Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Picking WK 12 in the CFL...

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Welcome to another edition of our CFL Pick-Em
Isn’t it nice to be doing this with a win under the belt of the Saskatchewan Roughriders?!?  
Week 12 is all about making a statement!  We’ve got two teams in Hamilton and Calgary that will be looking to cement their foundations at the top of their respective divisions by burying their 2nd place challengers, and provincial rivals; and then we have Ottawa and Saskatchewan looking to make some noise of their own by walking into hostile territory and coming back with W’s.
We’re a couple weeks away from being in all out “Playoff Positioning” mode so hang tough because this will be where the best teams in the league will start peeing in corners and marking their territory.  Every week will have a storyline, and every game will be a treat to the CFL fan base.
We went 2-2 last week partly because we entrusted a Toronto team that has Casey Creehan calling defensive plays, to stake their claim in the Eastern Race…that won’t happen again.  
Thanks for supporting ProPerspective.ca as usual, and we appreciate all the questions that have started coming in now that our Monday Mailbag has made a return.  I hope the following helps you win your bets against your friends, or that annoying know-it-all that played on his high school varsity football teamand can’t let it go!!!
Talk soon folks…
Hamilton @ Toronto 
The Hamilton TiCats are beginning to look scary and despite whatever injury woes they’ve been dealt, the Tabbies not only find a way to get things done, but they’ve been dominant while doing so.  Last week we picked Toronto over the TiCats despite the odds because I felt like it was a make or break game for the Double Blue in terms of actually being able to challenge the Cats for the Eastern Divisions top spot.  It’s now quite evident that Toronto has a ways to go before they are going to be able to give Hamilton a worthy fight.  Whether it’s scheme or the players, the biggest differential so far between Toronto and the Steel City is the defensive units.  Casey Creehan didn’t do nearly enough to put Collaros under pressure and that has to change if Toronto wants to win at home in the Rogers Centre.
No doubt the TiCats are going to look at this back-to-back as an opportunity to put a division rival away for good and one would expect them to come out with the intent to execute at a high level.
Take the Eastern Conference’s best team here…
Pick: Hamilton
Calgary @ Edmonton
I don’t know what the statistics are for a sweep of this series but I’m going to go out on a limb and call it here.  As of Tuesday at 1:52, we still don’t know who the starting QB from the ESKS will be, as we got a brief glimpse of Mike Reilly late in the game, and that will obviously play a HUGE role in the win or loss column.  That’s one of the only drawbacks to doing this column on a Tuesday as opposed to a Weds or Thurs when rosters are more secure.  
Both defenses took the “bend but don’t break” mentality on Monday and the kickers got their fair share of work which is indicative of a game where the combatants are evenly matched.  One would expect more of the same in Week 12.  Back-to-back games aren’t exactly a black and white deal.  Teams aren’t going to make wholesale changes to their approach simply because of things that they identified on film.  Sure, Stubler and Jones, will make minor adjustments, as will both OCs, but for the most part the oneness will be put on the PHYSICAL side of the football, where Calgary may hold the slight edge.
It should be another great game between two teams that are a joy to watch.  I’ll take the Stamp Machine to win the 2nd meeting of the year in a hostile Commonwealth environment.
Pick: Calgary
Ottawa @ BC
BC walking out of Montreal with a WIN was no easy feat, and impressive to say the least.  It’s going to be good to be able to get back home and prepare for a RedBlacks team that is coming off a Bye Week, and it gives John Beck a chance to play his 2ndgame of the year in a friendly location.  Even though Ottawa is 1-3 on the road this year, I like their chances here because of Lulay being out.  The RedBlacks have a great oportunity to leapfrog the Argonauts with a win in BC, and now that we’re getting into the latter stages of the year, playoff positioning is going to be on everyone’s mind.  Ottawa has all the keys to make a run highlighted by a solid defensive unit/scheme and an explosive offense that can hit you in a number of ways.  Look for the RedBlacks to capitalize against a BC Defense that has had its struggles, and keep your eyes peeled for that opportunistic secondary to pounce on any errand balls thrown by the Lions back-up signal-caller.
Pick Ottawa
Saskatchewan @ Winnipeg
It’s funny how momentum works.  For the first time ever in 2015, someone other than the Riders (in this case the Bombers)are at the bottom of almost everyone’s Power Rankings.  Thisdespite having a better record than the Green and White.  It’s a tough business, but in this instance, it’s completely justified.  The Bombers don’t have life right now.  It was such a refreshing sight to see another team shoot itself in the foot with discipline penalties for a change.  While the Riders were mired in their 9 game losing skid, one of the more popular phrases that we linked them to was the “Bad teams find a way to lose” mantra...Saskatchewan will be more than happy to lend that phrase to the Bombers for the rest of the year should they want it.  
Part 2 of the Home-at-home with Winnipeg features a coaching change from the blue and gold plus a QB move, with Matt Nichols getting the nod over the list of QBs that Winnipeg also has to work with.
It’s going to be interesting to see how much chemistry that the receiving core and their new signal-caller can manufacture in the short time period in-between games.  Nichols fall from grace has been eye opening, and there isn’t too many QBs that get a reprieve like the one the former Edmonton Pivot is getting.  I for one hope he does well.  
As for the Green and White, their solid display of football from all 3 phases of the game finally allowed Ridernation to exhale.  It was long-awaited but boy did it ever feel good.
The Riders need to carry that momentum into the Banjo Bowl, because history states that it’s not easy for the Riders to string two of these rivalry games together.  In order to get the win, they’ll need another solid Special Teams day, and another defensive gem from Greg Quick all the way down.  It’s nice to feel like everything is right again in the CFLs biggest market.  Hopefully the Green and White can continue to ride this wave for a little bit and come out with another W in front of the noisiest fan base in the league.
Let’s go with the “feel good storyline” here.  There’s plenty of time for the Riders to come back to reality…
Pick: Saskatchewan

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