advantage in time of possession. Nonetheless, it looked much better than last week and will need to remain great if they want to compete in the West.

B.C just doesn’t have the firepower to keep up with an offence like Edmonton’s. I’m not exactly a Jonathon Jennings doubter, but there’s no comparison when it comes to his ability to move the ball versus Reilly’s. I have a feeling the B.C Lions are going to be the odd-team out in the West, but if they can string some wins together. They may just be able to pass the Riders and the Bombers, two teams that don’t look great coming out of Week 3.

Player of The Game: CJ Gable. Flat out dominated the run game for the Eskimos. He only had 1 TD, but he rushed for 165 yards on 23 carries, averaging 7.2 yards per carry.

Montreal Alouettes (0-2) – 23

Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-1) – 17

In the game honouring the Humbolt Broncos, the Saskatchewan Roughriders hosted the Montreal Alouettes Saturday night at Mosaic Stadium. The Riders looked to improve to a 2-1 start after Week 3, but they would need to do it behind backup quarterback Brandon Bridge after Zach Collaros was placed on the 6-game injured list with a concussion.

The Als, on the other hand, would have appreciated a much better start, going 0-2 after two weeks. Montreal had looked lost through the first two games losing 56-10 to Winnipeg and 22-10 to B.C. The Alouettes gave up 588 yards of total offence to the Bombers in Week 2 and looked for a much better standing on the road in this one.

Both teams had a sub-par first half offensively speaking. Saskatchewan put up a total of 133 yards and Montreal 167 in the first 30 minutes. Neither team rushed for more than 22 yards. Brandon Bridge couldn’t make a solid throw through most of the first half going 8/18 for 111 yards and 2 INTs.

Montreal opened the scoring with a 17-yard Boris Bede field goal after a nice 48-yard pass from Drew Willy to BJ Cunningham, with Willy avoiding pressure from Willie Jefferson.

Bridge would complete a nice bullet pass through the seam to Shaq Evans for 35 yards, but the drive would end in an interception by Brandon Dozier.

The Riders would tie the game at the 4:55 mark of the second quarter after Bridge completed a few passes for first downs to Tre Mason and Jordan Williams-Lambert. Brett Lauther kicked a 39-yard field goal tying the game at 3.

Duron Carter playing defensive back has started to cost the Riders harshly. With an offence led by an inexperienced quarterback who could use one of the best receivers in the game on his side. Apart from that Carter’s technique flaws started costing Saskatchewan in Week 2 and it continued Week 3.

Carter was playing bump and run on a speedy Chris Williams and would not get his hands on the fastest receiver in the league at the line of scrimmage, flipping his hips too soon opening Williams up to use his speed and beat Carter who wasn’t using a backpedal to keep pace.

Williams beat Carter for a 79-yard touchdown pass leading to a 10-3 Montreal lead. The next drive Bridge would throw another interception to Jermaine Robinson. Luckily for Bridge and the Riders, the interception lead to no points for Montreal.

Carter was almost beat deep by Chris Williams again before half-time but even on the incompletion, Carter took an unnecessary roughness penalty bumping Williams to the ground in the end zone.

Bede would kick a 32-yard field goal to end the half taking a 13-3 lead for the Als.

Coming into the second half, Bridge was benched, and David Watford took his first snaps in the CFL. He didn’t fare much better than Bridge finishing 10/22 for 108 yards and 2 INTs as well, but he did have a touchdown pass, his first of his career.

Watford did lead the Riders down the field on his second drive, highlighted by a 35-yard pass to Evans on the sideline. The drive, however, stalled and Saskatchewan settled for a 32-yard Lauther field goal.

After Joe Burnett came up with the first interception off Watford the Als turned it into three points with Bede nailing a 38-yard field goal.

Drew Willy left the game in the third quarter with a concussion and did not return. He was replaced with Jeff Mathews who had a decent game the rest of the way. Mathews went 8/12 for 98 yards and did not turn the ball over. Mathews would hit Williams deep again over Duron Carter, this time for 47 yards. The drive led to a single point being scored for Montreal and a 17-6 lead.

The Riders got a spark on special teams in the fourth quarter with Christion Jones returning a punt 53 yards to the Montreal 17-yard line. Two plays later Watford floated a ball up to Naaman Roosevelt in the back of the end zone and the all-star receiver leaped up over the defender and caught the ball around the DB’s head for the touchdown.

The Riders failed the 2-point conversion and cut the lead down to 17-12. Saskatchewan would quickly regain possession of the ball on the next drive. Tyrell Sutton picked up 5 yards on a screen pass but a tackle by Sam Eguaveon forced a fumble that was recovered by the Riders at the Montreal 33-yard line.

 

The drive, however, only resulted in three more points after a 25-yard Lauther field goal and a 17-15 Als lead.

Two more Bede field goals and drives that stalled for Saskatchewan with penalties and another Watford interception would end in a 23-17 Montreal victory, snapping the 13-game streak dating back to last year.

The Alouettes defence looked fierce in this game gaining tonnes of pressure on both Rider quarterbacks. Neither Bridge nor Watford seemed to have time to get much done and when they did, they seemed to rush throws or scramble from the pocket sooner than they should have. The Montreal offence was anything but stellar with only 287 total yards, but they managed the ball well with only the two fumbles but neither quarterback threw an interception. They made the big play when they needed to and let the defence win them the game.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders went from looking like a team that could get the job done in Week 1 to looking like the worst team in the league for two weeks in a row. The offence could not move the ball to save their life and when they would start to put some drives together bad mistakes would usually seem to cost them. The defensive side of the ball looked much better than in Week 2 getting more pressure on the opposing QB, but you must seriously question Chris Jones’ decision to keep putting Duron Carter at CB. It seemed brilliant at first with the pick-sixes, but Carter has been getting burned badly on deep balls two weeks in a row now and it appears the rest of the league is taking notice. For a team that is struggling on offence, it seems more than silly to keep taking away the best playmaker on the field. Things won’t get any easier with a Tiger-Cats team that looks to be on fire coming up in Week 4.

Player of the Game: Chris Williams. Williams burned Carter three times in this one and came up with the team’s only touchdown. He made the big plays when they needed them most and finished with just 3 catches but went for 130 yards 58 of which were after the catch.

CFL Week 3 Recap

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