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23.11.2019 03:29
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Philadelphia, PA ( - HAMILTON TIGER-CATS (6-7) AT TORONTO ARGONAUTS (5-8) DATE & TIME: Friday, October 10, 7 p.m. (ET). GAME NOTES: Hamilton takes aim at a .500 record this week, as the Tiger-Cats go up against the Toronto Argonauts at the Rogers Centre. Despite being just 6-7 entering Week 16 action, the Ticats are all alone at the top of the East Division standings, two points ahead of both Montreal and Toronto. Following a very shaky start to the 2014 campaign, Hamilton has now won four in a row and five of the last six outings, thanks to a come-from- behind 19-17 victory over British Columbia last weekend. Kicker Justin Medlock played the hero for Hamilton as he booted five field goals, including an eight-yard effort in the final minutes of regulation to bring the hosts back for the thrilling win, the fourth in as many opportunities at the new Tim Hortons Field. Hamilton quarterback Zach Collaros converted 27-of-43 passes for 367 yards and was intercepted once as the team was kept out of the end zone, but still came out on top, thanks in part to a pair of two-point plays from BC kicker Ricky Schmitt who conceded in his own end zone. The Cats managed to roll up 429 yards of total offense in the meeting, but were stymied by 12 penalties that cost them 128 yards of field position. On the other side of the ball, Hamilton limited the visitors to just 239 yards. While the Tiger-Cats are in the drivers seat in the division at the moment, the Argos have a chance to cause a bit of a log jam in the standings if all goes to play this week. Despite having to deal with some crucial injuries throughout the campaign, Toronto is still within striking distance of securing a playoff berth as it attempts to put together a three-game win streak for the first time this season. Unlike the Tiger-Cats who had to fight their way back versus the Lions, Toronto was the hunted as Edmonton tried to complete a comeback bid last Saturday, but came up short in a 33-32 final. Ricky Ray converted 22-of-33 passes for 224 yards and two scores, as well as one interception, while Chad Owens continued to prove his value to the club with nine catches for 106 yards and both majors through the air. As was the case with Hamilton, the Argos also leaned heavily on their kicker as Swayze Waters knocked through all but one of his seven field goal tries, finishing with 21 points all on his own. Toronto did surrender 330 yards of offense to the Eskimos, but the visitors severely diminished their chances at a victory by being flagged a staggering 18 times for an incredible 224 yards. In typical Ray fashion, he has completed 68.1 percent of his passes for 3,430 yards and is by far the most accomplished signal caller this season in terms of passing touchdowns with 24. Because of countless injuries and changes in depth charts for other teams, no other quarterback has more than 17 TDs at this juncture. However, in order to give Ray plenty of opportunities to find teammates in or around the goal line this season, the Argos have had to almost give up on their attempts to find a running back who can consistently reach the end zone. Granted, Curtis Steele has run 78 times for 493 yards and four touchdowns, but beyond him Toronto has just one other rushing TD. Over on the other side, Hamilton has been one of those teams playing musical quarterback this season, although Collaros seems to be giving the squad some measure of stability. However, while the youngster has completed 66.5 percent of his attempts, his seven majors are nearly matched by his six INTs. On a more positive note, as a group the Hamilton signal callers are tied for third in the league in passing yards to this point with 3,590, matching the effort of Toronto ironically enough. But a slight caveat to that effort shows Hamilton with just 12 aerial scores, half the number of Ray and the Argos, while being picked off 13 times. The clubs collided back in Week 10 in Hamilton where the home team squeezed out a 13-12 victory, despite being held scoreless for the second half. Medlock connected on a pair of field goals in that meeting and Collaros hooked up with Bakari Grant on a nine-yard major in the second quarter, the quarterback hitting on 27-of-38 passes for 317 yards. Ray, who was sacked four time and intercepted once, had a mere 16 completions for 142 yards and a score. The running game for the Argos was limited to 35 yards on eight attempts. With the win, Hamiltons advantage in the all-time series moved to 126-91-2, considering only regular-season matchups dating back to 1950. The Cats have won three straight over Toronto. The teams will be right back here in Toronto for their third and final regular-season meeting 15 days from now, a game that could have serious playoff implications. Thanks to having one of the most stabilizing forces in the league in Ray, Toronto has put itself in a position to come out on top this week. It certainly doesnt hurt that Ray and the Argos have the luxury of seeing Owens back in the lineup either. Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Toronto 28, Hamilton 24. OTTAWA REDBLACKS (2-11) AT BRITISH COLUMBIA LIONS (7-7) DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 11, 10 p.m. (ET). GAME NOTES: Shooting for just their third win of the 2014 season, the Ottawa RedBlacks try to make it two in a row this week as they clash with the British Columbia Lions at BC Place on Saturday night. The latest addition to the CFL, Ottawa had won just once through the first 11 games of the season, a narrow 18-17 triumph over Toronto in the middle of July, but last week the RedBlacks showed up in a big way as they hosted Winnipeg. Not only did Ottawa snap a debilitating nine-game slide, it did so in impressive fashion by recording a lopsided 42-20 triumph. The 42 points were the most this season and two touchdowns more than the program had in any game that didnt go to overtime. Granted, it is far too early to declare Ottawas woes long gone, but at least the hometown fans could celebrate the fact that the team came back from an early deficit by scoring three touchdowns in the second quarter alone. Quarterback Henry Burris missed on only seven of his 31 pass attempts, leading to 284 yards and an interception, but no touchdowns. Instead, it was backup Danny OBrien who did the honors in the second frame when he tossed a five- yard major to Khalil Paden. Of the 477 yards of offense produced by the RedBlacks, 188 came on the ground and all but eight of those were attributed to running back Jonathan Williams who turned his 21 rushes into 180 yards and two touchdowns. With 229 yards from scrimmage overall, it should have come as little surprise that the running back was named the CFL Offensive Player of the Week. Not to be outdone, defensive lineman Justin Capicciotti was named the CFLs top Canadian as he recorded a pair of sacks for a squad that held Winnipeg to just 293 yards of total offense. While that number may not sound all that impressive, it should be noted that Ottawa entered the week as the most porous defense with 379.6 ypg allowed. This week the number has shrunk a bit to 371.4 ypg surrendered, so there is still much work to be done in that department. Winnipeg was allowed to score 20 points, but only one TD was credited to the offense, the rest of the scoring came from the special teams. While the RedBlacks are trying to build upon an impressive effort last week, the same cannot be said for the Lions who are licking their wounds following a late 19-17 loss to Hamilton on the road. British Columbia, which is set for a bye next week before finishing out the regular season, is just 7-7 on the season overall, which means theyve entered the week fourth in the West Division standings. Theres still time and opportunity for the Lions to make a stronger push towards the top half of the division standings, but after a performance like last week there are several questions that need to be answered. BC actually led by double digits in the first quarter and by a point at the break, but still the offense struggled last Saturday night. Kevin Glenn converted 19-of-33 passes for 188 yards, while receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux was credited with the only passing TD of the night for BC, a 17-yard connection with Shawn Gore. BC has now lost three in a row for the first time since 2011 and the lackluster effort was not lost on head coach Mike Benevides who was clearly frustrated after the dismal performance. The Lions were held to only 239 yards of offense, a mere 34 net yards on the ground, and were unable to fully capitalize on the 12 penalties, for 128 yards, assessed to the Tiger-Cats. Defensively, the visitors to Tim Hortons Field surrendered 429 yards to a pesky Hamilton squad that is now first in the East Division standings despite a losing record at 6-7. Through 14 games, the Lions find themselves in the bottom third of the CFL in scoring with only 20.9 ppg, although thats still better than Ottawa which is bringing up the rear with a mere 17.1 ppg, even after last weeks offensive explosion. But instead of focusing so much on offense, it should be noted that BC is second in the league in defense, giving up only 297.5 ypg, translating into just 19.2 ppg surrendered