As the first of the two bye weeks begin, here is a breakdown on the 2011 CFL season based on surprises and disappointments.
The Surprises in the league have to be both the Edmonton Eskimos and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Both teams who finished with records of 7-11 and 4-14 last season are leading their respective divisions with records of 6-1 and , but with the injury of Fred Stamps the leading receiver, will Edmonton's offense sputter for the next few weeks or will it rise to the challenge? and for the Bombers will injured prone QB Buck Pierce continue to play great and avoid any sort of injury that has plagued him his entire career?
There has been three teams that have disapointed but none other that the Saskatchewan Roughriders. After two consecutive seasons where they made the Grey Cup has stumbled out of the gate to a 1-6 record. This is primarly because there defence is the worst in the league giving up at least 30 points per game which they were great at a year ago. The Leos have disapointed primarly because of the young receiving corps and poor defence but with Arland Bruce now on the team and the addition of Roughrider castoff Tad Kornegay who replaces the released David Hyland, will the Lions have another second half surge that helped them make the playoffs last season? The last team that has disappointed have been The Toronto Argonauts. Even though running back Cory Boyd was hurt, backup Chad Kackert put on great performances each week but the defence has been awful giving up lots of passing yards which prompted the firing of defensive coordinator Chip Garber. Will his replacement Orlondo Steinauer help fix the holes or see them get bigger?
As for the other two teams, while the Montreal Alouettes started flying out of the gate with a 3-0 record and stumbling a bit before getting back on track and the Hamilton Tiger-Cats who had a slow start with an 0-2 record before racking up wins, both teams have been playing to expectations. Do not be surprised to see theses teams along with the Bombers fighting until the final week to see who will finish atop the East division.