The Winnipeg Blue Bombers have separated themselves from the rest of the pack through seven weeks of CFL action, posting a flawless 7-0 record. The East Division continues to lag but can at least boast one team with an above-.500 record in the Toronto Argonauts. Here's a quick recap of what went down over the last four days north of the border.
Alouettes 40, RedBlacks 33
Montreal handed Ottawa its sixth consecutive loss to open the season, torching an overmatched RedBlacks defense on Thursday night. Ottawa thought it had solved its quarterback conundrum by signing Jeremiah Masoli in the offseason but he got off to an underwhelming start before suffering a leg injury. His incumbent, Caleb Evans wasn't necessarily the problem on Thursday as he threw for 297 yards. Nor was RB William Powell, who rumbled for 79 yards on 17 carries. The big issue is the RedBlacks defense, which just can't seem to get off the field and has been prone to giving up the big play, as we saw on Thursday night. With a cluster of injuries on that side of the football, they'll need to figure things out before heading to Toronto to face a steadily-improving Argos squad this coming Sunday. Montreal gets a date with the Tiger-Cats in Hamilton on Thursday.
Lions 17, Tiger-Cats 13
The bye week served the Lions well as they rebounded from a lopsided 43-22 loss to the Blue Bombers with a low-scoring victory over the Ti-Cats on Thursday night. It was a stark contrast to what we had seen from B.C. earlier in the season when shootouts were the norm. RB James Butler continues to pace the Lions offense while QB Nathan Rourke has been turnover-prone, tossing exactly two interceptions in three consecutive games. The Ti-Cats are still searching for answers with a 1-5 record. Hamilton's offense simply hasn't clicked with QB Dane Evans at the helm. Of course, he hasn't gotten a lot of help from his backfield with the likes of Don Jackson and Sean Thomas-Erlington struggling to make any headway running the football. The Ti-Cats will host the Als on Thursday with just one game separating the two teams in the East Division standings while B.C. travels to face a Roughriders squad that will be eager to respond following consecutive losses against Toronto.
Blue Bombers 24, Elks 10
This game went almost exactly as expected with the Blue Bombers wearing out the lowly Elks on both sides of the football in a comfortable victory. Winnipeg remains undefeated on the season thanks in large part to a fierce defense that has held all seven opponents to 22 points or fewer. The Bombers offense hasn't had to be great and that's a good thing as QB Zach Collaros completed just 7-of-16 passes for 188 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in Friday's victory. RB Brady Oliveira has been terrific taking over the starting job following Andrew Harris' departure. The Elks continue to have a tough time staying competitive on a weekly basis. QB Taylor Cornelius was thrown into the fire against the Bombers, attempting 42 passes and leading the team in rushing, gaining 59 yards on 15 carries. That's obviously not a winning recipe given Cornelius' limited CFL resume. Winnipeg will travel to Calgary for a rematch with the Stampeders on Saturday while Edmonton mercifully heads into its bye week.
Argonauts 31, Roughriders 21
It wasn't easy, but the Argos stayed hot, dispatching of the undermanned Riders in Regina on Sunday. That game was moved back a day due to Saskatchewan's multiple Covid-related absences. The Riders still weren't close to full strength on Sunday, forced to go with QB Jake Dolegala in what was his first CFL start. Dolegala actually turned in an admirable performance, particularly in the first half as the Riders took a lead into halftime. Things came unraveled in the second half as Andrew Harris and the Argos offense imposed their will, scoring 17 unanswered fourth quarter points to secure the double-digit victory. The Argos will have a good opportunity to earn a third straight victory as they host the lowly RedBlacks on Thursday while the Riders look to pick up the pieces and snap their two-game skid at home against the Lions on Friday.