as well which is second behind Calgary (18.8 ppg), the only team that has already secured a playoff spot. This is the second meeting of the season for the clubs, with BC squeezing out a thrilling 7-5 victory in the first encounter at Ottawa back on Sept. 5. In that contest neither side was able to get a sniff of the end zone. Instead, it was BC kickers Paul McCallum and Ricky Schmitt who accounted for all seven points for the visitors, the former hitting field goals of 49 and 34 yards in the second quarter, and the latter notching a 69-yard single in the third quarter for the only points tallied on either side in the second half. The teams combined for 467 yards of offense, with the Lions surviving 13 penalties for a loss of 109 yards. Travis Lulay hit 18-of-27 passes for 167 yards and was sacked twice, while Burris went 21-of-32 for 188 yards, was taken down three times and tossed a pick. As a group, the RedBlacks were credited with 12 rushing plays, resulting in just 16 combined yards. Based on the fact that there has been a team representing Ottawa prior to this season, there is a history between these two cities in the CFL and it shows BC with a 40-18-2 advantage in regular-season battles dating back to 1961. The Lions are enjoying a 10-game win streak over Ottawa and have won all but one of the last 16 encounters heading into this week. The Lions are a rare breed, particularly hailing from the West Division, as they own a losing record at home this season at 3-4. Although there is reason for BC to have hope this week since it is facing Ottawa, and even if the hosts fall behind they can lean on the fact that theyve registered six come-from- behind wins already in 2014. Sports Network Predicted Outcome: British Columbia 31, Ottawa 20. SASKATCHEWAN ROUGHRIDERS (9-5) AT MONTREAL ALOUETTES (5-8) DATE & TIME: Monday, October 13, 1 p.m. (ET). GAME NOTES: The title in the West Division remains up for grabs, but time is running out for those teams chasing the Calgary Stampeders, the only club to have already secured a postseason spot. During Week 16 action, the Saskatchewan Roughriders try to draw closer to the Stamps as they challenge the Montreal Alouettes in a cross-conference showdown at Percical-Molson Stadium. Saskatchewan, the defending Grey Cup Champion, at one point was the hottest team in the league with a seven-game win streak, but since then the squad has dropped two in a row and three of the last four. Last Friday the squad was tripped up by Calgary, 31-24, assuring the Stampeders a place in the postseason. After being shut out the previous week, the Riders appeared to be well on their way to yet another scoreless effort as Calgary held a 24-0 advantage into the third quarter before the hosts showed signs of life. Head coach Corey Chamblin went with a hunch and started Seth Doege at quarterback, but that was a decision that was met with disaster. Doege attempted nine passes and had as many completions to the opposition (three) as he did to men in green. The signal caller was sacked once and finished with a mere 28 yards before Tino Sunseri made his return to the lineup. Sunseri managed to breathe life into the Riders as he converted all but three of his 19 tries for 289 yards and a score, but it turned out to be too little, too late. Sunseri also ran the ball four times for 21 yards and a score, again putting himself in harms way a bit too often. Dan DePalma made his debut for Saskatchewan and the West Chester University product did not disappoint as he turned his first three CFL receptions into 83 yards and a major. On the ground, the Riders logged 117 yards on 25 attempts, 78 of those yards coming from Anthony Allen, while former Alouettes running back Jerome Messam scored his first TD of the 2014 season. With the struggles at quarterback, following a serious injury to Darian Durant, now comes word that the Riders have plans on adding Kerry Joseph to the roster. Joseph, a former Most Outstanding Player and 2007 Grey Cup Champion, spent 11 seasons in the CFL with four different teams and was last on a roster a season ago, listed as a backup to Mike Reilly. At this point it is unclear what Josephs role will be with the Riders, but even if he is just a mentor who can push those ahead of him on the depth chart, thats something positive. As for the Als, after winning just once in the first eight games, the team has managed to post back-to-back victories and triumphs in four of the last five, putting themselves in a position to challenge for the East Division where they, and Toronto, are just two points behind the Hamilton Tiger-Cats. Montreal enjoyed a break in the action last week after taking down a pesky Ottawa