ESPN2 stays up late Thursday with the BC Lions welcoming Edmonton to Vancouver.
This is another 3 game week. Friday Night Football has the Tiger-Cats traveling to Winnipeg.
Saturday features the Highway 417 battle with the Alouettes in the nation's capital.
Toronto, Calgary, and Saskatchewan get to enjoy the warm weather.
Edmonton @ BC, 10p
Edmonton @ BC, 10p
Hamilton @ Winnipeg, 8:30p
Montréal @ Ottawa, 8p
Bye week: Calgary, Saskatchewan, Toronto
What we saw in Montréal on Friday night was about what we would expect. Johnny Manziel hadn't played regular season football in almost 1000 days. Manziel barely knew the playbook in Montréal much less the CFL game. The Alouettes are not a good team. Hamilton, the team that traded Manziel, had issues to correct that had nothing to do with who wore #2.
The Tiger-Cats entered the game with 0 points off turnovers this season but scored 31 points off of Montreal's turnovers just in the first half.
"This is a humbling experience," Manziel said after the game. "Moving forward, this is only going to motivate me."
4 interceptions might have been a bit of a surprise. While Manziel's escape moments showed his pure talent, the payoff may not be there for the Alouettes in 2018. The attendance might not be as strong but Vernon Adams Jr. would be a better asset in trying to build a competitive team in Montréal.
Like Johnny Manziel, McLeod Bethel-Thompson made his debut as a CFL starting quarterback. Bethel-Thompson's first half was not great though better than Manziel will likely do any time soon. Toronto trailed Ottawa by 21 points at the half and as many as 24 points in the 3rd quarter. The Argonauts comeback felt like a snake slowly working its way toward its victim.
That Thursday game was what the CFL can do at its best. That Friday game was a train wreck.
The Friday night debacle was so bad that even Rod Black knew there would not be a comeback.
Zach Collaros to Duron Carter was magic music to the ears of Roughriders fans. Saskatchewan had trouble scoring deep in Edmonton territory and fell short. But the Roughriders may be back in sync and will 4 West teams likely going to the CFL playoffs again, the race is still quite open.
Calgary has enjoyed great regular season success but hasn't started 7-0 since 1995. The Stampeders are the only undefeated CFL team.
We haven't reported too much on U.S. ratings, but we had to point out that the Johnny Manziel Bowl drew 406,000 viewers on ESPN2. The previous high this season for ESPN2 was 264,000. The 2017 Grey Cup drew 237,000 viewers.
We noticed that ESPN2 was heavily promoting this week's Alouettes game on ESPN+.
Montréal will be featured on the final 3 scheduled CFL telecasts on August 18, September 30, and October 28. All but the September 30 date were set long before the Manziel trade. If we see ESPN add more CFL games, we know #2 for the Alouettes will be a primary reason.
Chris Cuthbert could have drawn the Johnny Manziel Bowl but chose to stay out west. Glen Suitor called the games in Toronto and Montréal while Duane Forde worked with Cuthbert in Edmonton and Calgary.
photo credit: ESPN2/TSN/CFL