Thursday, 11 August 2016

Picking WEEK 8 in the CFL

Last Week: 3-1

Leave it to the STINKIN Blue Bombers to spoil a 4-0 week last week!  I'm obviously not that mad at them though because we picked them this week.

Instead of giving away all the picks now, check them out below!  I hope this adds to your Pre-Game Convo's starting TONIGHT!

As always, this Pick-Em is brought to you by my buddy Chris Evans and his company Cj Evans Home Designs..

Lets ROLL...

Montreal @ Edmonton
Geez!  It’s tough to pick between two teams that one has absolutely ZERO confidence in!

Curiously, I have a gut feeling about Montreal in this game.  Even I’m perplexed as to why; if one reads anything coming out of La Belle Province as of late, all signs are pointing to collapse. 
 There may even be a hint of doubt creeping in about the qualifications of Offensive Coordinator Anthony Calvillo…Hmmm???  I wonder where we’ve heard that before?!?!? #OffsidesPodcast #ProPerspective

I’m pretty sure that I’ve ignored my gut feeling a number of time now to my own peril but there’s no way that my gut could be right about this one!

In true struggling team vs. struggling team fashion, this game may be a case of one team having a lot more wrong with them than the other team.  At this point it seems like the only thing that we SHOULD take into account.

 If that is the case, I’ll take Edmonton’s issues over Montreal’s issues.

Pick: The Reigning, Defending Gre…Scratch that…The Soon to Be Dethroned Edmonton Eskimos?

Winnipeg @ Toronto

There’s something in me that won’t allow me to be completely sold on Matt Nichols.  Although I do think he is a better option moving forward than Drew Willy is, I still can’t get passed the niche I may have ignorantly carved out for him, which is back-up QB.  Maybe it’s because he simply hasn’t had the time to completely find his groove with a squad?  All signs point to a boatload of time to sort things out in Bomberville so hopefully he continues his upward trend.
At first it felt like we haven’t seen the Argos play in an eternity, and then I realized that the Boatmen have been on their bye-week which gave Toronto’s back-up QB, Logan Kilgore, plenty of time to dissect his body of work from his 2016 debut in Ottawa.
I’m going to use the ability to run the football here when it comes to this game.  Take note, because it is a theme we’ll re-visit when it comes to our final analysis of the night.  Andrew Harris may be Paul LaPolice’s best friend in TO, and if Winnipeg can methodically carve out manageable 2nd downs, and consistently put together some lengthy drives, it may turn out to be just what the doctor ordered in terms of not allowing Kilgore to catch a rhythm with his pass-catchers he has at his disposal.
Behind a Winnipeg Defence that has been playing well in spots all year, and is now getting some rest in between drives, I have confidence in the Winnipeg Blue Bombers to get the job done on the road.
WOW!  Confidence in the Bummers!!!  Never said that before!!
Pick:  The Blue Bombers to continue to build on their momentum!
Hamilton @ BC
You guys know what I think about the BC Lions (hint: I like em), so we won’t spend time ogling over all of their impressive characteristics.
Instead, we’ll take a look at the fact that Zach Collaros is making his return. 
It’s important to note that this is NOT the Zach Collaros that we all came to adore in 2015, and that’s big because there is a certain amount of mystery surrounding his return.
Maybe mystery makes it seem too gloomy, but there should be some questions that we ask before we hop right back on the TiCat Bandwagon…

I’ll be curious to see how long it takes for Collaros to get his “sea legs” under him.  I don’t care how much the franchise pivot has practised as of late, there is nothing that one can do to simulate game tempo and intensity.  There may also be a considerable number of mental hurdles that Collaros needs to overcome before he REALLY gets rolling.  Things like how his knee will react to the first real hit, or how mobile is he truly going to be?  Collaros’ mobility was everything to the TiCats because he was constantly able to get out of the pocket and still make accurate throws.

I really like the TiCats prospects now that they’ve got their number one signal caller back, but I’m not sure I want to commit to the Black and Gold until I see a full performance. 

It could go either way for the Tabbies.  Unfortunately for them, this is one of the best (if not the best) teams in the Canadian Football League that Collaros has to deal with right out of the gate.

Pick: British Columbia and the best unis in the League.

Calgary @ Saskatchewan

After watching the 4th Quarter of the Riders/Stamps game last week, I have a fair amount of concern as to whether or not the Saskatchewan Roughriders can pull off a split during this home-at-home series.

The fact that this game is at home with Doubles at the helm, and having knocked off any rust, represents 10 points in my minds eye.  Add another 3 points now that Bo Levi-Mitchell’s dry-snitching has lit a flame under the entire fan base and you have a 13-point cushion to play with before kick-off. 

Not a bad forecast considering the squad only managed 15 pts during the first installment of this back-to-back.

Here’s the problem…In that 4th Quarter, it wasn’t the play calling on either side that did, or didn’t, get it done.  It had nothing to do with schematics.  What scares me about this game is the ability for the Saskatchewan Roughriders to PHYSICALLY execute. 

The way that Calgary was able to establish the Line of Scrimmage was impressive if you’re a trench warfare enthusiast, but disturbing if you’re a Green and White die-hard.  We spend a lot of time talking about ball control (as it relates to the run game) on this blog, and Jerome Messam and the Calgary Stampeders gave us all a PERFECT example of how a ground attack can kill an opponent.  Messam is already a beast to bring down, but he’s almost unstoppable if a team is making first contact with him at the 2nd level where the LB’s and DB’s are. 

The Roughriders simply lost the physically battle on Defence and in turn it prevented the Offence from being able to gather any momentum.  As a matter of fact, I think that Doubles and his crew only ran 7 Offensive plays in that last Q of Thursdays game.  #BallControl

Everybody’s narrative’s are all the same at this point: “Saskatchewan’s Defence has to play better”
Now that’s easy to say because one is able to add strategy into that account but when an opponent is able to impose their will on a competitor, it essentially takes the X’s and O’s completely off the table.

In this case, “playing better” means that the team needs to step up the PHYSICALITY of their approach.

Taking the physical side of things into account, at this point, and unfortunately I’ve written this EXACT same statement in a prior analysis; there may be to much of a disparity between both teams Offensive and Defensive Lines. 

I see the Roughrider hoggies (depending who Saskatchewan rolls out) vs. the Stampeder Dline as a “push” right now and that’s fair because of all the turnover there.  Sadly, there seems to be a distinct advantage upfront when it comes to the Red and White Oline vs the Green and White Dline.

Until that Defensive unit can establish themselves physically, we have give the edge to the
Whaa-mpeders because that’s where the foundations of success begin and end in a football game.

Pick: The Dry-Snitching Stampeders

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