group on the road, 15-7, the visitors getting by with only 296 yards of total offense, while being flagged 14 times for a loss of 139 yards. Jonathan Crompton completed only 14-of-29 passes for 181 yards and was intercepted twice, so it was the defense that saved the day instead as Chip Cox took a lateral following a fumble and rumbled into the end zone in the second quarter. Still showing minus-two in the turnover department on the season, Montreal has been very opportunistic when it comes to separating opponents from the ball, having recorded a league-high 15 fumble recoveries. Unfortunately, the pass defense has only six interceptions, and the offense has unwillingly handed the ball over on downs a total of 10 times, second-most behind Ottawa (14). Saskatchewan has performed much better when it comes to turning the ball over this season, sporting a plus-10 in the department as it places second behind Montreal in recovered fumbles with 14. However, the Riders could stand to put a bit more effort on forcing opponents into giving them the ball back on downs, having completed that task a league-low four times. During Week 8 action, when there just happened to be a total of five games, the Riders managed to slip by Montreal at home by a score of 16-11. Back then, Durant was still under center for the Riders, converting 19-of-30 passes for 221 yards and a score, the major going to Rob Bagg who caught six balls for a game-high 90 yards. Saskatchewan kickers Josh Bartel and Chris Milo filled in the gaps with three and seven points, respectively, as the Riders generated 330 yards of offense but still had difficulty getting into the end zone. While the Als were still seeking a replacement for Anthony Calvillo at quarterback, the team turned to Alex Brink the first time around and he threw for 187 yards on 19 completions, but had an interception and was sacked three times, just like Durant. Montreals only major of the game was a thrilling 123-yard missed field goal return by Duron Carter in the fourth quarter, drawing the visitors to within a point at 12-11. Despite the loss in the first meeting of the season, Montreal still leads the all-time series by a count of 38-30-1, taking into account only regular-season matchups dating back to 1961. Because the Riders are having trouble getting consistent and productive play from their choice of quarterback, that might be one of the reasons why Montreal is considered a strong contender in this meeting. It also helps that the Als are the hosts and dont have to do all of the traveling this time around. Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Montreal 24, Saskatchewan 20. WINNIPEG BLUE BOMBERS (6-8) AT EDMONTON ESKIMOS (9-5) DATE & TIME: Monday, October 13, 4:30 p.m. (ET). GAME NOTES: A West Division showdown is on tap for Monday afternoon, as the Edmonton Eskimos entertain the Winnipeg Blue Bombers at Commonwealth Stadium. With just four games left on the schedule, it is now or never for the Blue Bombers as they find themselves in last place in the division standings, two games under .500. Unfortunately, this situation is Winnipegs doing, after the team won three straight and five of the first six games to open the 2014 campaign. The Bombers have won only once since that strong start, a 24-16 triumph versus Montreal in Week 9. Last week, the program was thrashed by newcomer Ottawa in a 42-20 decision on the road, the teams fifth consecutive setback and the seventh in eight tries overall. Winnipeg actually held a 10-7 lead after one period of play against the RedBlacks, but then the expansion club went to work with three touchdowns in the second frame and ran away with the victory from there. Quarterback Drew Willy hit 19-of-30 passes for a decent 223 yards, but he failed to get a single pass into the end zone, was sacked six times and had three attempts picked off. Robert Marve registered the lone offensive TD for the Bombers on a one-yard run in the second frame, while Maurice Leggett silenced the crowd with a thrilling 114-yard missed field goal return for a major in the opening period. Defensively, Winnipeg didnt have a prayer as the RedBlacks produced a hefty 477 yards of offense, an uncharacteristic effort considering Ottawa was next- to-last in the league with only 294.3 ypg of offense heading into the contest. As for the Eskimos, they appear to have their bags packed for the postseason as they are tied with Saskatchewan for second place in the West behind only Calgary, which has already clinched a playoff berth. Edmonton is making it hard on itself though, having lost two of its last three outings and four of six. Last weekend, Edmonton came up just short against Toronto on