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Thursday, July 13, 2017

THIS WEEK IN THE CFL (WEEK 4)

Peter McCabe/CFL.ca
Week 4’s match-ups could continue this season’s trend of down-to-the-wire games.

The Toronto Argonauts, fresh off their win over the Ottawa REDBLACKS, are in Winnipeg Thursday to take on the Blue Bombers, looking for their first home win, at 8:30pm ET.

The unbeaten Stampeders visit Montreal and the Alouettes Friday at 7:00pm ET. Friday Night Football continues at 10:00pm ET as the REDBLACKS look to notch their first win in Edmonton.

Week 4 wraps up in Hamilton with the Tiger-Cats’ home opener Saturday at 7:30pm. The Cats face a BC Lions squad hoping to complete a sweep of its three-game eastern road trip.

300 TOUCHDOWN PASSES: RAY JOINS ELITE COMPANY

- Ricky Ray joined the 300-touchdown pass club following his 10-yard touchdown pass to DeVier Posey last Saturday night.

It is an elite group that includes only Anthony Calvillo (455), Damon Allen (394), Henry Burris (373), Ron Lancaster (333), Matt Dunigan (303) and now Ricky Ray (300).

Ray accomplished the feat in 219 games, the third-fastest in history: Matt Dunigan did it in 191 games and Henry Burris did it in 209 games.

66 different players have caught a touchdown pass from Ricky Ray. The top five are Jason Tucker (42), Fred Stamps (26), Jason Barnes (24), Ed Hervey (18) and Chad Owens (14).
TACKLE KING SOLOMON

- In the Lions’ 23-16 win over the Montreal Alouettes, linebacker Solomon Elimimian recorded 15 defensive tackles in a single game, breaking the club record he set last season.

The feat of 15 tackles (Defensive and Special Teams combined) by a player has now occurred in a single game just five times in CFL history:

Reggie Hunt – 18 tackles (16 DT, 2 STT) July 10/03
Calvin Tiggle – 15 tackles (15 DT, 0 STT) August 19/99
Willie Fells – 15 tackles (11 DT, 4 STT) June 28/02
Ian Wild – 15 tackles (14 DT, 1 STT) August 22/14
Solomon Elimimian – 15 tackles (15 DT, 0 STT) July 6/17

Since joining the league in 2010, Elimimian has recorded 15 games with 10 or more tackles.

Elimimian. who leads the league with 29 tackles in 2017, now has 634 tackles in his career, placing him 17th on the all-time list.

BO KNOWS WINNING

- Bo Levi Mitchell is now undefeated in 19 consecutive regular season games (17-0-2).

Only five quarterbacks have gone unbeaten for 11 or more starts in a row: Warren Moon (13), Kenny Ploen (12, on two different occasions), Ron Lancaster (11) and Doug Flutie (11).

Mitchell’s career record as a starter is 45-7-2 (.852), far ahead of number two Doug Flutie at 94-32 (.746).

BUTLER’S HOT START

- In his first three CFL games, Toronto rookie DE Victor Butler has seven sacks.

To put his pace in perspective, Butler has as many sacks as the Calgary Stampeders, who have the second-most sacks for a team this season.

The Argonauts lead the league with 14 sacks and have four players with multiple sacks: Butler (7), Shawn Lemon (2), Cleyon Laing (2) and Jeffrey Finley (2).

Butler’s pace through three games is the best since 2005 when BC’s Brent Johnson recorded six sacks in his first three showings. Johnson finished that season with 17 sacks – the most ever by a Canadian.

During the 1999 season, through three games Montreal’s Elfrid Payton recorded eight sacks and Hamilton’s Joe Montford had seven. Montford finished that season with the second-most sacks in a season with 26.

No team has scored a touchdown this season on a drive where they allowed a quarterback sack.

AFTER THREE WEEKS, PENALTIES DOWN

- Penalties continue to decline – through three weeks the average per game is under 17, a 5% decline from a year ago.

- The average points per game is 52.9, identical to 2016 and a 16% increase compared to 2015 .
67% of games this season have been decided in the last three minutes and 58% of games have been decided by four points or fewer.

- Following last season, when road teams won more games than the home side for the first time since 1981, away teams are 6-5-1.

- Game duration is currently at 2:49, the shortest average game time in the last five years.

- The running attack has slowed down this to an average of 150 yards per game. Running has accounted for 19% of the total yards gained (rushing and passing) this season. That is the lowest proportion in the entire history of the CFL.

STAR POWER

- SJ Green’s 10 catches for 210 yards in Week 3 was a personal best. He became the eighth Argonaut to go over 200 yards in a game, joining Terry Greer, Pernell Moore, Paul Masotti, Manny Hazard, Derrell Mitchell, Darrell K. Smith and David Williams.

Green needs seven yards for 7,000 in his career and 53 more yards to crack the Top 50 receiving yard list.

- Sean Whyte and Justin Medlock are each riding a streak of 24 made field goals. That ties them for the sixth-longest streak of all time.

- Montreal’s Nik Lewis needs eight more receptions for 1,000 receptions in his career and is also 21 yards away from surpassing Ben Cahoon for sixth on the all-time receiving yards list.

- Roughriders quarterback Kevin Glenn recorded the highest QUAR rating this week with a rating of 97.6. Edmonton’s Mike Reilly has the highest rating this season at 92.9.

QUICK SLANTS

- The REDBLACKS (0-2-1) average the second-most points per game (31.7) even though they're still looking for their first win.

- The last team to win a Grey Cup after going winless in their first three games was the 2003 Edmonton Eskimos, who started 0-3.

(Paulo Senra/CFL PR)

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