Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Picking Week 20 of the CFL


It’s been a crazy week here at ProPerspective.ca and we apologize for the lack of content going all the way back to the Calgary game but instead of lamenting on what was let’s look ahead to a pretty cool week of games scheduled before we all hit the CFL Playoffs!!!
Surprisingly enough, the schedule isn’t as dull as one may think considering a few more things are now clearer in the CFL Grey Cup picture.  As we look into week 20, there are still a few neat things to keep your eye out for.
Let’s jump straight in.  Here are your Week 20 CFL picks brought to you by our friends at CJ Evans Home Designs!!!
Winnipeg @ Toronto
There will be as much talk about change in Winnipeg as there’s going to be in Saskatchewan this off season.  It’s getting harder and harder to justify all positions within the organization including GM, Head Coach, and some Players.  I recently read a fantastic article by future CFL Hall of Famer Doug Brown that pointed out various spots of trouble within the franchise, and also questioned the scheme by which the players are expected to win with, on both sides of the ball.
Nobody will be surprised if Offensive Coordinator Marcel Bellefueille gets fired at the end of the year, however we all know that will be more of a “public offering” that will only put a small Band-Aid on a wound that requires stitching.  The real question in Winnipeg is, will there be something substantial done in order to be a real competitor in a division that didn’t take many large steps in 2015?
With the season now over for the Blue Bombers it makes it that much harder for their players to go into Toronto against a team that has plenty to play for and put forth their best effort. 
If I’m a player in the Blue and Gold, my focus is on trying to get an “exit meeting” done prior to the road trip so I can simply bring all my belongings, and take advantage of the convenience of flying out of Pearson International after the game…Home for Thanksgiving.
Pick:  Toronto
Hamilton @ Ottawa
Part two of the home-at-home series promises fireworks!  1st place is still a possibility for the TiCats, so long as they win by more than 7, and the RedBlacks look to put an exclamation mark on the slide that Hamilton has taken since Franchise QB Zach Collaros went down.
The media has done well to try and keep the bad blood boiling between these two teams.  Questionable calls and choice words are always a solid opportunity for “billboard material” in some players’ minds, but it’s up to the coaches to keep things in perspective, and relay to their players that this game will not be won just because they’re madder than the other team!
Hamilton is going to need another profound defensive effort this week and may even need to score a TD in order to put the Tabbies in the position to win. As fans you’ll see another youngster at the helm of the TiCats (Jacory Harris) which is why I make the case for the D having to score.  Harris will need all the support he can get, and that will mean that the D needs to play as they always have this year, and Jeff Reinebolds Special Teams will have to provide good field position for the young QB to start drives.
Regardless of who wins this contest, it’s great for both teams that things have come down to the last week.  Having to play your best football going into the playoffs ensures that your team will be primed and ready to attack the semi-final, or leave for the playoff bye-week on a high note.
I’ve repeated it all year.  Teams have to be playing their best football going into the CFL knock-out rounds.  This game ensures that both will be ready for whatever is thrown at them.
Pick: Ottawa
Calgary @ BC
Two teams that are guaranteed to see each other in the first round of the playoffs…What a perfect opportunity to send a message; physically and mentally.
At the beginning of the year I stated that the BC Lions wouldn’t shoot out of a cannon but they’d be a team that would be primed to make some noise by the end of the year.  It seems as though my sentiments have come true.  Don’t sleep on the BC Lions at all, provided they stick with Jonathon Jennings.  In fact, of the two Conference Semi-Finals, I’d argue that if we saw an upset, it would be the Lions beating the Stamps.
That’s why this game is so important to both squads.  It’s a chance to set the tone and let the opposition think about what type of battle they have coming to them in the playoffs.
Calgary’s saving grace came with the addition of Jerome Messam.  Dave Dickenson (Cgys OC) is going to have to feed Mess constantly in order to wear down the BC Lions Defensive front that is really coming into its own as of late.  If the Stampeders can string long drives together, they may just edge a very confident bunch in orange and black.  Longer drives build confidence, but also play into the fact that it keeps a potent Leos attack off the field.  There’s just something about BC right now that scares me.  As we all say, it doesn’t matter how, teams just have to get into the dance.  When they’re there, anything goes.  The Lions may surprise us all.
Pick: Calgary.  I feel like they HAVE TO WIN THIS GAME and stop the Lions dead in their tracks, otherwise they’ll be in huge trouble.
Saskatchewan @ Montreal
This game is on an NFL Sunday, and features two teams that will have their lockers 90% cleared out already.  Both teams have endured tough seasons, and both have a LONG off-seasons ahead of them.
Saskatchewan has been in the “nothing to play for” phase longer than the Montreal Alouettes, so one can jokingly suggest that they bring the more experienced squad!!!
I’m pretty sure that people are anticipating the conversations that will happened AFTER this game vs. the conversations that go on before it. 
Regardless; every young player that takes the field on Sunday will be doing so hopefully understanding two things…the future is uncertain, and they may as well get the best film out of it as possible.
For every aging vet, this may be it.  They’ve put everything that they have into being a professional athlete from the first time they laid their eyes on a pair of shoulder pads, and now this; one final Sunday.  One final day to live out a dream.  The final whistle may signal a lot more than the end of the game for some.  Obviously we’ll hope and pray for them that that’s not the case, but unfortunately, if we’ve learned anything from this year in Riderville, it’s that this is a crazy BUSINESS.
Pick: Montreal

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