By Jason Langvee
It’s pretty shocking to this football fan that we already find ourselves in week 17 of the long and strenuous CFL season. This week, the CFL’s post-season made itself a little clearer with regards to whom we might expect vying for that beautiful Canadian treasure we call the Grey Cup. Following the four games that took place this week, we now have five teams confirmed in the post-season, with another three still in the hunt, and one eliminated from contention. Throughout all of that, we also had a player that stood out from all of his contemporaries this week, which earned him the nod of the RIVALUS Featured Player for week 17 in the CFL.
Game one of this week saw the Winnipeg Blue Bombers travel to our nation’s capital to take on the REDBLACKS. Coming into this game, most fans knew that a Winnipeg victory would go a long way to securing the playoff berth. To that end, Winnipeg’s defence came out and played perhaps one of their best games of 2015. Standouts; Khalil Bass and Demond Washington combined for 22 tackles in the contest. For Henry Burris though, a tough defence is oftentimes just an excuse for him to dust of his cape and show the world what he’s made of. By game’s end Burris had completed 34 passes for 370 yards and a touchdown. Chris Williams and Greg Ellingson provided invaluable targets for Burris all night, as the two posted 125 and 101 receiving yards, respectively. Despite a late push by Winnipeg, Ottawa took this game and a spot in the post-season by a score of 27-24.
The week’s second game provided a rematch of the last Grey Cup to be held in Toronto; the Stampeders at the Argonauts. This time around though, a flock of birds kept us football fans out of the Rogers Centre, which led to the generous Tiger-Cats allowing the game to be kicked off at Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton. It’s rare in modern pro-football to see one phase of a team determine the whole outcome of a game, and yet, that is what Calgary’s defence did on Saturday. Brandon McDonald, Micah Johnson, Freddie Bishop III, Junior Turner, and Charleston Hughes all found their ways to Trevor Harris for an outstanding 6 sacks on the night. That pressure also impacted Trevor Harris’s accuracy, for which he has become renowned. Harris threw an uncharacteristic 3 interceptions in the match thanks in part to Calgary’s presence all around him. Not to be outdone though, Bo Levi Mitchell also put together a very consistent and pragmatic performance completing 75% of his passes to ultimately take down the boatmen by a score of 27-15. Both squads still find themselves looking forward to the post-season.
Week 17’s last game came with a lot of anticipation to see just how quick the travelled-veteran; Kevin Glenn, might adapt in yet another new city. Although it was obvious that the chemistry between Glenn and his new crop of Alouettes receivers was awry, it was also obvious that inside the scope of four quarters; that chemistry was already building. Glenn closed the game completing close to 60% of his passes, with his favoured target being his check-down tailback; Tyrell Sutton. On the other offence though, the rookie Jeff Matthews showed his comfort inside Kent Austin and Tommy Condell’s offence as he only missed 4 passes all afternoon. Luke Tasker and Terrell Sinkfield Jr. benefitted from Matthews’ accuracy as the two put up 197 combined receiving yards. Defensively, both squads showed up in spades with the “Sacks” win going to Montreal, and the “Interceptions” win going to Hamilton. By game’s end it was ultimately the more consistent offence that took the game as Hamilton bested Montreal by a score of 23-11. Hamilton now sits comfortably looking ahead to November, whereas the post-season hopes for Montreal still remain to be seen.
Lastly, but certainly (and objectively) not least we have the game in which our RIVALUS Featured Player took the field. That game happened in Edmonton as the already-playoff-bound Eskimos hosted the yet-to-be-invited Lions. Take a look at the game stats page here. Anything jump off the page at you? Well, for me there were a few things. Jonathon Jennings played well. Not exceptional, but well, which when facing the best defence in the CFL (arguably); is all a rookie quarterback can ask for. If BC were to have taken this game, the winning push would have had to come from their own defence in shutting Mike Reilly down. To that end they put forth a valiant effort as; Alex Hoffman-Ellis, T.J. Lee, and Ronnie Yell combined for 19 tackles and 3 interceptions. Reilly on the other hand still found some room to get the in the hands of a few of his favourite people in the world (I assume). Shakir Bell provided the Esks’s offence a potent dual-threat as he rushed for a little over 90 yards. I still haven’t mentioned the player that jumped off the page though. Any guesses?
It couldn’t be anyone other than Adarius Bowman who would take the title of RIVALUS Featured Player this week.
On the basis of statistics alone, Bowman blew his competition out of the water this week. At the end of his team’s game in Edmonton, Adarius had caught 11 balls for a total of 198 receiving yards. Think about that. Bowman caught passes to the tune of approximately 2 (American) football fields. I want you to really think about how many productive yards that is. A preliminary google search of 198 yards (or 180 meters) provides the following illustrative examples: the world’s longest private yacht, the Dubai World Trade Centre, 5 Argentinosaurus in a row (largest recorded dinosaur), or 1500 beer cans top-to-bottom if you prefer. If it sounds like I’m gushing about 198 receiving yards, it’s because I am. On top of that, Bowman tallied 6 points on the board with a TD to knock out the Lions by a score of 26-23. Adarius, you owned your performance against BC and for that reason you are week 17’s RIVALUS Featured Player!