CFL Week 6 Recap: Boatmen Sail Back to 1st Place, Bombers Continue to Roll
The sixth week of the 2021 CFL season featured a triumvirate of Labour Day rematches
The annual Labour Day Weekend games have come and gone, but Week 6 featured a rematch for three of the four games played during that previous week. For the Toronto Argonauts, the Saskatchewan Roughriders, and the Calgary Stampeders, it was a chance a payback for their Labour Day woes. First off, some scheduling news. The Elks/Argonauts game that was postponed from the Week 4 schedule due to several Elks players and staff testing positive for COVID-19, has been officially moved to November 16, and will kick off the 16th and final week of the regular season. The Argonauts were originally set to end their regular season on November 12 against the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and the scheduling will mean that Edmonton will play twice on Week 16, which could be vital if they are still in playoff contention by then.
Regarding Week 6, it began with the Argonauts hosting the Tiger-Cats in one of the three Labour Day rematches. This time, Toronto had the home field and started strong: going up 14-0 and being in prime position to deliver a rout to their provincial rivals. The TiCats began to nip at their deficit with a TD of their own, but the Boatmen added a field goal to increase the lead to 10 points. Hamilton added a field goal and later a touchdown, but they ended up missing the game-tying extra point. Despite preventing the Argos from getting a first down that could seal it, the Tiger-Cats didn't have enough time left on the clock when they regained possession, and as a result, the Argos held on and won 17-16; picking up their first divisional win of the season.
The first of three Saturday games was also the second of three Labour Day rematches, as the Winnipeg Blue Bombers hosted the Saskatchewan Roughriders. While the Argos avenged their Labour Day loss, the Riders couldn't do the same. It was all Bombers from the get-go; the Riders had absolutely no answer for the defending Grey Cup Champions, and it ended with the Bombers winning 33-9. The Riders were the lone unbeaten team in the CFL; now they have suffered back-to-back losses, while the Bombers remain unbeaten at home this season (4-0).
The last of the Labour Day rematches was the Battle of Alberta between the Edmonton Elks and the Calgary Stampeders, this time taking place in Edmonton. The Elks looked to seal the Stamps' fate this season, but Calgary got off to a good start with a 19-6 lead. But an Elks FG and Bo Levi Mitchell tossing a Pick Six brought Edmonton to within three, and it looked like the Horsemen were going to let this game gallop away from them. It was not the case: 13 added points sealed it, and the Stamps picked up a much needed win over their provincial rivals by a score of 32-16.
Week 6 concluded in Vancouver, as the BC Lions hosted the Ottawa Redblacks. The Lions were not part of the Labour Day festivities, but they definitely played like they were. It was all BC, which was exactly what the Redblacks did not need. The Lions scored touchdowns from their offense, defense, and special teams--a 45-13 drubbing of the Redblacks. Ottawa has now lost four in a row after their nail-biting Opening Week win. Even worse: if the Elks had managed to get that extra yard in the end of that Week 1 game, we'd be looking at a winless Redblacks team.
So here's how things stand after six weeks. In the West Division, the Winnipeg Blue Bombers stand at 5-1, wow! They are definitely looking and playing like defending champions, that's a fact. The rest of the West is a bit cluttered; the Saskatchewan Roughriders and the BC Lions are tied for 2nd at 3-2, though it's the Riders who have the head-to-head tiebreaker. The Edmonton Elks are 2-3 and the Calgary Stampeders are now 2-4 with the big rivalry win. It does seem like the Stamps are back in it, they're not that far behind the Lions for a playoff position (3rd place). Even so, 2-4 after six games, and one game away from playing half of their season already. The Stampeders are still in trouble, but now, it looks like they might have a chance to get out of it.
In the East Division, the Toronto Argonauts are back in first place at 3-2, ahead of the idle Montréal Alouettes at 2-2. The Hamilton Tiger-Cats fall to 2-3, and the Ottawa Redblacks are 1-4. As an Argonauts fan, I am honestly happy with how the season's going so far. It may have been ugly (a point differential of -15 and a shaky division overall), but first place is first place, and the Boatmen are the class of the East Division so far. The Argos, as Paul Heyman would say, are the one in Winnipeg's 5-1 this season, so that's also a plus. I think a case could be made for the Argonauts as possible favorites for the Grey Cup this year, but one thing needs to change: defense. In order for the Argos to become a bigger threat in the league, the defense has to improve.
Next week's action will kick off with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats hosting the Calgary Stampeders on Friday, September 17, followed by the Toronto Argonauts facing the Saskatchewan Roughriders. On Saturday, September 18, the Montréal Alouettes will host the BC Lions, and the Edmonton Elks will play host to the red hot Winnipeg Blue Bombers.
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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