the CFL just aint what it used to be... :(

unfortunately the CFL can no longer claim to be the free wheeling Wild West gunslinger game it once firmly held in the gridiron world while the NFL can no longer be considered a banal repetitive lackluster product it once held.

..especially with games such as yesterdays Saints/Giants matchup (52-49 final score) where Brees and Manning lit up the scoreboard essentially at will combining for 13TD's and 861 yards in passing for the duo.
Brees - 40/50, 511 yards, 7TD
E. Manning - 30/41, 350 yards, 6TD

In today's CFL, a QB who can muster 250 yards passing and 1-2 TD's in a single game is now considered impressive whereas such numbers juxtaposed in decades past would be mediocre feats at best.

yes, excessive flags are a nuisance and partially responsible for the recent decline in viewership/attendance but IMO not nearly as much of a factor as the loss of the wide open free wheeling contests CFL fans held dear for many generations and continually trumpeted as reasons our game was superior to the NFL despite the lesser payroll budgets and spit shine.

this is concerting as the CFL seems to have lost it's brand identity.

Tangled I tend to agree that we just aren't seeing many great fun to watch offensive shootouts these days that were common a few year ago. But to be fair there are some lemons every week in the NFL too. In fact I watched most of 3 football games yesterday - two NFL games on TV and the Cats game that I was at - and pretty much five of six offences were pretty inept. The Cowboys and Seahawks game was hardly an offensive showcase, the Lions offense was pretty inept against the Chiefs from London Sunday morning and both the Cats and Redblacks struggled to score. Only the Chiefs showed any scoring punch of the three games and six teams I watched yesterday.

But certainly in that 1:00PM time slot yesterday I suspect a bunch of fans of both leagues probably were gravitating towards that Saints - Giants game. I was at that Cats game yesterday with a friend so was stuck with that one - and it was just not a good football game at all. When I was talking to my brother last night - who is a huge Ti-Cats fan and brought up how bad the Cats looked and how bad the game was - assuming he would have watched it - and have some comments of his own about it - he admitted that he had more or less bailed on the Cats game before halftime and then he went on to rave about the 'insane' Giants - Saints game and the 'show' that Manning and Brees put on.

And just as an aside - a bit surprising watching Sportscentre this morning - and the CFL game story not only followed World Series coverage - but they showed highlights from that Giants - Saints game and the Packers - Broncos game before they even got to any CFL coverage.

I understand I missed the free wheeling 90s that everyone looks back on so fondly (and terribly from a financial standpoint) but I feel people are just overreacting REALLY overreacting to a league who is going through a major transition at the QB position right now.

Flash back just 5 years to 2010 and look at the league. It was league that knew who it's star pivots would be each week and for some reason none of them got hurt on a consistent basis.

If you just look at the last few season the list of injuries to QBs has been absolutely ridiculous. Montreal has had something like 9 guys start since AC left? Drew Willy can't stay on the field, which is a bit like Buck Pierce who was a great QB who couldn't stay on the field. Then you got Collaros going down in back to back years with serious injuries, Ray going down with multiple injuries, Reilly going down with multiple injuries, Durant tearing his achilles this year just standing around, Lulay has now consistently battled injuries for 3 years, and things have gotten so desperate for teams that Kevin Glenn has now nearly completed the CFL tour. I doubt the CFL has ever battled injuries this badly at every position but most importantly QB ever in its history.

Now if we lived in a world where injuries never happened, I think a league consisting of your 9 starters being Collaros, Ray/Harris, Burris, LeFevour/Cato/Crompton (eek on this one), Reilly, Bo Levi, Lulay, Durant, Willy ...this year would have looked completely different and nobody would be saying all this doom and gloom stuff about how the CFL just isn't the same.

Well of course it isn't the same, the NFL would look terrible too if they had to start rookies or second year players at QB all the time.

Also using the Giants/Saints game as an example of how the CFL has lost their identity is a bit misleading. That game was an anomaly not the norm. Average stats for all 26 starters this week in NFL amount to:
232 yards
1.7 TDs
0.6 INTs

Along with the Brees and Manning stat lines, you also had ones like these:
Rodgers 14/22 77yards 0TDs 0INTs
Cassel 13/25 97yards 0TDs 0INTs
Kaepernick 20/41 162yards 0TDs 0INTs
Stafford 22/36 217 1TDS 2INTs
Bridgewater 17/30 187 1TDs 1INTs

I wouldn't hand the crown over the NFL just yet. I think people just need to be patient because guys like Ray, Calvillo, Dunigan, Allen, Burris at one point were guys like Mathews, Smith, Cato and Jennings. There was a huge jump in offensive production this year and I expect with this massive influx of offensive talent (Walker, Rogers, Lawrence, Tasker, Hazelton, Gurley, Spencer, Sinopoli, Williams etc.), once QBs figure out how to properly read a defence and hit their open guys, the CFL will return to it's regular high flying action. I have been entertained this year. my main issue is penalties. It has been a mess out there for the guys in stripes that's what they need to fix and also is something the league has total control over so it can be done.

