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CFL Week 2 Recap: The CFL Least

by Clyde E. Dawkins 2 months ago in football
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The Toronto Argonauts kick off their 2022 season, while the rest of the East Division continues to struggle

Week 1 was Opening Week for eight of the Canadian Football League's teams, but regarding Week 2, it was the Toronto Argonauts who would kick off their 2022 campaign. For the Argos, they are looking to end their brief Grey Cup drought; having not won since 2017. They are coming off a stellar abbreviated 2021 season that saw them finish first in the East Division, but lose the Eastern Final at home to the rival Hamilton Tiger-Cats. It's a full season this time, and their road to redemption began with a Thursday meeting against another division rival, the Montréal Alouettes.

This was the first game to air on an ESPN televised channel; yes, while ESPN+ carries all of the CFL's games, some select regular season games air on ESPN's TV networks, usually ESPN2 and ESPNEWS, with the TV networks also airing the Grey Cup Playoffs in its entirety. Regarding the Boatmen's season opener, ESPN2 had it, and I watched this thing, and it was much closer than it should have been. This was mainly due to failed opportunities, bad passes from McLeod Bethel-Thompson, and so many rouges--most of them the result of missed field goals. Despite this, the Argonauts hung on by the skin of their teeth, and won 20-19, the first win by an East team this season.

The Friday game was already the second meeting between the Winnipeg Blue Bombers and the Ottawa Redblacks, and like the first meeting, it was dangerously close--to the point where I actually thought that the Redblacks would actually upset the defending champions at home. That would not happen, as the Bombers held on and won 19-12 to improve to 2-0, but I have to say this: the Redblacks may mean business this season, and with this being a full season, they have just a bit more time to make an impact.

The only Week 2 game to air strictly on ESPN+ was the first half of the Saturday doubleheader between the Calgary Stampeders and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Hamilton actually led big; 17-0 after the opening frame, and 24-3 at halftime. Unfortunately, that's where the positives ended, as Calgary completely took over the 2nd half by outscoring Hamilton 27-6, leading to the first taste of overtime in the 2022 season. The Stamps' first possession resulted in a field goal, and when it was the TiCats' turn, that would end with a deflected interception--the same thing that plagued Hamilton in last year's Grey Cup in OT. The Stampeders won 33-30 on the road, and as for the second half of that doubleheader, it was a close affair between the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Edmonton Elks. The Elks actually led after three quarters, but they would be on the lower end of a 14-3 fourth quarter, resulting in a 26-16 win for the Riders.

Here's how things stand after two weeks. In the West Division, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and the Calgary Stampeders are all 2-0. The BC Lions remain 1-0 due to the fact that they were idle in Week 2, and the Edmonton Elks are 0-2, with both of their losses being divisional. I've been watching and following the CFL for a decade, and there's one constant I've noticed every season: the West is really, really good, while the East is really, really bad.

The East standings after two weeks are hideous. The Toronto Argonauts are in first place at 1-0, while everyone else is 0-2. The worst part: this is Toronto's 2nd straight week in first place; they were on top all alone after Week 1 because the other three teams all lost while the Argos were idle. The CFL's East Division is bad, and has been for a number of years. I still remember when the Argos finished in first place in 2017 with a 9-9 record, while the Ottawa Redblacks finished in second at 8-9-1, but got to host a playoff game because they were the second place team in the East. In spite of that, the Argos won the Grey Cup that year, but no East team has won one since. In fact, since I started watching the CFL in 2013, only two seasons have ended with East teams winning the Grey Cup: 2016 (Redblacks) and 2017 (Argonauts).

Week 3 will kick off on Thursday, June 23 with the Montréal Alouettes hosting the Saskatchewan Roughriders. On Friday, June 24, it's a rematch of the last two Grey Cups, as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The doubleheader on Saturday, June 25 will feature the Battle of Alberta--Edmonton Elks vs Calgary Stampeders in Calgary, followed by the BC Lions hosting the Toronto Argonauts in a battle of 1-0 teams.

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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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