the road, 33-32, but dont blame quarterback Mike Reilly who threw for 272 yards and two touchdowns. Granted Riley, who ran for a team-best 36 yards and a score, did toss an interception and was sacked three times, but it was a team effort that resulted in the setback as the Esks got hit with 18 penalties for a loss of 224 yards. Edmonton went into last week as the second-most penalized team in the league with 149 flags being thrown at it, for a league-high 1,260 yards, but this level of undisciplined play reaches new heights for sure and should give head coach Chris Jones reason to be concerned. Defensively, the Eskimos did give up 370 yards of offense to the Argonauts and still the visitors came up just short in their comeback bid. On the season, Edmonton has bragging rights when it comes to slowing down opponents, limiting teams to a mere 289.7 ypg, easily the best mark in the league entering Week 16 action. The Eskimos stand third in the CFL in points allowed with 20.4 per contest, while the offense is second with 26.6 ppg. But while those aforementioned numbers certainly work in favor of Edmonton, there are ones that have crippled the squad from time to time and those are the over-the-top penalties. As if there were any doubt, the Eskimos have been hit with infractions more often (167) than any other team, and that has led to being pushed back one way or another by an average of more than 100 yards per outing. The first meeting of the season between the clubs took place in Winnipeg at Investors Group Field during Week 4, where Edmonton halted a three-game win streak to start the season by the Bombers, with a 26-3 rout. In that contest, Edmonton scored the first 13 points and never looked back, as Reilly survived four sacks and an interception by throwing for 192 yards and a score. Willy wasnt nearly as fortunate as he absorbed five sacks, had an INT of his own and completed only 14-of-27 attempts for 180 yards. Winnipeg controlled the action for less than 22 minutes and failed to capitalize on 14 penalties for 125 yards charged to the Esks. With the victory, Edmonton now leads the all-time series by a count of 96-85-3, dating back to 1938 and considering only regular-season meetings. With scoring down by nearly a touchdown per game this season from last, coupled with the fact that there are on average 21.7 penalties per game, even the slightest mistake could cost a team these days. With that in mind, if the Esks continue to shoot themselves in the foot, this is a meeting that could easily be claimed by the visitors. Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Winnipeg 27, Edmonton 21. 2014 Sports Network Predictions: 36-25. Last Weeks Results: 2-2. Mike Shawaryn Red Sox Jersey . Howard hit a three-run homer with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Philadelphia Phillies to a 6-3 win over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night. Red Sox Jerseys 2020 . The 20-year-old overager has appeared in 35 games for the Ontario Hockey Leagues Erie Otters this season, scoring 41 goals and adding 27 assists with a plus-28 rating. Clevelands manager had just watched his team lose 5-3 to Kansas City, which completed a 2-6 homestand and dropped the Indians 2 1/2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central. Josh A. Smith Jersey .C. -- Charles Oakley, one of the NBAs all-time tough guys, may not return to the Charlotte Bobcats bench next season because of a painful back condition he says was caused during an assault last year in Las Vegas. Steve Pearce Jersey . The trade deadline is Monday, Mar. 2 at 3pm et/Noon pt. TRADES COMPLETED SINCE OCT. 1, 2014: Feb. 15, 2015 Toronto Maple Leafs acquire: F Olli Jokinen, F Brendan Leipsic, 1st Round Pick (2015) Nashville Predators acquire: D Cody Franson, F Mike Santorelli Feb.Liverpool has swapped out one controversial striker for another, filling the offensive void left by Luis Suarez with the enigmatic Mario Balotelli. TSN Soccer Analyst Kristian Jack provides three things we learned from the Italian strikers move to Anfield. 