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 ...like 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:
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.