With Montreal losing to Ottawa on Monday, the Argos are two games ahead of the Alouettes and one step closer to hosting the East Final for the second straight year. It’s been nearly a decade since the Double Blue played the East final in back-to-back seasons. And it’s something the franchise has never done since setting up shop at BMO Field.
Argos In The Driver’s Seat
Toronto ends its regular season with a home-and-home battle against Montreal. But depending on what happens this weekend. The two-game set between the Argos and Als could mean more for Montreal than for Toronto. That’s because an Alouettes loss Friday in Ottawa, combined with an Argonauts victory in Edmonton Saturday, would seal the East division for Toronto.
At the moment, the Argos are in the driver’s seat. At the same time, the Als are in a precarious position fighting for their playoff lives in a wacky and unpredictable East division, where Hamilton and Ottawa are still in the mix, with three weeks to go, despite being a combined 9-21.
The Boatmen could be taking the field this Saturday evening with a chance to win the East division. It depends on whether Bob Dyce’s Redblacks can defy the odds and beat Montreal twice in five days.
The uniqueness of Week 19 is that Edmonton and Ottawa are both coming into this weekend winless at home. It’s been forever and a day since both teams have won games in front of their fans. They are a combined 0-14 at home this season. The Elks were winless a year ago in Edmonton; Ottawa was 1-6 in 2021 in the Nation’s Capital.
Things have changed quickly in a week. And the playoff picture could be flipped on its head again in just a few days. Toronto would love to stay above the fray and solidify its spot atop the East.
The Argonauts have only two home games at BMO Field left this season. The regular season finale on October 29th, and one in the playoffs, potentially the East Final, on November 13th.
Argos 2021 Remorse
Enter this into the putting the cart before the horse category. But getting to the final two weeks with “nothing” to play for could be a blessing and a curse. It would give Toronto four weeks to get healthy for a win, and you are in the Grey Cup scenario. But the trade-off is taking your foot off the gas and having to reset momentum a month later.
There is some regret within the Argos’ organization that the team took the week off in their season finale against Edmonton a year ago. The feeling was that the team should have played to win rather than playing third-string players in that setting. Two weeks later, Toronto met a playoff-tested Hamilton team in their building and didn’t play them the same way they did a month earlier at BMO when they cruised to an easy victory over the Ti-Cats.
In 2022, the Double Blue could face the same dilemma they faced a year ago. Toronto wants to be at full strength for their most crucial game of the season. Like a year ago, the team has a lengthy injured list, filled with star players who have been banged up all season. Ensuring an East Final could be advantageous for the Argos to slow play certain players into their lineup. Like Wynton McManis, Peter Nicastro, etc.
Individual milestones could motivate Toronto in their final two games, even IF they sew up the East this weekend. Such as McLeod Bethel-Thompson leading the CFL in passing or Kurleigh Gittens Jr. going over 1,000 yards receiving, and he currently stands at 920 yards. These would be fun things for the Argos’ leading players to achieve. But the bigger picture for the Boatmen has much more meaning.
Who knows, maybe the countless people who have foolishly begged for Chad Kelly to start over McLeod Bethel-Thompson all season will finally get their wish if the mission of winning the East for the second year in a row is accomplished again. McLeod can sit and let Kelly have some mop-up duty.
Rivalries: The QEW Series Debuts On November 4th
Rivalries: The QEW Series will premiere on TSN Friday, November 4th at 7 PM ET. The feature documentary will chronicle the historic rivalry between the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats.
The Argos and Ticats have one of the most storied competitive histories in the CFL and North American sports. The two southern Ontario clubs’ annual clash – the Labour Day Classic – dates back to the 1950s and has become destination viewing for Canadian sports fans, making it one of the longest-standing rivalries in pro football history.
The all-access feature documentary, along with exclusive, behind-the-scenes social media moments, traces the teams’ journey in the 2022 season to their annual September showdown. The documentary will present the teams’ up-and-coming and veteran stars and introduce them to a new generation of fans while contextualizing the historical tension between the clubs.
THE QEW SERIES will spotlight the compelling personal stories of Toronto Argonauts quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson, linebacker Henoc Muamba, and their respective Hamilton Tiger-Cats counterparts, Dane Evans and Simoni Lawrence.
The film will also pay homage to the fans and their devotion to their respective teams while highlighting the unique passion of diehard supporters in southern Ontario.
Don’t look now, but Hamilton, who could’ve easily been written off a few weeks back, is inching closer to making the playoffs. The Tiger-Cats still have some heavy scratching and clawing to do, facing off with Calgary and then a new-look Ottawa twice to close their season. But Hamilton is only a game behind fading Saskatchewan for potentially the final CFL playoff spot.
Depending on how things shake out. This documentary feature could air just days before another Toronto- Hamilton showdown in the playoffs.
Argos Week 19 Vs. Edmonton Injury Report
Toronto is conducting three consecutive days of practices at Lamport Stadium before they make the voyage to Alberta for Saturday’s game with Edmonton.
Very few teams in the CFL have had the number of intentional lineup changes that Chris Jones’s Elks have had this season. The most significant starter who could miss Saturday’s game for Edmonton is emerging running back Kevin Brown, who is nursing a back injury. The Elks are without their most dynamic playmaker Kenny Lawler.
Toronto fielded one of the more unique starting lineups in Week 18 due to injuries. Specifically on the defensive side of the ball. All totaled, a quarter of the team’s lineup was different from the week prior. S Dashaun Amos could be back in the lineup in Week 19 after missing last weekend’s game due to an ankle injury, and Amos is back practicing in full. Another starting DB who was missed in Week 18, Maurice Carnell IV, was placed on the six-game list with an injured knee. But the early word is that he could return in a few weeks.
The good news on the offensive side of the ball is that DaVaris Daniels (hip) is back practicing in full after missing the Lions game last weekend. Toronto’s receiving corps saw some changes and shifts last week. With Jeremiah Haydel and seldom-used Tommy Nield coming through for Double Blue. As well as some positional shifts to compensate for Daniels’s departure. Daniels may take on a different role than the one he has played all season long. With Markeith Ambles having his best season performance at slotback, Daniels could make his way to the outside at the X position.
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