CFL.CA Game Notes: A look at Thanksgiving Weekend

TORONTO — Thanksgiving Weekend presented by Purolator is here with four appetizing matchups for CFL fans to enjoy.

Things get started on Friday as the Hamilton Tiger-Cats welcome the Saskatchewan Roughriders to Tim Hortons Field. It’s a big game for both teams as each eye a playoff spot in the East Division. Hamilton returns from a bye looking to add to their 4-3 home record, while the Riders are coming off a loss to the Bombers last week.

Saturday’s doubleheader begins in Toronto as the BC Lions visit the Argonauts at BMO Field. The Argos had their winning streak snapped last week against the Stampeders and will hope to bounce back from a two-point offensive showing out west. The Lions, on the other hand, picked up a win against the Ottawa REDBLACKS thanks to an outstanding performance from quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. Both teams are looking to keep pace in their respective divisions as they fight for playoff seeding.

Then things move along to Winnipeg as the Blue Bombers invite the Edmonton Elks to town. If the Bombers win this game, and the BC Lions lose, then Winnipeg clinches first in the division and will host the Western Final on November 13. If Edmonton loses, they’re eliminated from playoff contention.

And finally, the Ottawa REDBLACKS and Montreal Alouettes clash on a Thanksgiving Monday matinee. There’s something on the line for both teams with Ottawa’s playoff hopes hanging in the balance and Montreal looking to lock up a home playoff date. If the REDBLACKS lose, and the Riders win, Ottawa will be eliminated from post-season contention. If Montreal wins the Als will host a playoff game at Percival Molson Stadium.» Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET: Roughriders at Tiger-Cats
» Saturday, 4:00 p.m. ET: Lions at Argonauts
» Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET: Elks at Blue Bombers
» Monday, 1:00 p.m. ET: Ottawa at Montreal

(Team | Remaining opponents | Combined record)

West Division

Winnipeg | EDM, @BC, Bye, BC | 24-19 (.558)
BC |@TOR, WPG, @EDM, @WPG | 38-21 (.644)
Calgary |Bye, HAM, @SSK, SSK | 16-28 (.364)
Saskatchewan | @HAM, CGY, @CGY | 24-20 (.545)
Edmonton | @WPG, TOR, BC, Bye | 31-12 (.721)

East Division

Toronto | BC, @EDM, @MTL, MTL | 28-29 (.491)
Montreal | OTT, @OTT, TOR, @TOR | 22-34 (.393)
Hamilton | SSK, @CGY, OTT, @OTT | 22-36 (.379)
Ottawa | @MTL, MTL, @HAM, HAM | 22-34 (.393)


  • Saskatchewan (4th place in the West) at Hamilton (3rd place in the East) on Friday night will have major playoff implications.
  • The only way the Roughriders can qualify for the playoffs is by crossing over to the East Division.
    • A win for Saskatchewan would give them a three-win gap
    • A Hamilton victory narrows the gap to one (with a game in hand).
  • Cody Fajardo is a career 3-0 against the Ticats; Dane Evans is 0-2 versus the Roughriders.
  • The Roughriders haven’t won in Hamilton since July 2018.
  • In Week 1, Fajardo passed for 311 yards and a touchdown in the Riders’ 30-13 win at Mosaic Stadium. Hamilton allowed eight sacks, while Saskatchewan allowed none.
  • The Ticats are coming off a bye, and are 2-0 on a week’s rest this season and 8-2 since 2018.


  • BC’s Bo Lokombo and Ottawa’s Nigel Romick are slated to play their 100thgames this week.
  • Road teams have the edge this season, going 35-30
  • 49 per cent of games have been decided by eight points or less this season.
  • League-wide field goal percentages:
    • Less than 40 yards | 93.6 per cent
    • 40+ yards | 67.2 per cent
    • 50+ yards | 57.9 per cent
  • The league is on pace to have 12 1,000-yard receivers this year.
  • Hamilton’s Tim White (983) and BC’s Lucky Whitehead (966) are looking to join Dominique Rhymes (1,165), Jaelon Acklin (1,125), Dalton Schoen (1,113), Eugene Lewis (1,058) and Malik Henry (1,023) in this season’s 1000-receiving yard club.
  • In his last four games, Saskatchewan’s Darnell Sankey has registered 29 tackles; he has 92 on the season.
  • The Ticat’s Tim White leads the league in targets (118) and receptions (78), while adding 983 receiving yards. In his last five games, he has been targeted 53 times with 37 catches and four touchdowns.
  • BC has won four of its last five games against Toronto, however the Argonauts won the last meeting at BMO Field – 31-29 (OT) in 2021.
  • Dominique Rhymes leads the league with 1,165 receiving yards on the strength of a CFL-best eleven 30+ yard receptions. He stands as the league’s number two clutch receiver with 28 receptions for second down conversions.
  • BC’s Kevin Francis and Calgary’s Silas Stewart are tied for the league lead with 17 special teams tackles.
  • McLeod Bethel-Thompson needs 144 passing yards to claim his second career 4,000-yard season (4,024 in 2019).
  • Since Week 12, Edmonton’s Dillion Mitchell has 21 receptions for 441 yards.
  • Jake Ceresna recorded two sacks last week and has four multi-sack games this year. He sits third in the league with 10 sacks, while adding forced four fumbles.
  • Through four games, Edmonton’s Kevin Brown leads the league in rushing yards per game (80.0), while averaging 7.4 yards per carry.
  • Winnipeg has won its last six games against Edmonton. Zach Collaros started four of those meetings. Edmonton has not won in Winnipeg since 2018.
  • Winnipeg has won 24 of its last 26 home games.
  • Winnipeg is looking to win the West Division for a second consecutive season, a feat they have not accomplished since 1961-62.
  • Bob Dyce, the Interim Head Coach for the Ottawa REDBLACKS, has 20 years of coaching experience in the CFL as an assistant (Winnipeg, Saskatchewan and Ottawa). In 2015, he was named an Interim Head Coach for the Roughriders, and he went on to win in his debut. Monday will be his 10th game at the helm.
  • Ottawa’s Lorenzo Mauldin leads the league with 14 sacks on the season. In 31 career games, he has 18.
  • Montreal will be looking for its fourth win in a row. They are 5-1 in their past six.
  • Last week, Montreal’s Tyrice Beverette returned an interception for a 100-yard touchdown. It marked the fourth time an Alouettes player has returned an interception for 100+ yards.

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