Watch Canadian Football League Conference Finals Live On PPV

The Canadian Football League playoffs enter the conference final stage Sunday November 20 as the Calgary Stampeders will play host to the B.C. Lions and the Edmonton Eskimos will travel to Ottawa to face the Ottawa Red Blacks.

Next weekend, the winners of these two games will advance to the 104th Grey Cup game in Toronto, Ontario.

Now football fans from around the world can watch Canadian Football League playoff action. All three games are available live for a fee of $22.95 USD. Single game fee for the Grey Cup is $9.95. Link to International Livestream

 CFL rules slightly different

International audiences may be puzzled watching a CFL game at first. The field is 110 yards long, 65 yards wide and has end zones 20 yards deep. The Canadian game, which is roughly as old as the American game, is played with three downs instead of four, 12 men on the field instead of 11 , full motion in the offensive backfield prior to the snap and one yard separating the teams on the line of scrimmage. There are a few more wrinkles but otherwise the strategies are the same. But expect to see plenty of passing.

Ottawa Red Blacks (8-9-1) – Edmonton Eskimos (10-8) – Sunday, November 20, 1 PM ET (7 PM CET)

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The Ottawa RedBlacks will face the defending champion Edmonton Eskimos at sold out  TD Stadium in Ottawa (24,000) as the first ever first-place club to play in the final with a poorer W-L record than their opponent. The RedBlacks finished first in the weaker Eastern Conference with an 8-9-1 record. However, they beat Edmonton in both games between the two teams in 2016.

Edmonton beat the RedBlacks in the 2015 Grey Cup 26-20.

Edmonton downed the Hamilton Tiger Cats last week in the Conference semifinals 24-21.

Edmonton quarterback Mike Reilly led the Canadian Football League in passing in 2016 throwing for 5,554 yards and 28 touchdowns on 448 completions. The 6’3″, 230 lb Reilly also gained 406 yards and scored nine touchdowns on the ground. Notable is that Reilly has thrown only one interception in his last 159 passing attempts.

Ottawa will start veteran Henry Burris at quarterback. He only played in eight games due to injury but still threw for 2,419 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Ottawa boasts the top-rated passing attack in the CFL with 343.9 passing yards per game while possessing the second-ranked offence overall (414.8 yards per game, behind only Edmonton) and the fourth-best defense (371.1 yards per game).

And while the passing game has made all the headlines, thanks in part to a second straight season with four 1,000-yard receivers (one of them, Chris Williams, will not play on Sunday due to a season-ending injury), Ottawa has achieved balance over the second half of the season: running back Mossis Madu has averaged 15 carries since becoming the starter midway through the season to pace an effective ground game.

The RedBlacks led the CFL with the most offensive plays at 61.0 per game, while their play frequency was at one every 29.8 seconds; easily No. 1 in the CFL ahead of second-place Edmonton at one per 31.0 seconds.

Edmonton’s receiving duo of Adarius Bowman (1,761 yards, 9 TDs) and Derel Walker (1,589, 10 TDs) were the top two receivers in the CFL while running back John White rushed for 886 yards and eight touchdowns. Last week in the playoff game against Hamilton, White rushed for 160 yards (breaking a club record set in 1958 by Norm Kwong) two touchdowns to help power the Eskimos into the Eastern Final.

The two teams know each other well though. Edmonton head coach ran the offense for the RedBlacks in 2015 helping them to the Grey Cup.

Calgary Stampeders (15-2-1) – B.C. Lions (12-6) – Sunday November 20, 4:30 PM ET (10:30 PM CET)

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Expect a sold-out McMahon Stadium in Calgary (46,000) as the number one team in Canada, the Calgary Stampeders with a 15-2-1 record face the B.C. Lions (12-6). The Stampeders won two of three games against B.C. in 2016 including a 37-9 drubbing in August. Nevertheless, the Lions are the only team to have beaten Calgary in a meaningful game this season defeating them 20-18 in the season opener. The Stampeders lost the season finale against Ottawa after resting most of their starters.

Still, B.C. comes into the Western Conference final on a four game winning streak, capturing the final three regular season games of the year plus downing the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Western Semifinal a week ago 32-31 on a last minute score.

Calgary quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell threw for 5,385 yards and a league-leading 32 touchdowns during the 18 games regular season. His counterpart for B.C., Jonathon Jennings was not far behind with 5, 226 yards passing and 27 touchdowns.

Calgary running back Jerome Messam led the Canadian Football League in rushing with 1,198 yards rushing on 206 carries scoring 11 touchdowns. Although Jeremiah Johnson of the Lions split duties this season holding him to 809 yards on the season, in the playoff game against Winnipeg he rushed for 110 yards on 11 carries, scoring a touchdown.

However, to stop B.C., the Stampeders will have to corral receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux who had 1,566 yards receiving from his slotback position and a league-leading 13 touchdowns. Calgary’s leading receiver Marquay McDaniel had 1,074 yards receiving in 2016 and four touchdowns.

BC and Calgary have met in the playoffs in 12 different years covering 14 games. Calgary leads the rivalry 10-4 overall while their six Division Finals meetings have been split at three wins apiece.

Calgary has won the last three BC playoff visits (2015, 2008 and 2001) and the last four playoff meetings overall. BC last defeated Calgary in a playoff game in 2000 (Western Final).

B.C. Lions head coach Wally Buono is no stranger to McMahon Stadium having been the architect of much of the Stampeders success since 1990. As head coach of Calgary from 1990 to 2002 he guided the team to regular season record of 153–79–2, with eight first-place finishes, including five straight from 1992 to 1996, and missing the playoffs only once in 2002. His teams won three Grey Cups in that time span. His record with the Lions in 10 seasons is 113-66-1 including Grey Cups in 2006 and 2011.

Dave Dickenson, a Buono protege, is in his first year as a head coach and his team not only recorded a 15-2-1 season, but broke the club record in points with 586. As a quarterback, Dickenson won Grey Cups with both Calgary (1998) and B.C. (2006) in an outstanding playing career.

Roger Kelly
Roger Kelly is an editor and a writer for AFI. A former PR Director the B.C. Lions of the Canadian Football League for 7 years, he now lives in Sweden writing about and scouting American Football throughout the world.
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