Montreal @ Toronto
Who knows where this game is being played? At this point the CFL may announce that things will go down in the parking lot of Canada’s Wonderland near Woodbridge Ont. The disrespect that the Double Blue is FORCED to endure is a stain on this league, and the fact that the CFL and its commissioner seem to be turning a blind eye to the ordeal will surely be a blemish to the early tenure of Jeffrey Orridge.
We’ll go with Toronto in this one. The reason is simple. The Argos have the Head Coach and the right mix of vets to drive home the point that this is the time they need to start peaking, regardless of the ways that the Rogers Centre tries to bully them and the CFL. As a matter of fact, one gets the feeling that the Argos are beginning to embrace the BS and use it as fuel for the fire as they head into their Grey Cup Run.
For all intents and purposes, the Montreal Alouettes will be a formidable opponent for the Boatmen, so please don’t take this as a one sided affair. As a matter of fact, if the Als play Defense the way they are capable of, they may find themselves in a position to win the game in the 4th Quarter. At this point our prediction is based more on the fact that the Argos have been a contender from the start of the year, and when a team has that mindset early, and things comes to fruition, that team is playing with a total different set of expectations than a team that is just “trying to get in the dance”.
Pick: Argos, even if they have to play in Nunavit, which isn’t a stretch at this point.
Hamilton @ BC
We’re going with the BC Lions this week!!!
Yes, that seems like a huge gamble considering most of the media and CFL fan sees this game as an open and shut case for the TiCats, but the Lions have played some good football over the last couple of weeks that included a fun game to watch as they put the Edmonton Eskimos to the test in a nail-biter during week 17.
Special Teams is going to be the difference maker for the Lions. They’re going to have to win the field position battle, and maybe even score or (at the very least) set up a score for their Jonathon Jennings-led attack. On the flipside, they’ll have to smother Brandon Banks…I’m talking “white on rice” type of coverage.
If the Leos can do that, one has to give them a fair chance in the other phases of the game. It’s not like BC is THAT much further behind Hamilton, in terms of talent. They’ll need a monster effort upfront with the Dline, and Jennings is going to have to make the correct reads QUICKLY against an aggressive Tabbies defensive scheme.
There’s nothing like the opportunity to prove ones detractors wrong. As professional athletes, these guys thrive in situations where there is a significant amount of doubt that’s trying to affect the teams focus. With 3 weeks left, the backs of the BC Lions seem to be getting mighty close to the wall. Hopefully they’ll react to being put into the proverbial ‘corner’.
Ottawa @ Winnipeg
To my surprise, Vegas has the odds in favour of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. We’re going to go ahead and pick against Las Vegas and their greasy sports bookies.
Even after Ottawa looked like they were trying to give the Blue Bombers the game throughout the entire 2nd half, it doesn’t seem like Winnipeg possess that “next step” that all good teams are capable of taking. The Bombers always seem to be __________ away from having a “W” in the win/loss column. I use the ‘fill in the blank’ example because it always seems like the Bombers will find some way to lose the football game, as opposed to finding some way to WIN.
Don’t be surprised if Ottawa looks much better the second time around, even if they are going into IG Field. The RedBlacks made some very correctable mistakes in the first game, and if those mistakes are remedied in the sequel, one can’t expect the home team to stand there and go punch for punch with a Hall of Fame QB that has games where he looks like he’s 28 again.
Pick: Burris…I mean Ottawa…Yes, the Ottawa RedBlacks
Edmonton @ Saskatchewan
Two great franchises headed in completely opposite directions. Unfortunately for Ridernation, these next 3 weeks are going to be spent playing “Arm Chair Scouting Director” as the Green and White will be in fully fledged “evaluation” mode for the remaining schedule.
For all those who’ve been constantly saying, “We should get a look at so and so…” You’re wish is about to become true.
It’s anyone’s guess as to what direction the Saskatchewan Roughriders are headed in. There’s uncertainty in every phase of this proud organization, and for the time being, the foggy cloud that is the future of the Green and White doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, anytime soon.
The only thing that is guaranteed right now, to anyone in the prairies, is that we’ll have this edition of the 2015 Saskatchewan Roughriders for 3 more weeks. They’ll be a whole bunch of new guys getting an opportunity to put their abilities on tape, and as uninspiring as that may sound for the “Green Goggled Demanding Rider Fan” this may be the only pro opportunity that some guys will ever have. As a former pro, I’m excited for the guys that get a chance to build their resume, but I understand that this perspective is a far cry from what the ENTIRE league thought in early June.
This has truly been a crazy year…and it’s not over...the opponent on Saturday is a legitimate Grey Cup contender. There will be no feeling sorry for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.