CFL Predictor: Week 2 .500 Means I was Half Right, Right?

Week one was all about the upset! Winnipeg and Edmonton came to play in week one and surprised me as well as many other Canadian Football League observers.

Week two will see the first ever game of the Ottawa REDBLACKS and will provide B.C. and Hamilton an opportunity to rebound from disappointing opening week efforts. The biggest question may be whether or not they can rebound. Undeterred after a 2-win, 2-loss opening week here are my thoughts for week 2.

Ottawa REDBLACKS (0-0 1st in East) LW: BYE
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Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1-0 T1st in West) LW: 45-21 win vs. Toronto:

Three Keys:

The Need For Walker To Be a Runner: AS will the case be all season, Ottawa will need running-back Chevon Walker to carry the load offensively. The former Hamilton Tiger-Cat has shown the ability to be a game changer. If he can do that consistently the REDBLACKS will have a chance to succeed.

Hustlin’ Hank: In week one Winnipeg was able to disrupt the timing patterns of the Toronto offence. This week Henry Burris will need to use his mobility to extend plays and put pressure on the Winnipeg secondary.

Don’t Free Willy! Bomber Quarterback Drew Willy was outstaning in week one when he stuck to the parameters of the game plan and simply executed the offence. He needs to stay within himself again this week and manage the game and allow his play makers the ability to do just that.

THE PREDICITION:

To be truthful I was completely caught off guard by the Blue Bombers dominance of Toronto in week one. In large part I think the success came from the familiarity that Winnipeg’s Head Coach Mike O’Shea had with his former team’s systems. I won’t discredit the effort entirely and do think that Winnipeg will rattle off their second win of the season. It won’t be easy but I’ll go with the Bombers in a 21-18 victory.

B.C. Lions (0-1 5th in West) LW: 27-20 loss vs. Edmonton:
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Montreal Alouettes (0-1 T2nd in East) LW: 29-8 loss at Calgary:

Three Keys:

Maul the Ball! The simple truth to BC’s week one loss was the five turnovers that they committed. If the Lions clean them up they will be a very tough team to beat.

Talking To Troy: Montreal needs to find a way to settle quarterback Troy Smith down and help him him better slow the game down in front of him. Keep in mind the rookie pivot lost not only his mentor in Anthony Calvillo but also his offensive coordinator in Rick Worman, who was fired prior to the preseason.

In the Trenches: BC has one of if not the best front seven in the Canadian Football League. Meanwhile, Montreal has three new faces on the offensive line. So while the Als lack experience if they can out execute the Leos they will have a big advantage.

THE PREDICITION:

I do not have a lot of faith in the offensive scheme of the Montreal Alouettes and while their defence is formidable if they are on the field as much as they were in Calgary it could be a long evening. The Lions, meantime, will be out for revenge and I think that it is theirs for the taking. I’ll go with B.C. by at least two majors, make the final B.C. 24 – Montreal 10.

Hamilton Tiger Cats (0-1 T2nd in East) LW: 31-10 loss at Saskatchewan
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Edmonton Eskimos (1-0 T1st in West) LW: 27-20 win at B.C.

Three Keys:

Uncage The Cat: The Ti-Cats offensively have to go back to the drawing board and re-examine their scheme. Their abandonment of the running game in Regina allowed the Roughriders to pin their ears back and put all kinds of pressure on quarterback Zack Collaros. The Ti-Cats have to give the rock to C.J. Gable early and often.

Something Up My Sleeve? The Edmonton Eskimos pulled out all the stops in Vancouver in week one. That confidence in taking risks gave the Eskies all kinds of confidence and if they can continue with that aggressive play it will continue to give them distinct advantages.

They Kent Be That Bad Again? Hamilton Head Coach Kent Austin was fuming after their loss in Regina last week. He was upset about the team’s lack of execution but even more concerning their lack of fight in adverse conditions. Austin will not stand for it and jobs, yes in week two of the season, will be on the line if intensity and jobs are not completed.

THE PREDICITION:

The Edmonton Eskimos looked impressive on the road in week one in B.C. However, the Lions in large part helped the Eskmios cause by shooting themselves in the foot. Kent Austin will not stand for another performance like what was on the field in week one. That inspiration will power Hamilton to a rebound win. Take the Ti-Cats to win in a close one 27-24.

Saskatchewan Roughriders (1-0 T1st in West) LW: 31-10 win vs. Hamilton
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Toronto Argonauts (0-1 T2nd in East) LW: 45-21 loss at Winnipeg

Three Keys:

Protect Ray All Day! The Toronto Argonaut offensive line seemed dazed and confused in week one at Winnipeg. With the sack attack the Riders put on the field the Argos need to keep Ricky Ray clean and allow him time to execute the offence.

Allen On The Ground: The Saskatchewan Roughrider offence is based on their ability to run the ball. Anthony Allen racked up 158 yards on the ground in week one but it wasn’t easy. Allen will once again need to produce especially when everyone in the ball park knows the Riders will be keeping the ball on the ground.

Special Teams Delight: Both teams showed an above average return game in week one. The team that can best cover kicks and eliminate the big return will have the advantage.

THE PREDICTION:

I truly am torn in this game. Were the Riders that good or was Hamilton that bad in week one AND was Toronto out game planned by Winnipeg or did they underperform? In the end I have to give the nod to the defending Grey Cup Champs who always seem to perform well in Toronto. It won’t be easy though. Take the Riders in a 27-21 win over the Boatmen.

SO there you have it for week two. Put your picks on the line in the comment section and we will check back with you next week!

 

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