LAST WEEK 3-1
We`ve been on a nice roll as of late, but MAN, I was really convinced that the upset was on the horizon in Edmonton during Week 10! Although there doesn’t seem to be many upsets on the horizon during this week’s slate of CFL games, the Labour Day Weekend is a STAPLE of the Canadian Football League and all of these games promise to be EXCITING!!!
Thanks to our good friends at CJ Evans Home Designs for giving us the ability to present these picks, and I hope they do you some good during your cigarette breaks, and water cooler conversations!
Let`s jump to it…
BC at Toronto
Getting Ricky Ray back surely boosts the confidence level of anyone that is associated with Argonauts Football. The fact still remains that this is the 2nd best team in the CFL coming into BMO field that may benefit a tad more than normal with a 7:30 start time. Fall has arrived folks, and what that means for the Double Blue is that the organization cannot continually rely on the lure of “Tailgating” to bring in fans. The Argos need to start winning. It doesn`t matter how deep the pockets go in Toronto`s ownership group, the bottom line is that it’s hard enough getting fans interested when the team is competitive let alone when they’re not.
The ask may be too steep against a Lions squad that bounced back nicely against the Ottawa RedBlacks during Week 10.
Pick: The Lions
Ottawa at Montreal
With all the changes happening on the RedBlacks Defensive side of the ball, one wonders what the film has REALLY looked like over the past few games in the Nations Capital?
This match-up might actually be made ‘in heaven’ when one considers the struggling Offence of the Als, and the sketchy Defence in Ottawa. Mix that with the home-field advantage of McGill stadium and there just may be a shot at what many would consider an upset.
One still has to respect that the RedBlacks just went toe-to-toe with the Lions last week, and Rick Campbell will have his team prepared to play in a game that means EVERYTHING if one looks at the Eastern Conference standings.
Things may not be pretty in the beginning, and even the middle, but one would expect that Ottawa understands the value in front of them with Hamilton and Toronto about to duke it out in a home-at-home series.
Pick: The Ottawa RedBlacks
Edmonton at Calgary
I’m anticipating Edmonton’s true colours to come out in this Battle of Alberta series. As a matter of fact, the Eskimos true colours showed a bit in their Week 10 match-up with Saskatchewan that they dam near lost. In Calgary, the defending Grey Cup Champs have their toughest game in 3 weeks. If there are any holes in the armour of the Esks (which we have discussed here on Pro Perspective), CFL fans will find them against the best team in the CFL.
The majority of the load is about to put on Mike Reilly’s shoulders, but it’s important to note that Mike Benevides may not get away with rolling out the relatively vanilla scheme that the Eskimos have employed against the last 3 opponents.
Calgary has a great opportunity here to continue to build, and at the same time bring a provincial foe back to reality.
Pick: The Stamp Machine
Winnipeg @ Saskatchewan
The over-arching theme of the upcoming game seems to be,
“It’s Labour Day; The Riders don’t lose on Labour Day!!!”
If that statement is to be true, then Saskatchewan Roughrider fans and supports better hope that the Green and White are playing the Winnipeg Rifles of the CJFL, because the squad that is coming into Mosaic Stadium is one of the hottest CFL teams in the league and is clicking on all cylinders…
This is absolutely not the time for ceremonial jargon.
A victory in this game is going to require the Roughriders best TEAM effort to date.
Right now the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are playing OUTSTANDING defence. They’re starting to get to the QB, and they’ve amassed a staggering 18 interceptions, NINE of them being in their last two games. To put that into #ProPerspective, the next closest team has 8 picks.
I’m going to go with the Bombers unfortunately, but the fact that this is Labour Day equates to the beloved home team having a legitimate shot.
The problem with Winnipeg is that they’re playing such solid Defence. Right now, the only phase that the Riders have been able to produce in; is OFFENCE.
In fact, many analysts would point out that last week’s game in Edmonton, against the Esks, was a bit of an anomaly for the Green and White.
Unfortunately, if Saskatchewan is not able to consistently move the ball and score TDs, with the Riders documented struggles on Defence, things don’t seem positive. #TheBestDefenceIsaGoodOffence
What’s more is that Offensive Coordinator Paul LaPolice has found a way to consistently capitalize on the talent of Andrew Harris, while turning the rest of his cast into great complimentary pieces.
The Bombers utilize their big play RB on the ground, but have also turned Harris into a receiver that is averaging 9.2 yards a catch. Out of all of the offensive Free Agent talent that Kyle Walters brought in over the past off-season, Harris has paid the most dividends.
With the effort that it will take to stop number 33 being primarily put on the shoulders of the Defensive Front 6 (including LBs), one has to ask the question, has the Defensive front shown that they can consistently stop a determined running attack? One must answer this honestly, and the HONEST answer is “no”.
Despite it being Labour Day, one cannot base a forecast on feelings, or more importantly, history.
The Winnipeg Blue Bombers are doing just enough Offensively to cross the goal line a couple of times per game, or position themselves for Justin Medlock to kick them to victory (he was 6/6 last game).
That may not sound like a winning Offensive formula, but when one couples that with the fact that the Blue and Gold Defence that is able to supplement their scoring and starting field position; the odds do not seem to be in the Roughriders favour.
The Labour Day classic is an unreal game to be a part of. I’ve got so many fond memories that surround this particular time of year that I cannot wait to take the atmosphere in as an onlooker.
Sadly, the Bombers have the formula that may take a raucous Mosaic Stadium crowd out of it early. Offensively they can do just enough, defensively they can dominate, and the Special Teams may favour the away team too when one considers the consistency (in WINDY games) of Justin Medlock.
Pick: The Winnipeg Blue Bummers.
Toronto at Hamilton
Never mind the fact that this game is a ‘Bush League’ scheduling error, but the Argos head into Hamilton on 5 days rest in one of the biggest games of the year.
Hamilton on the other hand, is coming off of a loss to Calgary and plenty of rest…Advantage TiCats.
Hopefully Ricky Ray makes it through the BC Lions game today without injury because that`s the only way that Toronto looks like they`ll compete against a Hamilton squad that is anxious to get back to work after going 4 quarters against the Stampeders where they showed that they are to be taken seriously as Zach Collaros gets back into form.
This may be an OFFSIDES podcast topic, but for the life of me I cannot figure out what the plan is with Toronto`s QB position. Every time Ricky Ray hits the field, there is now the same anxiousness that the Montreal fans experienced as Anthony Calvillo’s career was winding down. The Double Blue are hanging on to the coattails of a legendary Quarterback who is one hit away from shutting it down for good.
Pick: The TiCats