Two prairie teams trending in different directions, fun celebrations, an emerging young Alouettes quarterback, Duron Carter’s departure, and Matt Nichols controversy. Here are the studs and duds from the past four weeks of CFL action.
Three-straight wins over divisional opponents have propelled the Riders into second place in the CFL. Three wins where the Riders were without the released Duron Carter, too. Chris Jones is wearing green, Nick Marshall is scoring touchdowns on offence and defence, and the Riders are a force at home. Times are good in Saskatchewan.
The Canadian “Fun” League
Randy Ambrosie and the CFL are loosening their leash on the use of props in touchdown celebrations. This decision came after celebrations by Winnipeg’s Darvin Adams and Edmonton’s D’haquille Williams, which are both featured in the above link. Teams are now stepping up their celebration game. Hamilton’s offence pulled out the electric slide after Brandon Banks’ second-quarter touchdown last Monday.
— Taylor P (@tpcomedy41) September 4, 2018
Finally, the Alouettes have acquired a phenom quarterback from south of the border (I kid). In all seriousness, Antonio Pipkin may have a porous touchdown to interception ratio (1:4), but his record is 2-1. Pipkin is delivering Montreal wins, which is all that matters.
Big man touchdown
Toronto’s Ryan Bomben scored an impressive touchdown against his former team, the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, last Monday. Bomben’s nifty diving grab was not enough for the Argos, but it’s surely a moment the 295-pound lineman will not forget.
Kamar Jorden’s 10-catch, 249-yard game versus the Blue Bombers in Week 11 capped off a great month of August for the fifth-year receiver. Over his last three games, Jorden had 18 catches for 364 yards and two touchdowns. Jorden is now ranked fifth in receptions, second in receiving yards, and fourth in receiving touchdowns.
Alex Green has scored seven touchdowns in just four games started in 2018. Cemented as Hamilton’s starting running back, Green is coming off of consecutive 100-yard rushing games going into Saturday’s rematch with Toronto.
Charleston Hughes’ stellar 2018 campaign keeps getting more impressive. In his last three outings, the 34-year-old put up four more sacks and two forced fumbles. Hughes now has double the sacks as Micah Johnson, who’s second in the CFL with six. On pace to record 23 sacks, Hughes’ efforts would rank fifth all-time on the CFL single-season sacks list.
Winnipeg Blue Bombers
The Bombers went 1-3 over their last four outings, and are currently on a three-game skid. Matt Nichols is underperforming, depth at receiver is slim, and the defence as a whole is allowing a ton of yards, still. The Bombers now sit fourth in the West Division and have failed to beat a team with a winning record this year.
Kyries Hebert’s second suspension of 2018 comes after a headshot on Alouettes’ receiver B.J. Cunningham. After his suspension in Week 3 of this season, Hebert acknowledged that he had little room for error and that he wanted to clean up his troubling bits, but here we are.
Milt Stegall-Matt Nichols controversy
After Winnipeg’s Week 11 loss at Calgary, quarterback Matt Nichols acknowledged that he couldn’t find anyone open, even after going through four or five reads. Nichols meant to applaud Calgary’s defenders on doing their jobs very well. But former Blue Bomber and current TSN Panel member Milt Stegall took Nichols’ comments as throwing his receivers under the bus. Stegall later apologized for his comments on a local Winnipeg radio station, 680 CJOB.
When Duron Carter’s time with the Roughriders came to an end, so did the (possibly temporarily) disappearance of his infamous Twitter account, @DC_CHILLIN_8. Now with the Argos, it’s possible that the Argos brass insisted on the deletion of the account. One of the unique things about the CFL is the ability to get responses and interact with players on social media. Carter’s Twitter account was definitely entertaining and active with fans. It’s a shame we don’t get to see his “hot Twitter takes” anymore.
Matt Nichols has struggled both on and off the field the last couple of weeks. Two of the last four Bombers games, Nichols has failed to throw for 200 yards. The Bombers are currently on a three-game losing streak, and Chris Streveler has become a popular option among Bombers fans. After getting booed when returning to the field after an injury in Week 10, Nichols had this to say:
An emotional #Bombers QB Matt Nichols, unprovoked, shared this to reporters after the game after hearing “the entire stadium” booing him after he returned to the game from injury late in the fourth quarter: #wfp pic.twitter.com/yxxWgmWb8A
— Jeff Hamilton (@jeffkhamilton) August 18, 2018
Unfortunately, numerous CFL receivers suffered injuries during the past four weeks. Emmanuel Arceneaux, Chris Williams, and Jalen Saunders are all likely out for the season, while stars Derel Walker and Kamar Jorden both suffered injuries last Monday.
End zone posts
Jeremiah Masoli has drilled the end zone uprights with the football three times in the last two weeks. I’m not advocating that the CFL make any change to where the posts are located, it’s actually quite funny watching Masoli get his balls swatted down. Unless you’re a Tiger-Cats fan, of course.
Main image credit:
Embed from Getty Images