Week 8 is just around the corner folks and I for one am looking forward to a solid week of CFL ball. Chris Jones and his squad trek out East to lead us off, and a very interesting inter-conference game between Ottawa and Calgary ends the week early on a Saturday. I’ll jump back on the wheel to try and give you guys some ideas to use for your CFL conversations, but I’ll pass the reigns back to a very special guest to help with our picks next week. For all those who want to take in some ball in Saskatchewan during the Roughriders bye week, look out for the Regina Thunder kicking off their season at Mosaic Stadium on Saturday. Come on out and support your boys as they look to go 1-0 to start the season off right.
Other than that, let’s jump into it right away here. Enjoy the weather folks! Get out there and grill something!!!
Edmonton @ Montreal
Lately the Alouettes have looked a lot like the Saskatchewan Roughriders in that they`ve lost games due to costly turnovers and mistakes. Count me in on still being with the Rakeem Cato believers, and I`m looking forward to seeing Fred Stamps run against his old squad and that high effort defence. If one matches these teams up personnel for personnel, the battle is fairly even until one gets to the defense. Edmonton gets the nod at most of the defensive positions and that`s why I`ll take the Eskimos in Montreal. Could be closer than one thinks however. Edmonton`s Offense is pretty average, and if Adarius Bowman can`t roll or is bothered by his ailments then they`ll have their work cut out for them.
Montreal is a tough place to get a win in during the summer months when everyone is sitting out on patios making toasts, so don`t expect the Eskimos to just walk into McGill Stadium and blow the struggling Alouettes out.
Toronto @ Winnipeg
I read a lot of what former Blue Bomber and CFL great Doug Brown contributes to the Winnipeg Free Press. He’s the only guys worth listening to in the province down the street. He’s a big Robert Marve fan, and for what it’s worth, I like the kid too. The former Purdue Boilermaker may be the only shot that the Bombers have in order to beat the Toronto Argonauts who will limp into Investors Group Field with a ton of injuries. Football players love to play for a guy like Mike O’shea, that’s why I’m sure it’s disheartening to watch Winnipeg continually get outcoached in all phases. Things aren’t easy for the Bombers here in the next month. After Toronto they’ve got Calgary, and the back-to-back Labour Day-Banjo Bowl games which are always a street fight. Finding a win is going to be a grind.
BC @ Hamilton
If you listened to our Offsides Podcast, or read our Monday Mailbag, you’ll know how much of a fan I am of the way the TiCats franchise has gone about their business over the last couple of years. Right now they’re the best team in the league…hands down. BC’s win at home against Edmonton was great, but going into Hamilton where an opponent hasn’t won yet, against a team that can score in any phase of the game, at any moment, is a much different ball game. Keep a close eye on how the Lions try to get Andrew Harris the rock. For them to succeed against anyone he’s gotta touch the ball at least 14-24times a game. With Hamilton keeping its opponents under 72 yards per game, scheming Harris into the Lions attack may seem problematic (on the ground anyway). Travis Lulay has continued to try and hit the long ball against his opponents this year without any consistent success. What’s scary to watch about that is that he’s been close, and with his OLine blocking well for him, everyone sees that if he does start hitting his guys in stride along the vertical seams the Lions have the potential to score in droves.
That may be the key to the game. Hamilton has to avoid the big play (15+ yards in one play) and take away their heart and soul Andrew Harris. There’s nothing incredibly special about the Lions D, so if the TiCats handle their biz on D, they should be ok in the Donut Box.
Calgary @ Ottawa
I don’t even know if one can say that they’re going out on a limb here and picking Ottawa? The RedBlacks are legit, and for us to act like they’re just sitting around fluking these victories off would be to disrespect the hard work that these guys are clearly putting in. Everyone I know is picking Calgary in this game and I do think that they should come out on top, but I’m tired of getting burned every time I pick against Ottawa! The want to become road warriors, they’re tied for 1st in their division, they’re the 2nd best team against the pass in the CFL, and they’ve got incredible momentum behind them in the locker room.
(In my head I can hear John Hufnagel saying, “Men, we got them right where we want them!”)
I’m throwing on some ugly plaid and breaking out my nerf chainsaw!!! Shout out to my Dawgs and a couple of former Riders Keith Shologan and Zack Evans. It starts in the trenches and these two have been playing outside of their minds lately. DO WORK.
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