Thursday, 20 October 2016

Picking Week 18 in the CFL


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Now that we're back in the saddle, here's our picks for WEEK 18 in the CFL (minus the Saskatchewan Roughrider game that we'll dive into on Saturday before kick-off).  In true CFL fashion the only thing that's set in stone is the plight of the Calgary Stampeders, and because of that, we're all in for a GREAT finish.

Let's get into it!  Thanks to our partners at CJ Evans Home Designs for making this possible!

Hamilton @ Ottawa

Much of the attention in the CFL has been focused on the teams in the West, and consequently, this battle for the top spot in the Eastern Division has taken a bit of a backseat.  One of the major reasons why this has happened is due to the fact that everyone seems to have written off the entire Eastern Conference. 

With a miniscule gap seperating them in the standings, both squads will tell you that this is a must-win.

However, if we look at the schedule after this week’s match-up, I’d venture to say that it’s far more important for Ottawa to come out on top.  The RedBlacks have a back-to-back against a Winnipeg Blue Bombers team that will be in a dogfight for Western positioning until the end of the year.  Hamilton has the Edmonton Eskimos, who are a part of that fight, but the TiCats get to finish the season in Montreal against an Alouettes with ZERO to play for.   

Schedule Advantage: Hamilton.  There is ZERO cushion in the Nation’s Capital.

I’m taking the Ottawa RedBlacks and I’ve got two words to back it up...Henry...Burris.  Who better than a sure fire Hall Of Famer to be Quarterbacking your squad in the most important phase of the season?  It’s all about experience, and the composure that comes along with it.

Don’t buy into the media factions that are selling the idea that Hamilton is in trouble.  They’ve got the talent necessary to get it done; the Black and Gold just need to find their footing, and some consistency. 

One of the things I loved most about playing in the CFL was the fact that in some way, somehow, the end of the season always involved a lot of fireworks.  I don’t think I was ever a part of a team that could afford to coast into the last few weeks of the year and I’m sure that everyone involved wouldn’t have it any other way.

This game is a GREAT way to kick off an exciting finish to 2017.

Pick:  The Ottawa RedBlacks

Toronto @ Calgary

Not much to this game.  Many hate the fact that the Toronto Quarterback situation has become a circus act with a number of main attractions, and sadly that’s not the only thing that seems to be tearing at the fabric of the Argonauts. 

I remember being part of a Montreal Team (in 2012) that seemed to hold its collective breath every time the LEGENDARY Anthony Calvillo got hit, and the situation with the Double Blue seems to have taken on the same fate. 

Expect Calgary to roll in this one.  For those questioning how the Stamps will approach the last two games of the year, might I remind you that the Stampeders are staring down the barrel of the same gun the Defending Grey Cup Champion Edmonton Eskimos were last year.  With a Week 20 BYE, and the additional week off that they have earned by dominating the league, Calgary is looking at a 3 week layoff before competing in the Western Conference Finals.  The CFL’s best team needs to take advantage of all the reps they can get from here on out.

Pick: The Stampeders

Edmonton @ BC

What a fantastic way to end WEEK 18 in the CFL! 

Welcome to the Western Division folks.  This game between the Lions and Esks has three storylines attached to it.

Not only is the playoff cross-over (which looks juicy) a piece of the puzzle; but there’s still a very real opportunity for both teams to earn a home-playoff game by finishing 2nd.  Finally, the spot that NOBODY wants (which is 3rd place in the West) lays waiting for whichever team flinches first.  This is the type of game that people have come to expect from the West in Mid-October.

If the BC Lions can manage to avoid the turnovers that plagued them in both of their losses to Winnipeg, one may be inclined to give them the edge because they’re at home.  I’m going to go in the opposite direction and give the nod to the Championship Mentality of the Edmonton Eskimos, and much like the Ottawa/Hamilton pick, I like the Quarterback!
All eyes on the leadership of Mike Reilly from here on out.  Much has been made of the fact that he's a guy that teammates would run through a wall for, but more importantly, the Esks will need his toughness and character to will them through the adverse the tough times ahead.  With the sense of urgency that surrounds this time of the year, and one or two plays separating a WIN and a LOSS, there's nobody better to have leading a group than #13.

Pick: The Reigning, and Defending Grey Cup Champions.

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