The Toronto Argonauts will take the field against the Winnipeg Blue
Bombers in a CFL matchup that holds sudden significance.
Just three weeks ago, the Toronto Argonauts had to feel like they had
no issues getting into the postseason, as they were comfortably in second place
in the East Division, while the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Winnipeg Blue Bombers, BC
Lions, and Edmonton Eskimos were all struggling. All of a sudden, with a loss
at home on Sunday to Winnipeg, Toronto's once very comfortable cushion for the
playoffs and reliable sports betting pick, would be trimmed to just one game.
Numbers Don't Lie for Boatmen and
Just one look at the statistics for these two teams proves that perhaps
they shouldn't be on the same field together... And it's not in the manner in
which you are expecting...
The 5-5 Argonauts have only scored 220 points this year, the worst in
the East and the second worst in the CFL. The 3-7 Blue Bombers have scored 278
points, the second most in the East, and tied with the high flying Saskatchewan
Roughriders for third in the league overall.
Toronto's defense? 28.0 points per game allowed. Winnipeg's? 27.3
points per game allowed.
The team with more TDs on the year? Winnipeg by 10. Better time of
possession? Bombers by almost two full minutes per game. Most net yards of
offense? Winnipeg again, this time by 60.2 yards per game. Turnovers given up
on the year? Toronto 22 - Winnipeg 17. Fewest TDs allowed? Blue Bombers by 1.
Don't even get us started on Toronto's defense, which is averaging
allowing 417.1 yards per game against Winnipeg's 334.5... That just wouldn't
even be remotely fair.
The Lemon Law
Part of Toronto's
problem this year has been that it has been trying to break in a new
quarterback to the CFL. Cleo Lemon, a lifetime NFL backup, has finally watched
his rope get cut short in the big time, and he is now trying to resurrect his
career in the Great White North.
Trying is the
Only Darian Durant
has a worst completion percentage amongst full-time starting QBs than Lemon
does (62.5%), and only Ricky Ray is averaging fewer pass yards per start than
Lemon is (230.2). A TD/INT ratio of 9/9 is only better than both Durant and Ray
in the entire league amongst men that have started at least two games, and
there are quite a few quarterbacks on that list.
To not even
average one touchdown pass per game is embarrassing in this league. Montreal's
Anthony Calvillo has eight more TD passes and 170 more passing yards in two and
a half fewer games. Henry Burris of Calgary is on pace to throw for 41 scores,
which is 25 fewer than Lemon is on pace for.
Dr. Jyles and Mr. Hyde
No one seemed to
be overly confident about QB Steven Jyles taking over for the injured Buck
Pierce, but something is telling us that the Winnipeg faithful know that their
hopes for making the playoffs are going to rest on his arm and legs. So far
this year, the numbers have been great for Jyles. In five starts and
approximately one full game's worth of mop up duty, Jyles has thrown for 1,478
yards and nine TDs (you paying attention, Lemon?) against just two INTs. He has
also rushed for 314 yards and four more scores.
The problem that
Jyles has is that he just isn't leading the Blue Bombers to wins.
"Banjo Bowl" win over the Roughriders was probably the most important
game of the year for the former Rider. He went a rock solid 19-of-23 for 169
yards with a TD and ran five times for 32 yards. Needless to say, the numbers
weren't all that impressive, but wins are wins, and that's all the Blue Bombers
are hoping for right now.
Fierce CFL Wagering War Favorites
The CFL oddsmakers
have seen all of the same numbers that we have seen, and in spite of the fact
that this game is going to be played at Rogers Centre, the Blue Bombers are
actually the slight one point choices.
They know that
this game is significantly more important for Winnipeg, which has no margin for
error, especially considering the fact that it will lose the season tiebreaker
with Toronto as well with a defeat, which would essentially put it four games
in the rears of the Double Blue with just eight games to play.
Winnipeg has gone
4-2 SU and ATS in this series since the middle of 2008, and that includes the
Argonauts' 36-34 win at Ivor Wynne Stadium in July.