As per usual, the CFL season got off to an unpredictable start this past weekend. That being said, it was still entertaining and the first four games revealed new storylines to keep an eye on going into week 2 and beyond. Week 1 belonged to the West Division, as all four western teams started their season off with a win. As a result, my record dropped to an uncharacteristic 1-3 in terms of my picks and I’ll be looking to bounce back this week.
But first, let’s take a look back at how the games played out in the first week of the 2012 CFL regular season.
Saskatchewan 43 Hamilton 16
Rider QB Darian Durant threw for 390 yards and four touchdowns as Saskatchewan cruised to their first win of the season. Durant’s go to guy was Weston Dressler, who hauled in 180 yards receiving to go along with 3 TD’s. In a game that many expected the Tiger Cats to win, Hamilton looked overmatched and couldn’t handle the Rider’s offensive onslaught. Running back Chevon Walker was the lone bright spot for the Ti-Cats, rushing for 132 yards. If Saskatchewan can somehow manage to continue this effective offensive attack, they’ll be a fun team to watch going forward. By the way, Darian Durant was named the CFL’s offensive player of the week for his efforts.
B.C. 33 Winnipeg 16
Lions slot back Geroy Simon became the all-time CFL receiving yardage leader as B.C. beat the Winnipeg Blue Bombers with relative ease. Although the Lions didn’t look overly sharp, their performance was more than enough to handle a Bombers squad that produced just 185 yards of net offence all game. Winnipeg QB Buck Pierce was just 3 for 9 for 11 yards before he was knocked out of the game with a knee injury late in the 2nd quarter. Back up QB Alex Brink came in and threw two touchdown passes in the second half but it wasn’t enough to get the Bombers back in the game. Ultimately, neither quarterback had a chance behind an offensive line that struggled with their pass protection. Unlike the game in Hamilton, this result was hardly surprising.
Edmonton 19 Toronto 15
The Edmonton Eskimos survived a late Argonaut comeback attempt to hang on and win their home opener in what turned out to be the only close game of the week. Steven Jyles was decent in his first game as the Eskimos QB, but their offensive star was Adarius Bowman who caught 5 passes for 110 yards. Defensively, Edmonton was led by linebacker JC Sherritt who recorded 11 tackles and also forced a fumble earning him defensive player of the week honours. Despite the loss, Toronto QB Ricky Ray had a good outing in his return to Edmonton as he threw for just under 300 yards. Hey, at least I was right about it being a low scoring game.
Calgary 38 Montreal 10
The Calgary Stampeders forced three turnovers on their way to a dominating win over the Montreal Alouettes to round out Week 1. Calgary was superior on both sides of the ball. Defensively, they held Montreal QB Anthony Calvillo to just 174 yards passing and also picked him off twice. On offense, QB Drew Tate threw for 299 yards while Canadian running back Jon Cornish ran for 86 more. It was a sloppy start for the Alouettes, who now have major concerns regarding their defence as we head into week 2.
Stay tuned for my week 2 preview.
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