Way to cherry pick. How was that Seattle/Dallas match up?

NFL is as boring as taking a $$$$

the CFL needs to clean up it's refereeing, get rid of some of the rules..

they have really bogged it down this season.

I'm not saying that all CFL games are snoozefests just as not all NFL games are wide open affairs but there has been an inverse trend from both leagues that commenced sometime in the mid-2000's (markedly evident since 2010) that is hard to ignore.

the NFL has embraced more of a NCAA influenced WC offense, spread and shotgun sets with regularly (a CFL trademark) which have contributed to a greater passing production under the four down game although does not appear to be as efficacious with the 3 down model in recent years.

is this a reflection of a decline in talent on the offensive side?
An increase in talent on the defensive side?
Inordinate number of Canadian draft picks/talent defecting to the NFL?
Lack of coaching/GM talent?
Poor recruitment?
Lack of talented QB's especially at the reserve position?
Higher than average injuries the past decade?
Stagnant offensive schemes? Improved defensive schemes? Both?
Inert salary structure an impedance to entice formidable talent?
All of the above?

who knows?

either way, I'm not convinced the recent rule changes are to blame as this trend has been evident for quite some time now yet needs to be addressed before average ratings drop under 300,000 and attendances under 20,000.
(which have already occurred in a few markets)

For all that the NFL refers to itself as a passing league now, I find it more boring than ever. I don't find that it's a better product in terms of game flow what with the frequent stoppages in play and their own officiating issues. Maybe I'm just not lucky, but it seems every game I see has some controversy about a call. Hell, the NFL Network has a segment with that Blandino guy so that he explain odd calls every week. More games, granted, but still.

I can only evaluate the CFL today as I didn't watch much of it when Ottawa was dormant (both times). Maybe it's because my own team's performance was constantly poor in past seasons but I still find the league entertaining as hell.

One more thing which has been mentioned before: 52-49 is not necessarily indicative of good football. I know you're just using it as an example of a wide open game, but to me it sounds sloppy on a defensive level (only saw the highlights).

I've said before that I believe that the current limitations on practice time as dictated by the CBA have hurt the game.

I wonder, though, if it's not actually worse than I thought. I wonder if the lack of practice has negatively affected the overall performance of offensive lines, and whether this is a contributing factor in the current epidemic of quarterback injuries.

Yes and back then people complained the CFL was "sandlot football" because there was too much offence and not all defence like the "mighty" NFL!!! I really wish people would just stop trashing the CFL about everything. :x :x

I've been covering the CFL since 1970 as a photographer, and really miss the way football used to be, it just seems now that it has become predictable, rules changes have slowed the game, and it may sound a little strange but I miss seeing them on natural grass, playing in mud. Not every team ran the same type of offence, I know there are variations in formations, but it's pretty much all shot gun, same swing passes that go no where. There is a lack of imagination now. Not every game in the past was great, but it sure seemed like there were more. Quarterbacks didn't seem to get hurt as often, I know this was a bad year. Tackling and hits were different, it was a tougher game. Each team had those personalties that everyone loved to hate, Angelo Mosca being one of those.

It was a different time, different game.

Not surprising that some NFL games are looking like high scoring CFL style games. Many offenses have ditched the run 2 downs then throw, then run or punt method. They have spread offenses, and roll out QB's with 4 downs to play with instead of 3. However, in the NFL for every Giants and Saints games, I would say, 80% of the other NFL games are no where near that exciting.

I know I am in the minority, but other than the first 5 weeks of games, I have enjoyed the CFL season. Lots of close games, and absolutely dominate defenses at times has been fun. Has there ever been a season where you can see a pick 6 interception in many of the games. Other than the Riders D, the defenses of most teams have had dominant games this year. Edm, Hamilton, Montreal, Calgary, and Ottawa have all had their defenses hand them games.

The league needs not only healthy starting QB's, but many of the top players in the league have missed good portions of the season.

That part I do find unfortunate.