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CFL Week 16 Recap: Let the Games Begin

by Clyde E. Dawkins 6 months ago in football
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The 2021 CFL season came to a close with five games, with only one of them settling the last piece of the playoff puzzle

Well, we did it. We made it through a slightly brief but immensely chaotic Canadian Football League season. 14 games in 16 weeks. This CFL fan really enjoyed this wild and crazy ride, and as fun as the regular season was, the playoffs will be absolutely epic. Now, with all of the spots locked in after Week 15, there wasn't much left to settle regarding the playoffs. The Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Toronto Argonauts are locked in at first place in their respective divisions. The last playoff spot was taken by the Calgary Stampeders with their win over the BC Lions. All that was left was to determine home field in the Eastern Semifinal between the Hamilton Tiger-Cats and the Montréal Alouettes.

The scenario was simple. Hamilton gets 2nd place in the East Division with a win. For Montréal to get 2nd place, they would need a win and for Hamilton to lose or tie. However, it would not come to that. Week 16 began with a Tuesday night game between the Edmonton Elks and the Toronto Argonauts, with the Elks winning 13-9 over the Argos, who had nothing more to gain or lose in the outing. The next game came three nights later, with the Alouettes hosting the Ottawa Redblacks, but after the Als took a 18-3 lead into halftime, the Redblacks emerged with 16 unanswered points, capped off by a touchdown and a successful two-point conversion with 11 seconds left. The Redblacks did their job: they played spoiler and upset the Alouettes, 19-18, and as a result, the Eastern Semifinal will be in Hamilton.

Montréal's loss rendered the rest of the week meaningless. The BC Lions blasted the Elks, 43-10, later that Friday evening, and on Saturday, the Tiger-Cats won, 24-3, over the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the regular season ended in Calgary, as the Stampeders edged the Winnipeg Blue Bombers by a score of 13-12. So that's that; the 2021 CFL regular season is in the books. Now, the real fun begins.

The 2021 Grey Cup Playoffs will begin in Hamilton, Ontario, as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats will host the Montréal Alouettes in the Eastern Semifinal. The two teams split the season series, but the home team didn't win either game. The Tiger-Cats won, 27-10, in Week 4, but the rematch in Week 9 went the Als' way--a 23-20 overtime win. Hamilton is looking to return to the Grey Cup; they were defeated in the last game in 2019 by the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. This will be the third straight season that Hamilton will host a playoff game; they are 29-17 all time at home in the Grey Cup Playoffs. The Alouettes, however, are 11-24 on the road in the playoffs. Their last playoff meeting was the Eastern Final in 2014, which was won by the Tiger-Cats, 40-24.

After that, it's the Western Semifinal in Regina, Saskatchewan, where the Saskatchewan Roughriders will host the Calgary Stampeders. I've watched the CFL for nine seasons now, and since I started, these teams won three of the eight Grey Cups that were awarded. The Western Semifinal begins the Riders' quest for their first Grey Cup since 2013, while the Stamps are looking to win their third Grey Cup in the last eight years. These two teams faced each other three times, with the Stamps winning two of the three meetings. Calgary won the first two meetings on Week 9 and Week 10, winning 23-17 (in Calgary) and 22-19 (in Regina), respectively. The Riders won the last meeting, 20-17, in Calgary on Week 12.

It's Sunday football from this point forward, and it all begins on November 28 with the Division Semifinal games. The Division Finals will take place in Toronto (East) and Winnipeg (West) on December 5, and then it's the 108th Grey Cup in Hamilton on December 12.

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About the author

Clyde E. Dawkins

Born on March 18, 1985. I am an avid fan of sports and wrestling, and I've been a fan of female villains since the age of eight. Also love movies--especially comedy and horror--and among my favorite TV shows are The Simpsons and Family Guy

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