1. Fenway Sports Group conducts its business away from the public eye. John Henry, Tom Werner and Larry Lucchino leaned on Theo Epstein. As the Boston Red Sox moved from lovable losers to winners on the field, their dealings off the field were equally as professional. Of course, their budget helped, but a desire to keep all of their dealings in-house was not something the Fenway Sports Group wanted. It was something they demanded. Their pursuit of star shortstop Alex Rodriguez, then of the Texas Rangers, in 2003, made recently into a short film by ESPN, showed the lengths Epstein and his assistant Jed Hoyer went to try and land A-Rod. How they failed ultimately had nothing to do with their strategic pursuit. FSG have brought that method to Liverpool. This is no longer a club regularly linked with players for weeks before they sign them. Their business is done behind closed doors and the news only breaks when the transfer is a formality. The latest acquisition of Mario Balotelli highlights this attitude and also provides the exact reasons for such a strategy. Balotelli is arguably the most polarizing footballer on the planet. Any long, drawn-out pursuit of such a player can be mentally exhausting for any organization. Liverpool conducted their search the right way and the moment it became public no one could question whether the Reds should get the Italian, as it was already a done deal. 2. Liverpool continue to shop at a realistic level when pursuing players. They do not have the budget of Manchester City or the pull geographically of Chelsea or Arsenal. They cannot afford to sign genuine world class stars on some of the sports largest contracts. However, that doesnt mean Liverpool cannot attract good players. When they sold Fernando Torres to Chelsea they want shopping at the cheaper, Dutch Erevidisie, store and brought in Luis Suarez. With Suarez at Barcelona, Liverpool went on a search to find his replacement. They were linked with Edinson Cavani and Radamel Falcao but they were never realistically in their price range. Those are in the elite class of centre-forwards, a class Liverpool shouldnt waste their time looking at. Instead, Liverpool have landed on a player with incredible potential, a player who they could help graduate to such a class within the next couple of years. It represents great business for manager Brendan Rodgers and CEO Ian Ayre who get a player with experience at the top level but who has underperformed during his career so far. It sends a messagee to the other players in the squad that the club is serious about maintaining their current level as contenders for Champions League spots each season.dddddddddddd Much like the Suarez signing, it is also an acquisition that can set them for years because if Rodgers gets the best out of Balotelli he could end up selling him for five times the price when he is at the peak of his career in two or three seasons. 3. Balotelli remains one of the most overrated players in the game. It will be said that three major clubs have now happily moved on from the Italian and he is only 24. While this is true, the move away from Manchester City was the real indictment on the strikers career. At Inter he left for the bright lights of England under Roberto Mancini with a substantial pay packet, while at Milan it was clear the team was not good enough to have to put up with the issues he brings. Many of the issues off the field have been reported regularly but Balotellis biggest issue of all is the type of player he is on the field. At Manchester City he was incapable of adapting to different roles. He sulked when being taken off, was a liability when asked to play in any other position than up top and wasnt mentally strong enough to wait for his chance. The sport can humble players very quickly but the position he plays requires tremendous patience and maturity as you might only get one chance to win a game. Balotellis ineffectiveness in this area is not down to immaturity. He is three years younger than Lionel Messi and, at 24, is far from the kid many refer to him as. Such negative aspects of his game meant he was no longer a fit in a very good side like City who had better players. It also meant he was no longer a fit in a very average side like Milan because his demands didnt match up with the talent around him. His demands have also not matched up with his own talent. He is built very much like a striker who can play up top on his own, but his overall attitude and tendency to drift out of games is one of the reasons he hasnt started as many Champions League games as he should have. He has an abysmal scoring record in that competition and that will need to change quickly for him to reach the next level. How he left his three previous teams was not all down to his own inefficiencies, however, each time the jury remained out on what type of player he can become. He now goes to a club that will embrace him, a club that creates many goal scoring opportunities that will give him many situations in which to succeed. Balotellis time is now: A time that will allow the jury of public opinion to sit back and see if he develops. How and when he ultimately ends up leaving Liverpool will tell us exactly what type of player he has become. ' ' '

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