The CFL opened up their 2022 regular season last week. To begin the 2022 CFL season the Ottawa Redblacks lost an away game to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, however it won’t really go down as a loss to everyone. For many Redblacks fans, losing 19-17 to the defending Grey Cup champions could be considered a small victory after what they’ve watched at TD Place the last two seasons. Despite the loss, it was a strong start to the new season and gives fans a lot to look forward to for the home opener tonight at TD Place.
Tonight at the Ottawa Redblacks 2022 home opener three things that Redblacks fans should keep all eyes on would include the leadership of quarterback Jeremiah Masoli on and off of the football field, the play of the new look offensive line and Sherrod Baltimore continuing to make plays in the Redblacks star powered defence led by defensive coordinator Mike Benevides.
Starting off with Masoli, it was clear after week one that he will be a big piece to the Redblacks success this season. Of course having someone under centre that has good experience and most importantly winning experience is always good, but with Jeremiah Masoli the Redblacks didn’t just get a regular veteran quarterback. When Shawn Burke signed Jeremiah Masoli in February he signed a 33 year old MOP caliber quarterback with a big chip on his shoulder, a chip the size of a boulder. Masoli has been on a team that has lost the Grey Cup back to back seasons, he has been on 4 different rosters that have gone to a Grey Cup, and has never hoisted the trophy over his head. He came to Ottawa to lead this Redblacks team to not only make it to the Grey Cup, but win it.
He did a lot in last week’s game to get started on that Grey Cup run, having thrown for 380 yards and a touchdown, and he came away with unfinished business so tonight’s game is a must watch Masoli game for all Redblacks fans.
In front of Masoli this season in Ottawa is an almost entirely new offensive line, and an offensive line that looked good in their week one matchup against the Blue Bombers however the Redblacks offence was never able to establish a solid run game last week. That isn’t all on the fault of the offensive line since the Redblacks running back situation has gotten complicated to start off the season, however in this week’s game expect the offensive line to pave way for rookie running back Devonte Williams in his first game at TD Place in Ottawa.
On the defensive side of the ball last week in Winnipeg, the Ottawa Redblacks played extremely well, and they got a turnover, something that didn’t happen too much last season. Last week Sherrod Baltimore made quite the impact on the defence, as did a majority of the secondary locking up Winnipeg receivers, and holding them to 239 passing yards. Baltimore started off the season hot with a big fumble recovery last week forced by Justin Howell, with Alonzo Addae making his first start at safety, Abdul Kanneh, Randall Evans and Money Hunter alongside him expect him to continue to ball out as he is in for a big breakout season this year.
The Redblacks and Blue Bombers game will kickoff at 7:30 tonight at TD Place. If you’re not there in person don’t miss it on TV on TSN or ESPN!