Last week: 1-3
We got bitten by the uncontrollable last week, and a bit of absurdness in the Montreal vs Ottawa game and as much as we all wanted the Saskatchewan Loss to TO pick to be wrong, it ended up being the only game Pro Perspective got right.
As usual, the goal is to improve and I feel good about the games that we have on deck in Week 3 of CFL action!
No need to waste time...Here are our CJ Evans Home Designs CFL Pick-EM choices!
WINNIPEG @ HAMILTON
Being a former player I always have trouble picking teams that have lost a couple of games in a row, regardless of who they’re playing next. I’ve felt what it was like to be on the other end of dropping consecutive games. Practises become more intense, meeting rooms become more focused, and the media scrum questions become more poignant.
Teams that are in tough situations, like the Blue Bombers, usually start centralizing a focus point.
You’ll hear coaches and players talking about taking things ‘one play at a time’ or the need to ‘play a full 60 minutes’ but really what the end result is aimed at is consolidating the locker room; it’s not to define a reason why they are losing.
Coaches never want to give a “play for the guy next to you” speech in the 3rd week of the season because that dialogue is normally reserved for times of adversity. Unfortunately, at this point Coach Mike O’Shea may need to consider something along that line because a loss in the Coffee Grounds will have the media “Fire ______?!?” narratives out louder than ever.
There is a common theme that can be highlighted in this match-up…Justin Medlock.
I was especially vocal about how crucial the Medlock’s signing was for both Winnipeg AND Hamilton over the off-season. Last week Hamilton missed 3 FG’s in points that were crucial for the score board but absolutely deflating to any gathering momentum.
The TiCats need every point they can get out of tomorrow’s game and it’s imperative that Brett Maher give the Tabbies the consistency that they had prior to Medlock bailing. The Cats are also still in need of finding a suitable replacement in at least one of the two DB spots that were vacated due to injury’s during training camp. One can bet that Richie Hall is going to have a game plan that takes away the running ability of Jeremiah Masoli, and with Winnipeg’s offensive struggles, this may turn into a game where momentum may be up for grabs.
I’m going to take Hamilton here because of their ability to get to Drew Willy with their Defensive Front, and the expectation that they shore up their secondary. Jeremiah Masoli has to play well, but I’m sure that Coach Austin will continue to cater to his specific abilities.
Let’s take a quick look at the Bombers before we move on. This might be a MUST-WIN for Winnipeg! It’s next 3 opponents are Edmonton, Calgary, and Edmonton. Kyle Walters threw a bunch of money at a Fantasy Team this off-season. If the Bombers don’t win here, they may mess around and be 0-5 heading into Week 7 where they see that TiCats again. #JobsOnTheLine
Pick: TiCats in a close one and John Chick coming up big.
TORONTO @ BC
Thus far BC has done an outstanding job capitalizing on opponent’s mistakes, and utilizing a run game. The most surprising part about the Lions is that they’ve been getting to the QB effectively and that was a question mark going into 2016 for the team with the CFLs best new uniforms!
We’ll keep this short and sweet, but that’s not taking away from the Argonauts ability to play in Vancouver. I just really like the Lions Offensive Game Plan vs. Rich Stubler’s coverage based D. If BC can establish the Line of Scrimmage, it’ll take away from the Argos ability to operate in the 2nd and 7+ situations that they want to thrive on.
One of the other aspects I like about the Lions as it stands against Toronto is the Special Teams phase of the game. The ability to affect Field Position through Special Teams play may be the difference maker out on the coast.
Pick: The Lions to make it 3-0. #WallysBack
CALGARY @ OTTAWA
In a game that has the potential to turn into a shootout, I like Ottawa’s ability to keep scoring. I think the best way for Calgary to play this one is to continue to ride Jerome Messam in order to keep Ottawa’s Offence OFF the field. That may be the best way to keep Trevor Harris and CO from finding holes in a Stampeder Defence that hasn’t found an identity YET. It’s still young, and I like the re-match of these two teams more than I like this initial faceoff.
Marcel Desjardins needs to never pay for a meal again in the Capital City with the way his decisions have paid off in Ottawa. It’s been a joy to watch the RedBlacks thrive in a city that has invested itself in a football atmosphere.
We’re going with the RedBlacks.
SASKATCHEWAN @ EDMONTON
Last week I picked Saskatchewan to lose to the visiting Argos even though I felt like it was an extremely winnable game for the Green and White. It’s always tough picking against the organization that gave me my first shot at being a professional athlete but at this stage of their development I’m pretty sure it won’t be the first or last time.
Week 3 has the Saskatchewan Roughriders hitting the road in one of the CFL’s toughest buildings to win in. Despite visiting the defending Grey Cup Champs who feature some of the best talent in the league this is still a VERY WINNABLE game for Darian Durant and his band of brothers.
Here’s what gives the Green and White a good chance. During the Edmonton Eskimos home opener in WK 1 despite playing well offensively, the Esks gave up nearly 600 yards of total Offence to the Ottawa RedBlacks in what was a rematch of last years Championship Game. NEARLY 600 yards!!!
The game was entertaining as hell for the casual observer, however football purists and defensive minded fans were probably questioning the lack of ingenuity that Benevides’ scheme exhibited. What’s more is that when one considers the roster of defensive talent that is on that Edmonton side, one may scratch their head and ask why weren’t they taking advantage of the guys they have at their disposal?
Either way, if Benevides didn’t spend the entire Bye-Week re-considering the way he was going to attack a CFL offence, the Riders may walk in to Commonwealth and stun the 2015 Champs who are already 0-1. The Face of the Franchise in Riderville (#4) looked GOOD in his 2016 debut, and he’s got the weapons that will gladly advance the ball downfield against a defensive playbook that is not “up to snuff.”
The Edmonton Defence features some of the best in the business. Their front 4 is one of the best, they’ve got a high IQ tackling machine in JC Sherrit, and Patrick Watkins running the backfield. Unfortunately for the Esks, those guys have to be put into a position to succeed before their able to use their unreal talent.
Now the bad news…The Edmonton Offence looked to be in mid-season form despite losing to Ottawa and they may have an advantage when it comes to the battle of the trenches. It’s a similar situation to the Riders last game, but the crew that surrounds the Oline for the Green and Gold is a lot more dangerous.
In their first outing one could tell that Jason Maas had a clear vision for how he was going to utilize his FOUR-HEADED monster of Reilly, Bowman, Walker, and White. The new HC/OC moved each of his guys around in certain scenarios in order to maximize their situational football value.
This unit might be a tough assignment for the fledgling Roughrider defenders despite Ed Gainey re-entering the fray. It’s really going to be interesting to see how the Eskimos play their cards on Friday. They may aim to control the ball and clock with a steady dose of the run game, in order to keep their D off the field, or they may be quite comfortable sticking with what worked and relying on a game plan that aired it out 80% of the time (which I feel gives the Riders a better chance #shootout).
I’m taking Edmonton this week despite being almost certain that the Riders can pull this off. At the end of the day I think that an offence led by Mike Reilly can make up for the schematic deficiencies that may hinder the defensive personnel. We have to believe that Edmonton will look to execute some different concepts on the Defensive side of that ball, especially with the resources they have at their disposal.
It’s got all the makings of an upset but I just can’t get over the slight disparity in the trenches at this point in the season.
Pick: The Reigning and Defending Grey Cup Champs.