Another week is complete in the CFL and Week 17 was certainly an exciting one, as each game held its own importance and the results shifted the outlook of the league.
The week kicked off on Friday with a matchup between the Toronto Argonauts and Winnipeg Blue Bombers, who entered the game with the league's two best records. It was a rematch of the 2022 Grey Cup, and the first time since that game that the two have played each other.
Toronto took a 17-13 lead into the half, but a quiet second half was their undoing, in just their second loss of the season.
This 31-21 win for Winnipeg is important, as they try to hold on to the top spot in the West Division. Brady Oliveira, Winnipeg’s top running back, was a major factor in this win. He ran 25 times for 169 yards and Toronto’s defense just could not stop him.
The Argonauts now find themselves with a 12-2 record, while the Blue Bombers have a 11-4 record and this could have been a potential Grey Cup preview, as these are two dominant teams with a combined record of 23-6.
Despite the loss, the Argonauts have the shortest odds to win the Grey Cup at +115, while the Blue Bombers have the next-shortest odds at +200.
To close out Friday's CFL action, the BC Lions hosted the Saskatchewan Roughriders in a West Division matchup.
In their final head-to-head matchup of the regular season, the Lions took home the win, which secured the 2-1 season series win.
A late push in a 15-0 fourth quarter was not enough for the Roughriders, as the Lions’ consistent push in the first three quarters was enough.
In the highest scoring game of the week at 59 points, Lions quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. lead the way and threw for three touchdowns and almost 500 yards. Roughriders quarterback Jacob Dolegala also threw for over 400 yards.
The Lions continue to push for the first spot in the West Division and they are now tied with Winnipeg for the top spot with an 11-4 record. As for Saskatchewan, their playoff hopes took another big hit as they are now 6-9.
BC has the third-shortest odds to win the Grey Cup at +300. Saskatchewan is +3300 to win it, the sixth-shortest odds.
Saturday’s first matchup came between the Montreal Alouettes and Ottawa Redblacks. In Ottawa’s second straight home game, they couldn't earn their second straight win as the game ended 32-15 in favour of the Alouettes.
Montreal kept rolling through the entire game, scoring at least one touchdown in all four quarters. It was not all done on the shoulders of the offense though, as their defense scored twice in the second half.
Along with scoring twice, they allowed just 15 points in an impressive group effort.
Now at 4-11, the Redblacks will try to find something to build upon as they look to next year.
As for the Alouettes who are now 8-7, this was a major win for them, as they have officially passed Hamilton for second overall in the East Division. They will need to keep their foot on the gas if they want a playoff spot.
Montreal has the fourth-shortest odds to win the Grey Cup at +1600 while Ottawa has the longest odds at +75000.
The final game of the week took place Saturday night in Hamilton, when the Hamilton Tiger-Cats beat Calgary Stampeders in Hamilton off the back of a 16-point second quarter that led them to a 22-15 win.
The ball was thoroughly spread through the Stampeders offense, but they were unable to score a touchdown against a strong Tiger-Cats defense.
After a loss last week, the Tiger-Cats, who are now 7-8, return to the win column, which is crucial. They are in a tight battle with the Alouettes for positioning in the standings, so each game is a must-win.
Hamilton now has the fifth-shortest odds to win the Grey Cup at +2000, while Calgary has the joint-second-longest odds at +35000.
The Edmonton Elks had a bye week this week. With a 4-11 record and +35000 odds for the Grey Cup, they are looking to the future and will be hoping to finish the season playing as the spoiler in some of their upcoming games.
They will feel rested as they try to earn their third win in four games when they take on the CFL-leading Argonauts in Week 18.
Week 17 was an exciting one, and the results of the games brought major storylines again within the standings. With just four weeks remaining, the drama will continue to increase.
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