What’s that you say? The West dominated the East yet again? Shocking.
Through the first eight weeks of the CFL season, the five West Division teams have a combined 27-10 record, while the four East Division squads are a combined 6-23. In games that feature an East vs. West matchup, the West has gone 20-3 and outscored the East by a whopping 658-446–a 212-point differential!
The West has proven to be so drastically better than the East it’s embarrassing and bordering on comical.
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Here’s what else stood out about Week 8:
Chick playing like a man possessed
If John Chick can stay healthy, a CFL record might just be within his reach. And as we’ve seen this season, if something is within Chick’s reach it’s likely a quarterback about to get dragged down the to the turf.
Chick leads the league with 12 sacks after seven games, which is already a career high for him, and he has five more sacks than the next closest player. He got to Alex Brink three times in a tight 16-11 Riders win and forced a fumble along the way.
If he can manage to stay healthy and somehow maintain his torrid pace, the standout Roughriders defensive end is currently on pace to set a new CFL single-season record for sacks in a season; the single-season record is 26.5 sacks, set by James “Quick” Parker in 1984.
This is the most dominant a defensive end has been in this league, arguably, since Cameron Wake was scaring quarterbacks and destroying the hopes and dreams of offensive linemen during the 2007 and 2008 seasons with the Lions.
Two sides to Ricky Ray, one side to Argos home games
The Argos had an announced attendance of 36,389 in Week 8. That would be terrific news were it not for the fact that number was spread out across the two home games the Boatmen played in a six-day span.
On Tuesday, 18,106 took in an exciting 38-21 victory over the Blue Bombers and 18,283 witnessed the Argos lose 33-17 to the Lions on Sunday.
Against the Bombers, Ray was exceptional. He went 26-33 for 297 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. But, against the Lions he was 23-39 for only 181 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, one of which was a pick six.
You can’t help but marvel at what Ray has been able to do without most of his top weapons (Chad Owens, Andre Durie, John Chiles, Jason Barnes and Anthony Coombs) in the lineup. At the same time, you also can’t help but feel bad for him because it often seems like he’s out there all by himself.
New uniforms rock
The Lions began the trend with their charcoal swag last season and the rest of the league is slowly catching up as they debut their Signature Uniforms. The Riders, Argos and Lions wore them in Week 8 and the RedBlacks are set to join the party in Week 9.
Logan carries the load for Lions
There is no pressure for Andrew Harris to rush back into the lineup and risk further injury when Stefan Logan can do what he did against the Argos.
Logan ran for 145 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries and added 49 receiving yards on a team-high five receptions. The diminutive running back is perhaps the most elusive player in the league and can do serious damage when he gets any shred of open space.
Harris sat out of Sunday’s contest resting his banged up ankle and if he’s unable to go in Week 9 against the Riders, Logan will have no problem filling in as the No. 1 back again.
Hugh Charles steps up in Stampeders debut
Ever since Jon Cornish went down with a concussion early in the season, the Stampeders have struggled to find consistency in the backfield, but Hugh Charles might be the answer.
Charles spent training camp with the Eskimos, but was cut. He was signed by the Riders, played one game and was cut. In his first start with Calgary, the 28-year-old ran for 102 yards on 14 carries. His ability to produce positive yardage kept the Ticats’ defence wary enough so that Bo Levi Mitchell could do his thing.
Cornish plans on returning in Week 9, but if his return is delayed, Charles can fill that void until the reigning Outstanding Player and Canadian is 100 percent.
Eskimos pulling out tight games
In Week 8 they didn’t even manage to score a touchdown yet the Eskimos still pulled out a victory over the struggling RedBlacks to improve to 6-1.
The most impressive part of that non-impressive game was the fact it was the type of contest the Eskimos would have lost last season. In 2013, the Eskimos lost six games by five points or less. In 2014, three of their six wins have been by seven points or less. That’s a major turnaround in games determined by one score and it’s an example of the type of character this Eskimos squad has.
RedBlacks starting to shake things up
The status quo clearly won’t suffice in Ottawa anymore and the changes have begun. The team released veteran receiver Paris Jackson Monday. Heading into the season Jackson was expected to be featured heavily in the offence, but he was been a non-factor. If the RedBlacks don’t quickly improve on their 1-6 record more changes will come.
Sportsnet’s CFL stars of Week 8
1) Stefan Logan, RB, Lions
2) Ricky Ray, QB, Argos
3) Bo Levi Mitchell, QB, Stampeders
1) John Chick, DE, Roughriders
2) Dwight Anderson, DB, Argos
3) Alex Bazzie, DT, Lions
(East vs West info courtesy the Sportsnet Stats Department)