Out with Lemon, in with Bell; Ken Miller's Return Earns a Win
With the way the teams have played since opening day, each result this weekend was to be predictable and expected as they come. This however was not the case.
Toronto and B.C. were both 2-6 entering Labor Day with Toronto still looking for their first win since Week 1, while B.C. was on a one-game winning streak.
The Lions led the entire game, opening a 10-3 first quarter lead that they never looked back on. Quarterback Cleo Lemon was pulled at halftime after going 11 of 15 for 57 yards. His replacement, Dalton Bell, was 5-for-16, 42 yards and four interceptions in just two quarters.
Then it became worse.
Dalton Bell continued struggling on the field while on the sidelines, Cleo Lemon was laughing and making faces. Something didn’t sit well with Coach Jim Barker and Cleo Lemon was released outright Tuesday morning.
As for Travis Lulay he was 25-for-36 and 309 yards, while the Lions systematically took down the Argonauts on the road for their third win of the season.
The issues within the Toronto Argonauts camp don’t stem from defensive coordinator Chip Garber or quarterback Cleo Lemon. It simply starts with Head Coach Jim Barker.
Currently, the CFL is producing a four part mini-series following the Toronto Argonauts that can be viewed as a major distraction for the team and as the weeks progress, you can see the players continue to distant themselves from Barker and sooner rather than later, they will stop playing for him.
They were 7-1 and leading the entire league in the standings, won their last five games and led in many defensive categories, however, all that goes out the window anytime Winnipeg faces Saskatchewan and that was proven more than once Sunday afternoon.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers on all three phases were unable to click together and get into a rhythm, something the Saskatchewan Roughriders took advantage of and never looked back.
Things got exceedingly worse as the game progressed from the continued two and outs, to dropped passes and wrong routes being run. But then the worst happened, something that hadn’t shown its ugly side all season.
For Winnipeg this season, they have preached about being humble and lucky to be where they were and count their blessings and leave the talking on the field and play.
Sunday afternoon, all that went out the window when receiver Cory Watson and defensive back Brandon Stewart were ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct.
This was something that those members of ‘Swaggerville’ were unaccustomed to seeing from what has been a rather humble football team.
There will need to be some drastic changes and turn around heading into this weekend’s Banjo Bowl if Winnipeg wants to continue their lead at the top of the league.
It's Time To Pull The Plug On Swaggerville?
Monday afternoon saw an Eastern match-up that will take place back-to-back between the Montreal Alouettes and Hamilton Tiger-Cats and a win for Hamilton secures the season series.
The game started for Montreal following a recovered fumble and quick touchdown to lead 7-0 but Kevin Glenn and the Tiger-Cats weren’t having any of it and orchestrated several touchdown leading drives.
Entering the half, Hamilton led 27-13 after Montreal failed to break the goal line in three downs to take whatever momentum Hamilton had away.
The second half was entirely up for Hamilton scoring 14 points in the third and a field goal in the fourth, a game Montreal was barely in the entire day.
It is clear that the two-time defending Grey Cup champions are not what they used to be and that there is no question age is starting to show its face around town, but I expect the Montreal Alouettes to turn it around and if not dominant, at least show up in future games.
What many considered the biggest upset of the week was Calgary Stampeders hosting the Edmonton Eskimos.
Edmonton led the West for the first six weeks of the season before slowly letting go of their lead on a three game losing streak, while Calgary got onto a hot streak and was looking as though they would overtake the West.
Not the case Monday afternoon as Edmonton held Calgary to just one touchdown while scoring 35 points of their own while Ricky Ray did not put up large numbers.
Adarius Bowman, acquired in the offseason, led all Eskimo receivers for 81 yards on five catches and a touchdown.
There is lots of optimism in Edmonton following their win over Calgary looking forward as they try to get back on track and turn their season around.
Offensive Player of the Week: Jamel Richardson
Jamel Richardson was the target of the afternoon for Anthony Calvillo. Richardson caught 10 passes for 199 yards averaging just less than 20 yards a catch in their 44-21 loss to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
Defensive Player of the Week: Jamall Johnson
Jamall Johnson led the Hamilton Tiger-Cats defensive with six tackles, one sack and one forced fumble during Monday’s contest with the Montreal Alouettes.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Paul McCallum
Once again, Paul McCallum was called upon by the B.C. Lions to come through for the team and he delivered as expected. McCallum kicked five field goals on the evening and two extra points, bringing 17 points to the team in their 29-16 win over Toronto.
Canadian Player of the Week: Akeem Foster
Second-year player out of St. Francis Xavier, Akeem Foster was the go-ahead man for Travis Lulay, leading all receivers with eight catches for 144 yards.
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