After just two CFL Playoff games, the energy is in full force and there are now just four teams remaining after what was an exciting division semi-finals.
Now it is time to look into what went down, and what is around the corner. Here is a CFL playoffs update after the first round.
These playoffs kicked off with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats visiting the Montreal Alouettes in the East Division Semi-Finals. This was the second game in a row the two faced off, and their fourth game this season.
In a quiet first quarter, the Tiger-Cats took a 3-1 lead, but after that it was all Montreal.
The Alouttes took a 14-6 lead into the second half, and scored another 13 points in that second half. Hamilton meanwhile was held to just four field goals. The game finished with a 27-12 final for Montreal. Montreal’s sound defense carried right into this game from the regular season, earning them the advancement.
We knew this was going to be a good game, especially after these two teams gave us a 22-20 finish in the final week of the regular season. However, the Alouettes just absolutely shut down Hamilton, making this much more of a wide finish.
The second game of the day was between the Calgary Stampeders and BC Lions at BC Place. The West Division Semi-Final was also the fourth and final meeting between the two this season, and it brought lots of points and excitement.
Calgary started the game hot with an early touchdown and 7-0 lead, but the Lions stormed back and took a 28-13 lead into half time.
Calgary won the third and fourth quarters, but those were not able to overcome the deficit.
The Stampeders ended their season hot and their offense was playing excellently, and that carried into the playoffs. However, a lack of defense was their undoing and Lions were able to drop 41 points in this game en route to a 41-30 victory.
The Lions won yet another run-and-gun type of game, but this deep into the season, it is time for them to clean up their act. The 30 points against a weaker team in Calgary could lead to an absolute disaster in their next game, because the Blue Bombers are the real deal. Expect that entire locker room to know this as they head into the West Division Final.
The CFL-leading Toronto Argonauts had the week off as their East Division opponents battled for the right to play them. Now, the stage is set for the Montreal Alouettes to enter their home turf at BMO Field for the East Division Final.
This game will be a fun one. Toronto has been incredible all season long, as they were able to win 16 of their 18 games. However, they are welcoming an ultra-hot team who has now won six straight games.
The West Division leader in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers also had the privilege of resting and recovering this week while the Lions and Stampeders battled to keep their season going and for the right to face Winnipeg.
Winnipeg and BC have played three times this season, and it has been a mixed bag. In their first matchup in Week 3, the Lions dominated in a 30-9 victory on the road. In Week 8, the Blue Bombers dropped 50 points in a 50-14 win at home. In the third and final matchup in Week 16, the game went to overtime where the Blue Bombers earned a 34-26 win.
These different results means this is one to watch. It is expected the 14-4 Blue Bombers will win, but do not count out the Lions. Each team will have to bring their A-game in this West Division Final.
The fun has just begun, which was proven by two highly-enticing games in the division finals. It is time to look forward to two great division finals, before enjoying the final game of the season in the Grey Cup.
Toronto are +110 to claim the Grey Cup this season, with Winnipeg at +185, BC at +380, and Montreal outsiders at +1000.
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