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CFL Week 20 Recap: The Playoff Puzzle is Complete

The final pieces of the 109th Grey Cup Playoff puzzle are completed in the penultimate week of the regular season

By Clyde E. DawkinsPublished 4 months ago 5 min read

It seems like yesterday that the 2022 CFL season began, it really does. Despite the fact that Canada's version of the sport is three weeks longer than the American version, it's still a sprint to the finish line. The season enters its 20th and penultimate week, and despite this, everything can be wrapped up with one week left to spare. Five of the six spots in this year's Grey Cup Playoffs are clinched, but there was still the remaining spot left, as well as key positioning. The scenarios were as follows:

Entering Week 20, we did know that the Winnipeg Blue Bombers would host the Western Final on November 13. The Western Semifinal on November 6 will feature the BC Lions and the Calgary Stampeders, but home field in that game was still up for grabs. BC entered with a one game lead over Calgary for 2nd place in the West, and had the head-to-head tiebreaker, so a win or a Calgary loss would give them home field in that game. As for the East Division, the Toronto Argonauts and the Montréal Alouettes faced each other for the first of back-to-back meetings. Toronto wins, they get 1st place in the East. The game ends tied, Toronto gets 1st place in the East.

The scenario that kicked off Week 20 centered on the last playoff spot, with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the Ottawa Redblacks still alive for that spot. The Tiger-Cats and Redblacks faced each other first, and it was close and back and forth, with Ottawa actually having a late lead, until Seth Smith's 30-yard field goal won it for Hamilton. The Tiger-Cats won, 30-27, and with the win, the Redblacks were eliminated, while the Tiger-Cats locked up 3rd place in the East, but had to rely on the Stampeders to get it done in Regina on the following night. The second half of the Friday doubleheader featured the Edmonton Elks hosting the BC Lions, and all that game did was add to Edmonton's woes and end yet another horrid season for the club. Not only did the Elks finish 4-14, but they lost their 17th straight home game, doing so by a score of 31-14. As for BC, the win cemented them in 2nd place in the West, meaning that the Western Semifinal will emanate from Vancouver.

Saturday's doubleheader began with the aforementioned Argos/Alouettes game, and it was crazy! So the Als failed big time deep in the red zone, including having 1st and Goal on the four yard line, but being stopped at the one on 3rd down. What followed was the Argos going 109 yards for the first score of the game, and late in the 2nd half, the Argos led 16-6, but the Birds made up those 10 points quickly. Dueling touchdowns made it a 23-23 tie, but the Argonauts got to field goal range. With the clock at all zeroes, Boris Bede's kick missed, but it was never returned. A penalty flag was thrown, and the call: too many men on the defense. As a result, the Boatmen declined the penalty, got a rouge because the missed kick was caught in the end zone, and the game was over. The Argos clinched 1st place in the East Division on a walk-off rouge! 24-23 was the final score in favor of the Boatmen, who will host the Eastern Final on November 13.

So the Eastern Semifinal will emanate from Montréal, but who will join the Alouettes on November 6? The last game featured the Calgary Stampeders and the Saskatchewan Roughriders in Regina, and the Riders needed to win out to keep their playoff hopes alive. Sadly, they were outmatched in every way, shape, and form by Calgary. Even though the game was out of reach for the team late in the fourth, the team did get some bit of positivity courtesy of Mario Alford returning a kick all the way, 104 yards, for a touchdown. All it did was make the score just a bit more respectable, as the Stampeders won 32-21 and ended the Riders' season. This was the Riders' sixth straight loss, and their 10th in their last 12 games after a 4-1 start to the season. The Roughriders were Division Finalists in 2021, making this an absolutely devastating free fall for the team.

So with Saskatchewan's loss, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats return to the playoffs, and Regina's next game will be the 109th Grey Cup on November 20. The matchups are all set; the Tiger-Cats will face the Alouettes in the Eastern Semifinal, while the Stampeders and Lions will face each other in the Western Semifinal. The Blue Bombers and Argonauts will have byes straight to the Division Finals.

With everything settled, it makes the final week completely meaningless, but it has to be played. The final week of the regular season begins on Friday, October 28 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hosting the BC Lions, and it's followed by a tripleheader on Saturday, October 29. First up, the Toronto Argonauts host the Montréal Alouettes, the Ottawa Redblacks host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and the final game of the 2022 season will feature the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the Calgary Stampeders.

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About the Creator

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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  • Babs Iverson4 months ago


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