By Chris Lawton

Welcome to week four of our weekly review of each CFL game week for the 2024 season. ‘Quick Kicks’ will bring you week to week news of how the games went, scores, surprises, and a general feel of ‘what we learned’ from the games.

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Let’s dive right in. The opening game of the weekend saw the BC Lions narrowly defeat the Edmonton Elks 24-21 at BC Place. For Elks fans there must have been a sinking feeling of inevitability about all this, as this was the third game in a row that they have lost by 3 points. That sense of inevitability can only have been heightened when veteran BC Kicker Sean Whyte lined up the game winner as time expired. With that walk off winner Whyte is now 11 for 11 on Field Goals so far this season and his consecutive Field Goals streak now stands at 27.

Vernon Adams Jr continued his hot start to the season in this one going 27 of 38 for 331 yards and a touchdown. That fast start to the season is certainly helped by an O-line that has now not allowed a sack in over 3 games. On the opposite side McLeod Bethel-Thompson was held under 300 yards passing for the first time this year, going 19 of 30 for 247 yards with 1 TD and two picks.

Last week Adams Jr channelled his passing through Alexander Hollins, but this time out he hit eight different receivers.

This game continued a trend for both teams as all their games have been undecided until the last three minutes of game time so far this season. BC has now won eight consecutive times against Edmonton. Yet despite starting 0-4 the Elks could have a much better record and will feel that the wining habit must come soon.

All eyes were on the second game of the weekend, a rematch of the 2023 East Final between the Toronto Argonauts and Montreal Alouettes. The Als arrived having won eight straight regular season games, and adding in last years’ playoffs, 11 straight wins. Meanwhile the host Argos were defending an 11-game regular season home winning streak, last having lost at home to the Alouettes in 2022.

Once again, it was the defending champion Montreal Alouettes, who came out of Toronto with the win. Their ninth straight regular season win, and 12th straight win overall, came with a convincing 30-20 win over the Boatmen.

One of the things the Als have had working well this year has been the deep ball. Although they did score on a 44-yard touchdown connection from Cody Fajardo to Tyson Philpot early on, overall, the Argos D did a respectable job of taking the deep shots away. Plus, they held Montreal to just twenty-five yards rushing. But Fajardo and the Als O worked checked downs well and used the screen to good effect to still do what they needed to do.

On the flip side, the Als repeatedly held the Toronto O at bay and made them settle for Field Goals. The Argonauts were 0 for 3 in the red zone and did not score a TD until the final 2 minutes when they were 30-12 down.

Fajardo finished 33 of 41 for 284 yards with 1 TD and 1 pick for the Als, while his opposite number Cameron Dukes went 22 of 32 for 199 yards with 1 pick. Offensively, Cole Spieker had a great game for Montreal catching all 8 throws sent his way and converting that into 113 yards receiving and a touchdown.

Now only two unbeaten teams remain in the CFL this season. The Alouettes at 4-0, and the Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-0) who were on a bye this week and will welcome Toronto next week.

This is the first time since 2009 that the Alouettes have opened a season 4-0.

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The third game of the Canada Day weekend saw the Calgary Stampeders welcome the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to McMahon Stadium. They won out with the second walk off Field Goal of the weekend, this one coming in overtime as the Stamps ran out 22-19 winners. Perhaps not surprising that this was a close one as 11 of the previous 13 matchups between two had been decided in the last three minutes.

What was different this time though was that Calgary pulled out the win. Prior to this one the Blue Bombers had won six head-to-head games with the Stamps and 9 of their last 11 matchups, so for Stampeders’ fans seeing Winnipeg take it to OT, but Calgary pulling out the win anyway must have been quite cathartic.

Special teams really mattered here, as punter Cody Grace added three rouges for three points on long punts, and Renee Paredes hit on 4 of 4 Field Goal attempts, including a 52-yarder to win it.

For Winnipeg, one bright spot came when Sergio Castillo set a franchise record with a 60-yard Field Goal in the fourth quarter. While Adam Bighill passed nine hundred career tackles – only the sixth CFL player to pass this mark.

Winnipeg also got their first passing TD on the board, but it came from Chris Streveler as former 2-time MOP Zach Collaros left the game at halftime.

In a game that was dominated by D, it was fitting that Demerio Houston, who ended with 7 tackles, made a pick in overtime that set up Paredes chance to kick the winner.

As Calgary moved to 2-1, Winnipeg find themselves at 0-4 for the first time since 2012.

The final game of the Canada Day Weekend saw the Ottawa Redblacks host the Hamilton Tiger-Cats at TD Place Stadium. Just to prove it was no fluke, this was the third of the four games of the weekend to be decided with a walk off winning Field Goal as the Redblacks triumphed 24-22.

Incredibly this is the first time Ottawa has had a winning record after three games since the 2019 season. Although they will not want to replicate that year as they went from 2-0 & 3-4 to 3-15 that year. A real positive for the Redblacks here is that this is the first time they have beaten Hamilton since 2018 too.

Especially when you consider Bo Levi Mitchell looked good for the Ticats going 30 of 45 for 322 yards and two touchdowns, including throwing for a game leading TD inside the final minute. So, for Ottawa to respond by getting in range for Lewis Ward’s 46-yard game winner must have been as big a catharsis for Ottawa fans as Calgary fans felt in their game breaking the Winnipeg hoodoo.  

Ottawa off season acquisition QB Dru Brown finished the game having gone 24 of 39 for 265 yards and a TD as well as engineering the final drive.

One bright spot for Hamilton fans was a return to form of leading receiver Time White who had eight catches (on 12 targets) for 118 yards and a touchdown.

What a weekend the CFL put on. ¾ of the games were decided by walk off kicks and none of the games were blowouts. Meanwhile QB play has looked solid this year, and although three teams are now 0-4, nobody looks like they cannot be competitive at times. On the flip side, now that Saskatchewan and Montreal are the only remaining perfect teams, (3-0 & 4-0 respectively), how long will that last?

Only playing the games can answer those questions and I am sure we are all already looking forward to the next round of games where every game is an interdivisional game between East and West teams.

MOP's of Week 4:

O – Cole Spieker, Montreal Alouettes, 8 receptions on 8 passes thrown his way, 113 yards, 1 TD.

D – Demerio Houston, Calgary Stampeders, 7 tackles and 1 interception.

ST – Cody Grace, Calgary Stampeders, 7 punts for 380 yards (avg 54.3), with 3 singles & Sergio Castillo, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, 4 for 4 on Field Goals, including a franchise record 60-yarder, 5 for 5 on all kicks, 3 kickoffs for 213 yards.  

Interdivisional Standings Week Three: East Division 0 West Division 0

Interdivisional Standings 2024 season: East Division 5 West Division 3



Chris originally started following the NFL with the ‘first wave’ of fans when it was shown on Channel 4 in the 1980’s. He has been a keen supporter of the Miami Dolphins since 1983. Chris first encountered the CFL in 2016 and instantly fell in love with the Canadian game. He has been writing about the CFL 2017. Chris has a degree in history, postgraduate degree in librarianship and can be found on twitter as @CFLfanUK