The fifth week of the season was highlighted by close games that came down to the final minute. Surprisingly, visiting teams won three of the four games. My record was 1-3 last week which drops me to a disappointing 8-12 on the season.
Here’s a look back at how the games went:
Winnipeg 23 Edmonton 22
In the only game that I picked correctly, Winnipeg finally got their first win of the season in their home opener.
It looked like the Bombers were going to drop to 0-5 when the Eskimos drove the field and had set themselves up to kick the game winning field goal in the last minute. But QB Steven Jyles coughed up the ball near the 30 yard line and Winnipeg recovered it to seal the deal.
Winnipeg put in their best offensive performance of the season as QB Alex Brink threw for 294 yards and made good reads and decisions. He looked very poised throughout the game. RB Chad Simpson had another productive game, rushing for 73 yards. And credit the offensive line for their steady play. For Edmonton, they played a solid road game in a tough environment and with their bye week upcoming, they should be able to flush this loss from their system. Winnipeg still has a lot of room for improvement but they’ll be playing with more confidence next week.
Toronto 23 Montreal 20
Argonauts receiver Chad Owens caught a pair of touchdown passes leading the Argos to a narrow victory on the road over Montreal. The Als had a chance to tie the game late but kicker Sean Whyte came up just short on a 54 yard field goal attempt. A key play came late in the first half when QB Anthony Calvillo underthrew his intended target and was picked off in the end zone. Montreal wouldn’t get that close to the end zone for the rest of the game in what was a stingy effort by the Toronto defence. The Argos now have a share of first place in the East while the Alouettes are one game behind.
Hamilton 35 Saskatchewan 34
For the second week in a row, Saskatchewan let a fourth quarter lead slip away and with that the Riders have come crashing back down to earth. They had a 33-14 lead but were outscored 21-2 in the final fifteen minutes. Hamilton QB Henry Burris continues to put up huge passing numbers as he torched the Rider secondary in the second half. Just like the previous week, Rider QB Darian Durant coughed up the ball in the fourth, this time in the form of a fumble that was recovered by the Ti-Cats deep in Rider territory. That play sparked the comeback. A positive for Saskatchewan is that RB Kory Sheets has now found the end zone in five consecutive games. These two teams will not meet again this season, with the season series finishing at a game apiece.
B.C. 34 Calgary 8
I thought this game would be a lot closer, but that assumption was based on the mediocrity showcased by the B.C. Lions in the first four weeks of the season. The 2011 Grey Cup champions looked like the real deal in this affair as they dominated Calgary for most of the game. The Stamps couldn’t contain QB Travis Lulay, who had 315 yards and 3 TD’s through the air and 41 yards on the ground. Calgary QB Kevin Glenn was his usual erratic self, failing to establish any type of rhythm and also throwing an interception in the process. For B.C to be successful, they need to spread the ball around on offence and that’s exactly what they did in this one as ten different players caught at least one pass. The storyline for Calgary once again centered on RB Jon Cornish who couldn’t manage any positive yardage along the ground (minus 1). If the Stampeders are going to be a competitive football team, they need to get him going. Fixing the offensive line wouldn’t be a bad place to start. Receiver Nik Lewis is an early MVP candidate, but Kevin Glenn is forcing the ball to him all the time. The bye week comes at a good time for the Stamps.
My week 6 preview will be posted shortly.