After being dealt a truly awful hand by the league in 2017, the Ottawa Redblacks and R-Nation don’t have much to complain about the 2018 schedule.
vs Montreal (May 31st)
WEEK 1 BYE
vs Saskatchewan (June 21st)
@ Calgary (June 28th)
@Montreal (July 6th)
vs Calgary (July 12th)
vs BC (July 20th)
@ Ticats (July 28th)
@ Toronto (August 2nd)
vs Montreal (August 11th)
@ Winnipeg (August 17th)
Week 11 BYE
vs Montreal (August 31st)
@ BC (September 7th)
@ Saskatchewan (September 15th)
vs Edmonton (September 22nd)
WEEK 16 BYE
vs Bombers (October 5th)
@ Edmonton (October 13th)
vs Ticats (October 19th)
@ Ticats (October 27th)
vs Toronto (November 2nd)
Firstly, the Redblacks’ bye weeks are spread out, coming in Weeks One, Eleven and Sixteen. That’s about a million times better than last year’s ridiculous two byes over the last three weeks.
Secondly, Ottawa closes out the 2018 season with three games against Eastern opponents (a home and home with the Ticats and at home vs the Argos). Given that the division will likely still be up for grabs, the advantage of playing two of the final three regular season games at home vs Eastern rivals cannot be overstated.
Furthermore, the Redblacks really don’t get screwed at any point by having to play multiple games in a short period of time, with the shortest span between any two games being five days (and occurring only once).
Continuing along those lines, the Redblacks don’t have to go on the road for more than two weeks at any point in the year, which is another huge boon.
In terms of home games, R-Nation should be happy that every game is in the evening, minus Week 15’s tilt against the Eskimos, which takes place at 4pm. Even the breakdown of the home games is fan friendly, with two on Thursday, five on Friday and two on Saturday.
With all that said, no schedule is perfect and if one wanted to nitpick, the Redblacks face a brutal opening five weeks, with four of their five games coming against Western opponents (including Calgary twice).
Also, for whatever reason, Ottawa only has a single pre-season game scheduled. The Argos seem to be in the same boat, so perhaps the league is still working on a neutral site location for a pre-season game between the two; think Quebec City, Kingston, Laval or maybe even Halifax.
All in all, nobody in the nation’s capital should be complaining about next year’s schedule.
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